Hello, I'm Steve Wiser, a local architect and historian. Like you, I've been hearing a lot about the John B. Castleman statue in the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood that the city now wants removed.
Castleman has been called a racist, a traitor, and it is said he segregated the parks.
Well, I thought I'd do my own research. And guess what? I found just the opposite. Did you know the parks were segregated in 1924, six years after Castleman's death in 1918?
In fact, African American leaders praised Castleman for keeping the parks integrated against demands to segregate them. And, did you know Castleman saved African American's from lynching? He stood up for racial justice long before it became a popular.
Yes, Castleman was a Confederate for two and a half years. A traitor? Lincoln prevented his execution and President Johnson pardoned him.
The statue has no military symbolism. It depicts Castleman in his senior years, riding his Saddlebred horse. He founded the American Saddlebred Horse Association.
He was a General in the U.S. Army and a Veteran of Foreign Wars. Castleman lived an exemplary life for the next 53 years making Louisville a better place in which to live for all residents.
Isn't that someone we should admire and not denigrate? If you agree, contact the Mayor to keep the Castleman statue where it is. I'm Steve Wiser and That's My Point of View.