The Confederate marker removed in mid-August from Franklin Twp. property has a new home — in Franklin city limits.
The 90-year-old marker honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Dixie Highway will be moved to property owned by the Fraternal Order of Eagles inside Franklin city limits, according to Brian Morris, township trustee president.
“It can’t go back to where it was before,” Morris told more than a dozen residents at Thursday’s trustees meeting.
The marker has been a source of controversy since August when the city of Franklin removed it from the corner of South Dixie Highway and Hamilton-Middletown Road. City officials said the monument was removed because it was within the right of way of Dixie Highway.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles is located at 1075 N. Dixie Highway in Franklin and is private property, according to Morris.
He said he spoke with the family where the township-owned marker was previously located, and after discussing the options, they gave him full support of the move to a new location.
“At the end of the day, they wanted this (controversy) to end,” Morris said. “… We tried to handle this in a positive manner.”
While the agreement has not been finalized, Morris said it would be a long-term arrangement, proposed to last for about 100 years.
Services to move the five-ton stone marker have been donated to the township, according to Morris, who added that the new location is lighted and monitored with surveillance cameras.
Franklin Twp. resident Candi Bales attended the meeting and said she was glad the monument was going to be displayed, but said she did not like the idea that it would be in Franklin.
“People want to see it on township land,” she said.
Another township resident Wilma Pennington said she did not want the monument going to the new location, adding residents should have been able to vote on the matter.
Franklin Twp. Trustee Ron Ruppert said it may not be “a perfect solution,” but the monument is township property and will be back on display.