Confederate Mothers Memorial Park
Confederate Mothers Memorial Park is a commemorative park located in Russellville (Pope County). The park contains three monuments dedicated to the mothers of Confederate soldiers and is the only known memorial park to these women in Arkansas.
The land for the park was donated to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) by Judge R. B. and Mary Howell Wilson on June 30, 1921. Located at the intersection of Skyline Drive and West 19th Street/South Glenwood Avenue, the park was established on October 10, 1921. At the opening ceremony for the park, organized by the John Homer Scott Chapter of the UDC, a tablet was dedicated to Confederate mothers and “the happiness of the children of our united country.” A granite shaft dedicated to the mothers of the Confederacy had previously been placed in the park by the Wilsons.
Over the next several years, the UDC made several improvements to the park. By November 1923, the group had constructed two roads that connected the park to the city and built a pavilion in the park. Plans were made to continue the improvements with the addition of a playground, birdhouses, and an imposing entrance to the park.
Two entry columns were dedicated on June 12, 1924. Constructed of fieldstone, each column contains an inscribed plaque. One column was dedicated by the Ben T. Embry Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), while the second was dedicated by the John Homer Scott chapter of the UDC. Other UDC members from Atkins (Pope County) and Dardanelle (Yell County) attended the ceremony.
The other planned improvements to the site, including the playground and entrance, never took place. A short iron fence was added to the entrance columns in the early twenty-first century, separating the gravel parking lot from the street. The monument dedicated by the UDC in 1921 and the entrance columns are the only structures in the park. The granite shaft placed by the Wilsons was removed from the park at some point.
Set on a hill overlooking both Russellville and the Arkansas River, the park covers approximately twenty acres and is managed by the Russellville Recreation and Parks Department. It has several walking trails and is heavily wooded. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 3, 1996.
For additional information:
Christ, Mark. “Confederate Mothers Memorial Park.” National Register of Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PP0344S.pdf (accessed September 27, 2017).
City of Russellville. “Confederate Mother’s Memorial Park.” Russellville Recreation and Parks Department. Online at http://www.russellvillearkansas.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Confederate-Mothers-Memorial-Park-9 (accessed September 27, 2017).
Henderson State University
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