“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Liberty in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

World War Veterans Monument

World War Veterans Monument -<br>West Inscription image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, March 6, 2010
1. World War Veterans Monument -
West Inscription
[West Inscription]
Dedicated to Veterans
World War

[East Inscription]
Left Column: W.B. Alexander, Robert Lee Austin, R.M. Bagwell, L.A. Boggs, Willie Devoe Boggs, A.E. Brown, L.T. Bryant, Edmond J. Bryson, John W. Callaham, L.A. Cantrell, B.A. Chapman, Harry M. Chapman, A.W. Cox, Arthur D. Davis, D.T. Davis, E.E. Davis, E.L. Davis, Horace A. Davis, Elbert Donaldson, Sr., . Ernest Gantt, Frank Garrett, J.E. Gillard, D.C. Gillespie, E.A. Gossett.

Center Column: Doyle Hendricks, M.E. Hester, A.H. Hickes, J.E. Holcomb, H. Floyd Hunt, W.M. Hunt, John M. Hunter, J.W. Hunter, Milton Hunter, M.P.J. Hunter, W.J. Hunter, J.C. Hutchins, Luther Johnson, Sr., M.W. Jones, Sims Langston, Frank Lemons, C.B. Lovell, A.M. Massey, P.B. Mauldin, Sy McDowell, S.T. McKittrick, J.V. Norris, Durward O'Dell, Thomas R. O'Dell, Clarance Parker.

Right Column: E.E. Parker, Burts Bonner Pratt, Junius Pressley, J.F. Pruitt, C.C. Ray, Junior Reid, Willia, A. Richbourg, L.A. Richburg, J.C. Robinson, W.C. Rogers, Lang Rosemond, Walter Rosemond, Will Rosemond, J.H. Shirley, C.J.
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Sidell, C.W. Smith, George L. Templeton, A.C. Ware, F.G. Waring, Cash A. Welborn, W.J. Whipple, Sidney Williams, John Willis, Joe E. Vaughn.
Erected 1935 by Dr. E.J. Bryson.
Topics. This historical marker and monument is listed in these topic lists: HeroesMilitaryWar, World I.
Location. 34° 47.3′ N, 82° 41.367′ W. Marker is in Liberty, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is on East Main Street (State Highway 93) near Southern Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Liberty SC 29657, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Service Station (within shouting distance of this marker); John C. Calhoun Memorial Highway (approx. 2.4 miles away); St. Luke's Methodist Episcopal Church & Cemetery (approx. 3.4 miles away); Soldiers Buried in Carmel Cemetery (approx. 3˝ miles away); Golden Creek Mill (approx. 3.6 miles away); Pickensville (approx. 5.2 miles away); Julien D. Wyatt (approx. 5˝ miles away); Colonel Robert Elliott Holcombe (approx. 5.6 miles away); Easley Veterans Memorial (approx. 5.6 miles away); Captain Kimberly Hampton (approx. 5.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Liberty.
Also see . . .
World War Veterans Monument -<br>East Inscription image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, March 6, 2010
2. World War Veterans Monument -
East Inscription
 James D. Howe. James Donnie Howe (December 17, 1948-May 6, 1970) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in May 1970 during the Vietnam War. (Submitted on April 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Additional commentary.
1. History of the Veterans Service Station
The Veterans Service Station was built in 1935 using local stone from the nearby Liberty Rock Quarry. The cornerstone of the building indicates that it was built by "CA_JC, & JS Newton". A marble plaque on the side of the building lists the mayor and council and other public figures at the time of the building's dedication, and also gives a history of the town, which claims that the town of Liberty was "founded in 1776 by a group of patriots." While this history is etched in granite on the building, it contradicts what is generally known about our area during the colonial period, when all of the land in Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties was still Cherokee Territory (see "Liberty South Carolina 1876-1976" by Woodson & Sheriff (1992)).

A granite monument was erected next to the Veterans Service Station by Dr. E.J. Bryson soon after the building's completion. The monument includes
World War Veterans Monument<br>Veterans Service Station in Background image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, March 6, 2010
3. World War Veterans Monument
Veterans Service Station in Background
a flagpole, lists the names of the local soldiers who fought in the first World War, and is "Dedicated to Veterans World War". The marker was struck by an automobile and broken in pieces many years ago. The pieces were collected by Mrs. Julia Jean Woodson, who kept the broken monument under a magnolia tree at her home on Main Street. In 2002 a Liberty councilman, Rick Clark, recovered the broken monument pieces from Mrs. Woodson, had them repaired and returned to the Veterans Service Station site.

The building served originally as a Shell Gas station, and continued to be used for that purpose for many years. During the 1990s it served as a restaurant and later a pizza parlor, but soon fell into disrepair. In 2003 it was purchased by Lake and Mountain Country, LLC and completely renovated to reflect as much of its original appearance as possible. The renovation was given a special award for commercial renovation by the Greater Greenville Board of Realtors.

The Liberty Chamber of Commerce used the Veterans Service Station for it headquarters from 2003 until 2005 when the Chamber relocated to the nearby Rosewood Center. The property then became the location of a real estate agency, which operated from August 2006 until July 2009. (Source:
    — Submitted
World War Veterans Monument<br>and James Howe Tombstone image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, March 6, 2010
4. World War Veterans Monument
and James Howe Tombstone
April 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Broken War Memorial in Liberty to be Restored
by M. Karen Brewer
The Pickens Sentinel
February 2002

Restoring a broken war memorial may be an early legacy of the new Liberty City Council.

Council members Rick Clark brought before Council the issue of restoring the World War I marker, which in 1935 had been placed on the property of Dr. E.J. Bryson, an active member of the American Legion.

The marker listed names of soldiers who served in what was then known as 'The World War', as World War II had not yet taken place.

It was broken, years ago, after being struck by a vehicle.

Members of the American Legion brought the broken pieces to the home of Julia Woodson, a local historian who wrote about the marker in her book on Liberty's first 100 years. Woodson was unable to restore the entire memorial, and it has set for years under her Magnolia tree, she explained.
    — Submitted April 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Liberty Landmark has New Face and Name
by Kayce Shusterman
The Pickens Sentinel
December 8, 2004

The New Veterans Service Station was the center of activity
James D. Howe (1948-1970) Tombstone image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, March 6, 2010
5. James D. Howe (1948-1970) Tombstone
Medal of Honor
LCPL US Marine Corps
Dec 17 1948 - May 6 1970
on Saturday in Liberty, as the community gathered to dedicate the new building and re-dedicate the Veterans memorial that stand there.

The building is located in Highway 93 and was formerly known as the Rock Station. Last year, Kem Roper and Jeff Willis purchased and restored the building and the lot.

A large crowd gathered for the ceremonies and to enjoy an all-American lunch of hot dogs and apple pie.

Newly elected House Representative Davey Hiott led the invocation and Liberty fireman James Jackson sang the National Anthem. Many local and state dignitaries were also present.

Cadets from the Liberty High School JROTC Color Guard were on hand to raise an American flag that was flown over the nations capital. The LHS Cadets were First Sgt. Matthew Peteron, Staff Sgt. Amanda Neal, 2nd Lt. Justin Mulkey and 2nd Lt. Justin Campbell.

Roper asked the Veterans in the group to stand, so that they could br recognized and honored. He spoke about the importance of those in military service and of the restored monument.

"The men who placed this monument here did so to commemorate the brave ones who fought for Liberty in World War One. The soldiers from our area, whose names appear on the stones behind me, represent a cross section of our community. They were the rich and they were poor. They were black, and they were white. They were native
James D. Howe<br>(1948-1970) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By U.S. Marine Corps
6. James D. Howe
born and they were transplants. They were mill workers and owners of those mills," stated Roper.

"They did this because it was their collective duty. And they did this because they believed in Liberty. Both the idea of Liberty and this wonderful place we are privileged to call home. When those soldiers returned, they placed this marker here so many decades ago. They did so in remembrance of battles past, lives lost, and honor maintained.

"We join in recognizing such things. But we also rededicate this monument today with a forward-looking hope. Because for me this re-dedication is more than a remembrance, it is a prayer. A prayer for Liberty's bright future -- both the idea and the town," said Roper.

Liberty resident Louie Bolding, was one of those present when the monument was first dedicated. He recalled that he and his fellow classmates had walked from Liberty High School to hear Senator Cotton Ed Smith speak.

Bolding was asked to introduce the others he knew had made the trip to take part in this second dedication. They included Vernon Garrett, and his wife Myra from Travelers Rest; Ross Gilstrap along with his wife and high school sweetheart, Wilma who now live in Greenville; and Jack Pressley, who was a grade behind the others, came from Greenville.

"My Daddy is a vet on that monument," said Pressley. "I stop by here often."

James Howe marker missing from Liberty, SC World War Veterans Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By BruceTyson, February 23, 2018
7. James Howe marker missing from Liberty, SC World War Veterans Monument
Since the 3/6/2010 photo of the Liberty, SC World War I memorial, the marker of Medal of Honor recipient has been removed. In other words, it is no longer there, although the outline in the ground where the marker was is still visible. Does anyone know what happened to it?
monument was originally placed in 1935, but was damaged in 1970 when a car hit it. One side contained the names of those who had died in "the World War" and the other side simply stated, "Dedicated to Veterans, World War, erected by Dr. E.J. Bryson 1935."

The damage done to the side with the names was severe. However, the other side was broken into larger pieces. Local historian Julia Woodson salvaged those pieces.

'I noticed that the school children were playing with the rocks, so I had a couple of the veterans to help me move the pieces to my house," said Woodson. "I had them place the pieces under my magnolia tree, and there they sat until Rick and Tani Clark came and dug it back up.

"The Clarks took the pieces and laid them back out. They found that practically the entire block was there.

"We took the pieces to Easley marble where they used epoxy to put it back together and fill in the few small missing pieces," said Clark.

When the front side was redone, they acquired a complete list of names of all who served in WWI from Woodson's book on Liberty history.

The building itself has a lot of history. It was originally a gas station, that later sold groceries as well.

"It was probably one of the first convenience store in the area," recalled historian Harriet Ellenburg. She and her first husband Larry ran a grocery
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store there from 1968 to 1972. "It was a good adventure for us. We met a lot of people and made a lot of special friends."

Over time the building was used to house several businesses, usually restaurants. It had been empty for years and had become an eyesore to the community.

"This was a labor of love. This is also economic development," Willis said. 'We're inviting people to take a look at not only Liberty, but Pickens County."
    — Submitted April 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

4. James D. Howe Medal of Honor Citation
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to

Lance Corporal James D. Howe
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman with Company I, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in connection with combat operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. In the early morning hours of 6 May 1970, Lance Corporal Howe and two other Marines were occupying a defensive position in a sandy beach area fronted by bamboo thickets. Enemy sappers suddenly launched a grenade attack against the position, utilizing the cover of darkness to carry out their assault. Following the initial explosions of the grenades, Lance Corporal Howe and his two comrades moved to a more advantageous position in order to return suppressive fire. When an enemy grenade landed in their midst, Lance Corporal Howe immediately shouted a warning and then threw himself upon the deadly missile, thereby protecting the lives of his fellow Marines. His heroic and selfless action was in keeping with the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

/S/ Richard M. Nixon
    — Submitted April 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 23, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,481 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 15, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7. submitted on February 23, 2018.

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Apr. 18, 2024