The Soldiers’ Monument was the brainchild of the Richard Wallace Circle No. 12 Ladies Auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). In March 1907, the ladies decided to fundraise for the construction of a granite statue in memory of those who served in the U.S. military from 1776-1907, and ultimately, hoped this would serve as daily lesson in patriotism for Clarksburg’s citizens. The cost amounted to $2,000.
However, the campaign the group created faced challenges. The monument fund found many financial supporters during the first two months of the drive. But, donations came to a stand-still by the end of April 1907 with a remainder of $1,431 for the cost of the statue and dedication ceremony. As the fundraising campaign dragged on into the summer, the ceremony was pushed to August and then permanently set for May 30, 1908.
By the time May 30 dedication arrived, the Soldiers Monument had lived under a canvas tarp on the east corner of the courthouse yard since its placement in October 1907.
But, this is not the end of the monument’s story. The Soldiers Monument traveled three times since its placement on the courthouse square in 1908. At one time or another, the statue lived near the old City Hall at the former Mortimer Smith House on West Main Street; the Nathan Goff National Guard Armory, and finally in front of newest City Building on West Main Street where he remains to this day.