Franklin Township trustees want to re-dedicate controversial monument

Franklin Township trustees want to re-dedicate controversial monument (WKEF/WRGT File Photo)

FRANKLIN TWP, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A once removed Confederate monument in Franklin Township may soon make a comeback.

Trustees want to re-dedicate the controversial Robert E. Lee road marker, but they're facing some road blocks.

Putting it back won't be easy. The original location is off limits, because the City of Franklin says it’s too close to the road. Now township trustees have to find a new spot.

Doug Gratehouse researched the plaque, talking with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that bought it.

“It's about the man and his high character and his efforts to heal the nation afterwards,” Gratehouse said.

He unearthed historical documents that show Lee's marker was dedicated in the 1920s as a tribute to Dixie highway, constructed to unite the north and south.

“It's not there for hate, it's there for history,” Trustee Brian Morris said.

Morris says the township is looking for a new location, preferably on public land.

“We are looking for the safest and most logical place to put it,” Morris said.

Meanwhile, he says the plaque is being repaired. It got scratched when removed by the City of Franklin.

“I would like to see some proof that the monument they took down in the middle of the night is safe and sound,” Resident Donald Whisman said.

There'll likely be more controversy with any decision they make. That's something the township will have to consider, as they look to restore history.

“If there's a way to reestablish it, that would be best,” Gratehouse said.

Trustees hope to re-install the statue by the end of the year.

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