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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
David Schenck Monument
Structure Number:
HS-18
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Structure State:
North Carolina
Structure County:
Guilford
Region:
Southeast
Cluster:
Appalachian
Administrative Unit:
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
LCS ID:
012198
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
05/22/1978
National Historic Landmark?:
Yes
National Historic Landmark Date:
01/03/2001
Significance Level:
Contributing
Short Significance Description:
The David Schenck Monument is significant at the state level under NR criterion A. It is also listed as a non-contributing resource in the Guilford Courthouse Battlefield NHL. It commemorates the life of David Schenck, the man who initiated the effort to save the Guilford Courthouse battleground.
Long Significance Description:
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is located in the city of Greensboro, North Carolina. The site is subdivided into three contiguous areas by two heavily traveled roads, U.S.220 and New Garden Road. The land is gently rolling, wooded and crossed by two creeks. This once agrarian setting has essentially been absorbed into the expanding suburban development of the city of Greensboro. According to the National Register nomination the park’s period of significance is 1781 (Revolutionary War battle) with a later amendment to the nomination adding 1933 1942 (NPS Park Development era). A significant period of landscape development from 1887 1917, during the tenure of Guilford Battle Ground Company, has not been added to the National Register nomination as little remains from the period of development.

Unlike the majority of the monuments located within Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, the David Schenck monument does not commemorate an individual or regiment significant for their contributions to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the American Revolution or even American Independence but commemorates an individual whose importance stems from the conservation and preservation of American history.

The following is from Thomas E. Baker’s “The Monuments at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park NC,” 1979.

“David Schenck was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina on March 24, 1835. Admitted to the bar at age twenty-one, he was a member of the North Carolina Secession Congress in 1861, and was appointed Superior Court Judge of the Ninth Judicial District in 1874. In 1881 he became counsel for the Richmond and Danville Railroad and moved to Greensboro.”

“While living in Greensboro, Judge Schenck became interested in local history and the Revolutionary War, particularly the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. He saw that the battlefield in the 1880’s bore little resemblance to its appearance in 1781. Furthermore, he could find only a handful of local citizens who could even point out the location of the battle. While walking one Sunday afternoon in October 1886, Jude Schenck decided that something had to be done to save the battlefield from oblivion. That very afternoon he arranged to purchase thirty acres of battleground land. Schenck then approached several prominent Greensboro businessmen with the idea of establishing a non-profit corporation to preserve the battlefield. Assured of their support, Judge Schenck drew up a charter, and in March 1887 the Guilford Battle Ground Company was incorporated. Appropriately, Judge Schenck was elected the Company’s first president, holding that office until his death in 1902. As president, Judge Schenck oversaw the purchase of land, the construction of monuments and the general maintenance of the battlefield.”

“The Judge requested that his only memorial be a plain granite marker, placed somewhere on the battlefield he had worked so long to preserve.” The monument the Company had built though was not as plain as Judge Schenck requested. They had a monument built based on the A.P. Hill Monument in Richmond (without the statue) which they place in “Monument Row,” the monument was later moved to its present location in 1937.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1904
AD
1904
AD


2. 
Moved
1937
AD
1937
AD


 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Monument (Marker, Plaque)
Primary Current Use:
Monument (Marker, Plaque)
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
No records.
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Grounds/Landscape
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Substructure
Granite
2. 
Superstructure
Granite
Short Physical Description:
6'6" x 6'6" base supports a battered pedestal of rough cut granite blocks set in three courses; pedestal surmounted by a square column with base, shaft, and capital, which projects up and out and resembles a truncated battered pier. Totaling a 11-foot height a plaque is located on the south face.
Long Physical Description:
Inscription:
DAVID SCHENCK
THE PROJECTOR OF THIS BATTLE FIELD'S
RECLAMATION AND THE ORGANIZER AND
FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE
GUILFORD BATTLE GROUND COMPANY
1835 1902