A memorial fountain which was erected in front of the old Florence County Courthouse after the Great World War was installed last week at its third home. It now stands on the west front of the new Florence County Museum. The memorial fountain monument was originally erected by Florence Civic Improvement Society on the courthouse grounds sometime between the end of World War I and 1938. It has been cleaned up and re-mounted in front of the new museum. The memorial previously stood behind the Florence Museum at the edge of Timrod Park. It probably moved there in the early 1970s, before or during construction of the City-County Complex. Brown Memorials, which created the memorial fountain monument more than 76 years ago, made repairs and installed it at its new home. Pat Brown of Brown Memorials believes his grandfather designed the memorial.
His dad later moved it onto the museum grounds before the old courthouse was razed. Pat remembers as a lad taking a sip of water from one of the memorial fountains when the monument was located on the north front of the old courthouse grounds (now the parking lot for the County Complex on Irby St.). Andrew Stout, museum director, is delighted to have the memorial monument installed in front of the new museum. He noted that the memorial fountain monument matches the form of the new museum building which is expected to open in the fall. The wives of city leaders and businessmen organized the Florence Civic Improvement Society on Oct. 8, 1902. Chapter members included Mrs. Theodore Kuker, president; Mrs. James Evans, treasurer, Mrs. D.M. McEachin, secretary, Mrs. E.E. Howell, Mrs. C.D. Bristow, Mrs. E.J. Burch, Mrs. A.L. Sessoms, Mrs Hugh Oliver, Mrs. J.J. Jennings, Mrs. M.S. Haynsworth, Mrs. C.E. Jarrott, Mrs. Joe Brunson, Mrs. L.P. Newman, Mrs. R.A. McCorkle and Mrs. R.H. Farmer.
The society lists their achievements on the memorial. They are: Beautification Court House Grounds Instituted Womans Industrial Fair which later merged into Pee Dee Fair Established first Curb Market, located on the corner of Dargan and Cheves Streets. Presented the city with four drinking fountains for its main corners Gave drinking fountain and playground furniture for school grounds Street beautification, city park clean up campaigns, better babies clinic and other health clinics, and children’s gardens during the World War. According to the engraving on the back of the monument, its committee members were Mrs. E.E. Howel, Mrs. W.J. Wilkins, Mrs. Henry E. Davis, Mrs. E.H. Lucas, Mrs. J.L. Barringer, Miss Nellie Bristow, Mrs. J. DeJongh and Mrs. L. Greenberg. The Civic Improvement Society retired from active service in 1938.