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Southern Memorial Association Press Release

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  • Little Jodie
    SOUTHERN MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION of WASHINGTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS PRESS RELEASE 11 JULY 2001 In 1872, a group of Washington County ladies formed the Southern
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 12, 2001
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      11 JULY 2001

      In 1872, a group of Washington County ladies formed the Southern
      Memorial Association. Their purpose was the establishment of a
      suitable cemetery for Confederate soldiers who had been killed in
      various battles in Northwest Arkansas. In 1873 the first bodies were
      removed from battlefields at Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, and other
      locations, and re-buried in the new Confederate Cemetery in

      Today the Southern Memorial Association still owns and maintains the
      Confederate Cemetery. The function of the SMA is to preserve a
      quiet, beautiful resting place for these soldiers. The organization
      planted trees in honor of the soldiers, and in 1897 placed in the
      center of the cemetery a 35-foot granite monument with the statue of
      a Confederate soldier standing on top. The cost to the Southern
      Memorial Association was $3000.00, a huge sum in 1897.

      During the ice storm that hit Northwest Arkansas last winter, the
      Confederate Cemetery also suffered damage. Large branches from some
      of the old trees broke under the weight of the ice and badly damaged
      the monument and Confederate soldier statue. The SMA contacted
      several firms regarding restoration of the statue and decided to
      retain Norton Arts, a fine arts conservation company located in
      Marshall, Arkansas. The restoration cost of the statue and monument
      was assessed at $9,600.

      In early March the SMA opened a savings account for the deposit of
      donations to the Monument Restoration Fund. Donations came in from
      all parts of the country, ranging from $1.00 donations to a $1000
      donation. In early June, the fund contained $5400.

      Recently, Mr. A. Howard Stebbins III of Little Rock made a very
      generous donation to the SMA. Mr. Stebbins is a life long student of
      Arkansas history, particularly the Civil War period. He is also a
      member of the Civil War Round Table in Little Rock, which is part of
      a nation-wide organization of approximately 300 chapters, and nearly
      a dozen such chapters in the State of Arkansas. When the donation
      from Mr. Stebbins was added to the $5400.00 already raised, it
      surpassed the goal of $9600.00 for the restoration of the monument
      and statue.

      Norton Arts of Marshall, Arkansas, will begin immediately to restore
      the historic statue and monument of Fayetteville's Confederate
      Cemetery. Complete restoration should be finished within a year and
      the Southern Memorial Association will extend an invitation to the
      public to attend an unveiling ceremony to be announced at a later

      The Southern Memorial Association continues to exist only by private
      donations. Even though the great need of a restored statue and
      monument has been met, there is much costly work yet to be
      accomplished, including repair of the stone wall, proper cleaning of
      grave markers, and maintaining the health of the lovely trees in the
      cemetery. All donations are greatly appreciated and can be sent to
      the treasurer, Mrs. Kim Pearson, 13120 Kenny Pearson Road, Summers,
      Arkansas 72769.

      The Southern Memorial Association of Washington County has a present
      membership of 85 and welcomes anyone interested in continuing this
      historic work. For more information please call President, Mrs. Karen
      Moore: 501-587-9025 or Secretary, Mrs. Donna Schwieder: 501-824-3910
      or visit the website:

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