Original Story from The Fort Morgan Times: benches-dedicated-kate-baker-clatworthy-dar-memorial-park
Grubbs, Jenni. “Benches Dedicated in Kate Baker Clatworthy DAR Memorial Park” The Fort Morgan Times, 26 October 2018
“Fort Morgan’s Kate Baker Clatworthy DAR Memorial Park now features two park benches sitting on either side of the large, granite Daughters of the American Revolution monument.
Those benches were made possible through donations from the Fort Morgan DAR Chapter and the Fort Morgan Heritage Foundation. The foundation was using money that had been entrusted to its board of directors by city of Fort Morgan for adding public art and facilities, like benches, to city parks and buildings, according to Linda Midcap, a member of the foundation board.
“Both the Fort Morgan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Fort Morgan Heritage Foundation base their missions on historical preservation and education,” she said. “The collaborative efforts to place these benches here is a move in that direction.”
A dedication ceremony was recently held for the benches, which were installed in the park that sits alongside the 200 block of East Riverside Avenue in Fort Morgan. Participating in this ceremony were representatives from the Fort Morgan DAR Chapter, the Heritage Foundation Board, the Fort Morgan City Council and the Color Guard made up of military veterans.
After the colors were presented, Fort Morgan DAR Regent Jerilynn Hall welcomed the attendees, and then Councilman and Heritage Foundation Board member Kevin Lindell addressed the group as a representative from the city council.
Linda Midcap, a member of the Fort Morgan DAR and Heritage Foundation Board member, then gave a short history of the DAR monument. She also was speaking on behalf of the Heritage Foundation.
“Today we celebrate the cooperative efforts of both organizations to dedicate these benches for the community,” Midcap said. “Although the Kate Baker DAR Memorial Park may be small, its inception was the source of a large controversy.”
She offered a short recap of how the monument came to be located where it is today in the park.
“The Fort Morgan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was chartered in 1909 and its first large effort to preserve our history was to erect a five and one half ton of granite with a bronze plaque on the site of the flagpole in the military enclosure.” Midcap said. “By 1912 the funds were procured and the monument was located in the middle of Riverview Avenue where it intersects with Grant Street.
“All was well until 1924, when an unfortunate accident occurred with a driver hitting a large flagpole which was located in the middle of Main Street at the entrance to the business district,” Midcap continued. “A lawsuit by the driver against the city of Fort Morgan resulted in the removal of both the flagpole and the DAR monument.”
But no one thought to consult the DAR about that change.
“The DAR monument was moved without the knowledge or consent of the chapter,” Midcap said, “and what ensued was a war of words between Kate Clatworthy, DAR regent, and Mayor Mark Gill. Letters to the editor of the Fort Morgan Times reveal the depth of emotion over the moving of the monument closer to the river. After a month of tense negotiations, it was decided to move the monument to its present location, and it has resided here since 1924.”
Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed refreshments in the park.”
Grubbs, Jenni. “Benches Dedicated in Kate Baker Clatworthy DAR Memorial Park” The Fort Morgan Times, 26 October 2018 Jenni Grubbs: [email protected] or Twitter @JenniGrubbs
Commemorative Events, Fort Morgan Chapter DAR, Commemorative Events Committee Chair – Jerilyn Hall