ICYMI: "Stonewall" Jackson statue: Keep or remove?

By  | 

CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - EDIT: This story was originally done in May 2017, and has been re-posted in relation to recent conversations surrounding Confederate statues.



In case you missed it: Crews in New Orleans spent Thursday morning removing a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Could the debate over Confederate monuments boil over in Harrison County?

Erected in 1953, a statue depicting the Confederate general Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson on a horse stands outside the Harrison County Courthouse.

Jackson, born in Clarksburg, is regarded as one of the best known commanders for the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

Reminders of Jackson are scattered throughout downtown Clarksburg. A coffee shop even bears his name.

"We've had really awesome rapport from the community coming in and really enjoying the "Stonewall" history that's here," Sarah Zakariasen, owner of Stonewall Coffee, said.

But some say that history is better off buried.

Matthew Mason sees a statue of a Confederate general like Jackson as a symbol of a dark time, representing slavery, racism, and division. He would like to see it removed.

"I don't want to see that," Mason said, emphatically. "That's not what's going on in America today. I don't feel like it's conducive for the growth of America or people to unite, at all."

Many of the people 5 News spoke to condemned what Jackson fought for, but insist taking down a statue won't heal wounds.

"That's history, that's what's that about," Steve Skidmore said, pointing to the statue behind him.

Harrison County Commission president Ron Watson says he has never fielded a complaint about the statue, and the county has no plans to take down the statue.