LOCKHART, Texas - A Confederate monument outside the Caldwell County Courthouse will move to the County Museum. On Monday, the Caldwell County Commissioners Court formally accepted funds for the project. 280 donors raised $29,600.
"I never, never would have imagined that in Lockhart that I would see the day that this monument would be removed… I am rejoicing. I am happy. I am more hopeful than I’ve ever been in Lockhart today. Change is coming." said Margaret Carter, lifelong Lockhart resident and founder of the non-profit Where We Thrive.
Carter, whose office on the square overlooks the monument, helped raise the $29,600. She attended the commissioner's court meeting Monday with her 9-year-old grandson Micah Roberts. "We don’t have to witness this pain anymore," said Roberts.
The monument was placed on courthouse grounds in 1923 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
"Private funds had put it there, the Daughters of the Confederacy… and so we felt that it was only fair and right for private funds to pay for the relocation of it," said Judge Hoppy Haden.
Judge Haden was part of a seven-person citizen review panel that studied the monument. "I’ll be frank with you at first I was, I’m a person that does not like to see history erased. I think it should be contextualized so that it evokes conversation," he said.
After researching the monument, Judge Haden felt it needed to move.
"I discovered that in 1923 there was a large Ku Klux Klan rally right here on the courthouse lawn and the county judge at the time spoke at it — that’s something I wasn’t okay with. I also saw an article about the actual ceremony when it was placed there and I wasn’t okay with the ceremony."
Jordan Buckley works for the non-profit Mano Amiga. He also helped raised money to move the monument. "How can anyone agree to get a fair shake in the courtroom when they have to walk by a tribute to the institution of enslavement? People that use violence to protect their right to treat other people like chattel." Buckley said.
Haden told FOX 7 Austin contractors will begin the process of relocating the statue this week. "I just want people to understand. We’re not trying to erase history, we’re trying to put history in its proper context," said Carter.
FOX 7 Austin contacted the United Daughters of the Confederacy for comment. They did not respond.
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