Arts and Culture | Exit 4
There have been few monuments in the history of Clarksville that have had as long a lifespan as the Doughboy. This statue of an American soldier holding a grenade in one hand, his rifle in the other, was dedicated to those who fought for the U.S. during World War I. It is one of Clarksville’s most beloved pieces of civic art.
Since its dedication in 1929, this statue has had an interesting existence. It has seen generations of Clarksville High School students grow up before its marble eyes. It has also been relocated around Clarksville several times.
According to The Leaf-Chronicle, the statue spent 43 years in front of Clarksville High School, before being moved to the armory on Ft. Campbell Boulevard in 1972.
On April 15, 2010, the Doughboy was rededicated in front of the Transit Station on Legion Street, in downtown Clarksville. Many descendants of World War I Veterans were in attendance for the rededication, ceremony including the children of Alvin York, one of Tennessee’s most iconic World War I heroes.
In 2015, the Doughboy was relocated yet again to the Brigadier General Wendell H Gilbert Tennessee State Veterans Home.
It was one of the few Doughboy statues of its type made out of stone. Wise said Clarksville’s Doughboy is a rarity because it was sculpted from marble. Most of them were cast out of bronze.
The Doughboy statues were made by several different artists, but there are two artists in particular worth mentioning in regards to Clarksville’s Doughboy.
by Troy Brown
Clarksville, TN 37042