Confederate soldier monument

The Denton County Confederate Soldier Memorial is on the lawn of the Courthouse on the Square.

Denton County officials have gone months without so much as a peep about what they’re going to do about the Confederate soldier monument on the downtown Square.

And from the looks of things, not much has been done since last fall, when the county paid a contractor to figure out whether the monument’s water fountains once operated. The last mention of that was on Election Day in November.

Nothing since, until last week, when nearly two dozen people met at the Denton Record-Chronicle offices to discuss an effort to raise a monument on the Square dedicated to victims of lynching in Denton County.

During the meeting, Peggy Riddle, director of the county’s Office of History and Culture, was asked about the latest regarding the Confederate monument. She said something would be coming in the next couple weeks, without providing specifics.

In an email Friday, Riddle wrote, “What I said at the meeting is all I know. Contact the Judge.”

Reached by phone Monday, County Judge Andy Eads said he couldn’t say anything now about the county’s plan for the monument, but he would have an announcement in about two weeks to a month.

The county judge didn’t say exactly what will be announced, nor did he give a date for the announcement, but Eads did say it would be “special.” He said he wanted more time to gather more facts before diving into the issue.

The debate on what to do about the monument has been quiet under the Eads administration, a marked difference from the days of former County Judge Mary Horn, when Horn and such activists as Denton County NAACP President Willie Hudspeth would often square off during Tuesday Commissioners Court meetings.

But it’s an issue that shows no signs of going away anytime soon. Efforts to remove Confederate statues make headlines every week in cities and towns throughout the nation. A national campaign aimed at toppling Confederate monuments, the Make It Right Project, has Denton’s Confederate statute on its top-10 list of priorities.

While there is no word on when Denton County will make another move on the Confederate monument, the Denton County Community Remembrance Project — the group hoping to bring a lynching memorial — plans to meet again July 18 at a Denton Public Library location.

DALTON LAFERNEY can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @daltonlaferney.

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