Confederate Memorial Statue, Denton, Texas


—– Forwarded message —–
From: "Manning, Hiram G CTR USA"

No doubt the situation in Denton still bears watching. However, the ladies of the UDC have done an excellent job of investigating the laws and establishing relationships with Denton County and City officials to ensure the Confederate monument remains protected. This is entirely proper since it is the UDC that worked to originally have the monument emplaced.

Since this situation first developed last week, the Texas Division and North Texas Brigade staffs worked to devise an appropriate response to counter the monument protestors. Part of our staff work included discussing the situation with President Knuth. President Knuth asked the staffs to wait until she could meet with the ladies of the Denton Chapter this past Saturday. The attached messages are a result of that meeting.

At this time, I believe all that can be done has been done to ensure the safety of the monument on the Denton County Courthouse grounds.

However, it is obvious that the public in Texas remains ignorant of the reasons why our Confederate ancestors found it necessary to secede from the Union. It is up to all of us, UDC, OCR and SCV to work to counter this ignorance. Please continue to work with local history teachers so that the true reasons for that war can be taught to our Texas children.

Finally, as the UDC Resolution states. Should this matter escalate into a viable threat against the monument I know that the men of the Texas Division can be counted on to quickly answer any threat with phone calls and letters delivered calmly and as gentlemen. Firm determination in the face of willful petulance will usually win.

H.G. Manning
Texas Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans

"Texans always move them!" — General Robert E. Lee

From: Vickie Knuth
To: Manning, Hiram G CTR USA

I met with the Denton ladies today, May 3, 2008, to discuss the information they had gathered. Attached you will find a copy of a Resolution passed by the Lucy Holcombe Pickens Chapter 2615 today in their meeting, which will become a permanent record in their minutes. I will try to list the high points:

1. Natalie Massengale, Past President of the Chapter spoke with Mr. Frank Phillips, Director of Administration in the office of the Honorable Mary Horn, County Judge, Denton County Commissioners Court and learned that Denton County is the first entity to protect and preserve the Confederate monument on the courthouse lawn. It is the County’s responsibility to protect and preserve the entire Courthouse Square, which includes every monument, marker and statue on the courthouse lawn.

2. Carolyn Orlebeke, President of the chapter spoke with Mr. Gregory W. Smith, National Register Coordinator, Texas Programs Division of the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and he confirmed that the County of Denton is responsible for considering the removal of said statue and that if the County acts in a way not in keeping with the preservation of the statue, the THC would step in. He also confirmed that the monument is protected under several laws of the State of Texas:

a. All buildings that are serving or have served as the courthouse are protected under a statute entitled, "County Courthouses" in the Texas Government Code.

b. The courthouse is protected by a fifty-year easement, conveyed to the THC by Denton County in 2003.

c. The Denton County Courthouse is a State Archeological Landmark (SAL) designated in 1981 and is therefore protected under the Antiquities Code of Texas.

Natalie Massengale, also a former member of the Denton County Historical Commission, will meet privately and individually (not representing UDC) with the Honorable Mary Horn, County Judge, Denton County Commissioners Court, next week to discuss this last attempt to remove the Confederate Monument. After she meets with Judge Horn, she will contact me with any further information. She will also monitor the situation and if a formal protest is filed to remove the statue in the future, she will notify The Texas Division President. At that time, members may be asked to write letters supporting the keeping of the Confederate Memorial Statue.

I hope this information will be helpful to you and the SCV.

At this point, it appears the Denton Confederate Memorial Statue is in no danger of being removed. If it becomes necessary in the future for us to mount a letter-writing campaign, I will notify all my members via our internet email listing.

Vickie L. Knuth
The Texas Division UDC