City Directories and History: The historic Confederate Monument erected in May 10, 1905 was designed by McNeil Marble Company of Gainesville, Georgia, who had purchased the granite from the Winnsboro Granite Company of Fairfield County, S.C. The same granite was used to build the lower section of the Washington Monument. The large public unveiling took place on June 27, 1905 to read the inscription written by Judge W.H. Brawley of Chester, S.C.
“In 1890, Mrs. Maude McLure took up the task, and by a theatrical performance raised $200.00. She, too, became discouraged, and turned the money over to the City for the park.
Determined that Chester should not lag behind, Mrs. Julia Killian Campbell, President of Chester Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, took up the work about 1900.
She staged and directed a theatrical performance, “Under the Southern Cross,” and raised one hundred and twenty five dollars. Local talent was used in the play. This was the first money raised in the new effort to build a monument.
It was slow work to increase the fund and many discouragements were met. But the “U.D.C.’s” were dedicated and untiring in their efforts, and finally succeeded. By February, 1904, they had $300.00 on interest, and decided to ask the cooperation of Walker-Gaston Camp Confederate Veterans.
At their March, 1904 meeting, they agreed to help and appointed a Committee consisting of J.W. Reed, Chairman; R.M. Cross and W.D. Knox. They joined forces with the U.D.C. Committee, composed of Mrs. Julia Killian Campbell, Chairman; Mrs. S.E. Babcock, Mrs. Will Corkill, Miss Annie Hardin, and Miss Emily Graham.
Walker-Gaston Camp raised $372.00. The U.D.C.’s gave many entertainments to raise funds…
The Committee decided to make a strenuous effort to build the monument by popular subscription, asking men, women and children to contribute. Most of the subscriptions were small The Committee made a canvass and raised $1,267.05. Total funds on hand April 1, 1905, was $2,072.75. The contract for the monument was given on January 31, 1905, to the McNeel Marble Company of Gainesville, Georgia, for $2,000.00. It was to be erected on top of the City’s hill where the Calhoun Guards and the Chester Blues swore allegiance to the Confederate States forty-four years earlier.
On the Monument Committee were Mrs. Julia Killian Campbell, Chairman; Mrs. Janie Gaston Gage, Mrs. May Heath Melton, Mrs. Dora Brown Jones, Col. John R. Culp, J.W. Knox and W.S. Hall.
According to the contract signed by the above committee, the McNeel Marble Company agreed “to build and erect in the city of Chester, South Carolina, one Confederate Monument, the material to be of Oglesby, Georgia granite” and to be 41 feet high. The Monument was to be placed on a good foundation of sufficient depth “to go below the freezing line.” The Committee was to “do all draying of the monument from railway car to place of erection, and to get permit from city for erection, and on completion of the contract to pay to McNeel Marble Co. the sum of $2,000.00.” The cornerstone by contract was to be laid on April 11, 1905 and the monument was to be erected by May 10, 1905, if possible or as soon thereafter as the work could be done.”
(Information in part from: Chester County Heritage Book, Vol. I, Edt. by Collins – Knox, Published by the Chester Co Hist. Society – Jostens Printing, 1982)
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