Part One-Monument itself.
If you ever find yourself in downtown Longview, Texas your liable to see several monuments on its front lawn, the largest of which was first erected on June 3, 1911. It was never originally at the courthouse, the one standing now was built in the 1930's. Originally the monument was built near the old railroad depot to greet all folks coming into town in Bodie Park, no longer in existence, dedicated in the presence of a jubilant public and local Confederate veterans and the parks namesake and man of the hour, Mayor Gabriel "Bodie" Bodenheim.
Excerpts from the Dallas Morning News, June 4th, 1911
"A six years labor of love on the part of the ladies composing the Richard B. Levy Chapter, Daughter of the Confederacy today reached the summit of its ambition in unveiling to the memory of the Confederate Dead of a beautiful monument of Texas granite. The shaft being placed within sight of the city depot, that all who pass, and all who become guests of the city may look upon it, and realize in the words of its chiseled inscription that it is so placed "Lest We Forget".
"The shaft stands in an open space that will be paved, at which time the base of the monument will be surrounded by wall coping, sodded within. Standing thirty-five feet high, it bears on its summit the life-size figure of a Confederate Soldier and below, at its base, the simple figure of a Southern woman engaged in writing the words, "Lest We Forget".
"The monument was designed by Frank Teich of Llano and erected at a cost of $8,000."
"In his address, Mayor Bodenheim said, in part:"
"We are assembled to dedicate a monument erected in honor of the Confederate Dead. A noble shaft erects its head to the skies in tribute to the Lost Cause. The Daughters of the Confederacy, God bless their immaculate souls, are here to consecrate the work of their fair hands, and throughout Texas, Imperial in her past, Imperial in her present and imperial in her future, the work are doing today is heralded with a cheer and accompanied with a sob. God bless the Noble Women who have made this great day possible; God bless the splendid heroes whose matchless deed we are here to commemorate."
"Men of the Confederacy in the name of the city of Longview, I bid you welcome to the fair city. You will find yourselves among your own people here, and every man, woman, and child within its boundaries stands back of me when I say we honor you beyond words. Your uniforms may be faded, but every thread of them speaks to us of glorious achievement and heroic endeavor, and I had rather have such a uniform to bequeath to my children as a legacy than the diamond bedecked regalia of the greatest king that ever graced a throne."
"This Monument stands for the cause of liberty; it stands for the vindication of American manhood and American bravery; it represents the blood of a nation spent in a cause that to the Sons seemed worthy; it immortalizes Southern chivalry and Southern Womanhood, and do not ever go near it without lifting your hat, for you are standing on sacred ground."
For the record, lets remember the news article and then mayor of Longview's word belong to the era when they were written and spoken.
I am sorry to say, I don't have the exact date the monument was moved, and can't find the information. I know it was before my Mother's time, the 60's so when my Grandmother's health recovers I intend to ask her as she goes back to the 30's. While I'm not a Longview native, I'm nearby and my SCV Camp is located in Longview, but my parents are natives to there, and my grandparents folks who moved there from the surrounding country for work.