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Confederate Mothers Memorial Park Cemetery
Pope County,
Arkansas

Confederate Mothers Memorial Park, Russellville, Pope County

SUMMARY
The Confederate Mothers Park is associated with the historic context “Something So Dim It Must Be Holy”: Civil War Commemorative Sculpture in Arkansas, 1886-1934 as a commemorative monument financed and erected through the efforts of ancestral organizations in Arkansas. As such, it is eligible under Criterion A with statewide significance for its associations with the efforts of the John R. Homer Scott Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Ben T. Embry Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to reflect members' perception of the noble character and valor of the women who supported their veterans and their cause. Thus, it also meets the eligibility requirements of Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties.

ELABORATION

The land for Confederate Mothers Memorial Park was donated to the United Daughters of the Confederacy by Judge R. B. Wilson and his wife, Mary Howell Wilson on June 30, 1921. The Arkansas Democrat described Judge Wilson as “one of Pope County's most progressive and public spirited citizens” and added that Mrs. Wilson was “an active worker in all civic and public endeavors for the advancement of the community and state.”

On October 10, 1921, the John Homer Scott Chapter of the U. D. C. held a ceremony in the memorial park on Pine Hill to complete plans for a roadway from the city limits to the park. A tablet inscribed “This Park Is Established as a Memorial to Our Confederate Mothers *** and Dedicated to the Happiness of the Children of Our United Country” was placed in the park. The Democrat noted that the Wilsons had already “erected a cost of many hundreds of dollars a beautiful granite shaft” and that “it is said that this is the only memorial established to the mothers of the Confederacy.”

The November 1923 Confederate Veteran notes that the U.D.C. spent over $800 to complete two roads to the park, as well as building a pavilion and making other improvements. Future plans at that point included a playground, birdhouses, and an “imposing entrance” with the name of the park “wrought in iron or stone.” The Veteran adds that “on this playground ... these children and their children will be taught to love and respect those who have labored and loved to make our Southland the home that it is to them.”

The main columns at the entrance to the park, each containing a central inscribed tablet embedded in fieldstone, were dedicated June 12, 1924. One of the columns, dedicated by the Ben T. Embry Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was presented by W.P. Ferguson, whose wife was a member of the local U.D.C. chapter. The other column was dedicated to the John R. Homer Scott U.D.C. Chapter.

U.D.C. members from the John C. Darr Chapter at Atkins and the Joe Wheeler Chapter at Dardanelle were among those attending the dedication. After lunch at a nearby Methodist church, the celebrants drove to the park where they were entertained by the “Russellville band.” Mrs. Geo. Gill received the park for the U.D.C. Arkansas Division from Mrs. Jess Martin, the president of the local chapter.

While initial plans called for a driveway, playground equipment and caretaker's home, few of these improvements came to pass. The park currently consists of a gravel parking area with few other improvements.

The park is the only known resource of its kind in Arkansas.

The Confederate Mothers Park is associated with the historic context “Something So Dim It Must Be Holy”: Civil War Commemorative Sculpture in Arkansas, 1886-1934 as a commemorative monument financed and erected through the efforts of ancestral organizations in Arkansas. As such, it is eligible under Criterion A with statewide significance for its associations with the efforts of the John R. Homer Scott Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Ben T. Embry Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to reflect members' perception of the noble character and valor of the women who supported their veterans and their cause. Thus, it also meets the eligibility requirements of Criteria Consideration F: Commemorative Properties.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“Confederate Monuments and Markers in Arkansas,” Arkansas Division U.D.C., 1960, p. 271-275.

Arkansas Democrat, October 16, 1921, p. 5 (Real Estate Section)

Confederate Veteran, Vol. XXI, November 1923, p. 435.

Contributed on 3/4/14 by stacieford38
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Record #: 986233

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Submitted: 3/4/14 • Approved: 3/5/14 • Last Updated: 3/8/14 • R986233-G0-S3

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