Centre College students trying to get Confederate statue near campus removed

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 5:13 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - A 111-year-old Confederate statue in Danville that sits on church property and faces a college campus could soon be removed.

Leaders from both institutions say the statute doesn’t reflect their values, but in order for both parties to get what they want, they need money.

The statue and monument honor Captain Robert E. Logan and other Confederate soldiers that lost their lives in the American Civil War.

In the 1900s, the block where the statue is located was owned by the City of Danville and, at the time, it was a city park.

The Presbyterian Church of Danville, which was established in the late 1700s, deeded space to the city for a park in the late 1800s. The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the monument in 1910.

More than a hundred years later, no one gave Captain Logan any thought until the violence between white supremacists and other groups in Charlottesville back in 2017.

“The church began among the leadership to have conversations about the compatibility of understanding of who we are and a symbol of the Confederacy on the property,” Pastor Caroline Kelly, Presbyterian Church of Danville.

So, a decision to remove the 15-ton monument began. That was two years ago. The church has been working with the city to get this completed but it comes with a cost.

“In large part, because we needed to raise the money,” Pastor Kelly said.

The church needs around $55,000.

“Our students wanted to accelerate the process,” said Jamey Leahey, VP Legal Affairs Centre College.

The statue faces across the street, toward Centre College. That doesn’t sit well with some of the students there, so the church and the college have joined forces To fundraise.

“We have friends, alumni, and parents who have called and said I want to help and that I want to give money to the church to help that,” Pearl Morttey.

Morttey is with the Centre Student Initiative, a student-led group that’s raising the funds. She has to walk past the statue every day.

“I feel uneasy. I feel unsafe. Like why has it been there so long? I feel confused because Centre College and the neighboring areas have claimed that it’s an inclusive environment for everyone, but then they still have the statue here,” Morttey said.

As for the church, not everyone was onboard with Logan leaving.

“But we’ve already made a decision, as a result, we’ve lost the members already,” Pastor Kelly said.

Whenever the church and college come up with the money, the plan is to take the monument a few miles over to Bellevue Cemetery where Logan and other confederates are buried.

Part of the money raised will go to a plaque describing the monument that once stood in that space.

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