On a Pedestal, 2

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia

James Dougherty

1815 – 1900

Atop the light pink granite Dougherty Mausoleum in the Laurel Hill Cemetery at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a bronze statue of the bearded and handsomely dressed James Doughtery, an iron foundry owner, prominent citizen, and social reformer. He plied his trade in iron works and listed his occupation in the US Census as a machinist. Remnants of his trade are symbolized in his statue. He stands majestically next to a stand—the stem of which is fashioned to look like a very large screw with two large cogs leaning against it. On top of the stand are papers, presumably having to do with his work as a reformer—the Philadelphia House of Refuge (a house for wayward and delinquent boys and girls), The Franklin Institute (dedicated to science education), The Union League (founded in 1862 as a patriotic society to support the Union and the policies of President Abraham Lincoln), and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


Doughtery worked as a machinist beginning his trade and steadily growing his business. His success is recorded in succeeding census records that, in 1860, show him living with his wife, Mary, and their daughter, Euretta (nick-named Rettles), with one servant in their household. Twenty years later, Dougherty is listed as a retired machinist living together with his wife, daughter, son-in-law, Frank Kirkbride, and their daughter, Mary, and 4 servants. An indication of the success of his foundry business.

Dougherty’s Philadelphia Inquirer obituary, which ran on May 12, 1900, two days after his death, also mentioned his contribution during the Civil War, “During the Civil War when General Lee invaded Pennsylvania Mr. Dougherty was among the first to respond to Governor Curtin’s call for troops and raised a company from the industrial works in which he was interested.

James Dougherty was 85 years old at the time of his death.


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1 Response to On a Pedestal, 2

  1. krocksauce says:

    I love how the symbols of his work are arranged in this statue. A solid, tangible tribute to a seemingly industrious man and fine human being.

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