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. The Clarksville Doughboy is a rarity because it was sculpted from marble. Most of them were cast out of bronze. The inscription reads:
In honor of
Montgomery County's Soldiers
and Sailors, World War
World War I Doughboy
Dedicated June 9, 1929
Restored and re-dedicated by the City of Clarksville, April 15, 2010
To those who fell and those who served: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen
(List of those who contributed money to restore the monument)