Liberty Fountain in John Brown Park
Located on 200 5th Street South
Liberty Fountain was created by Father Paul Dobberstein, the famed builder of the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, IA. It was built in segments in West Bend and then assembled on site in Humboldt. The fountain was dedicated on September 22, 1918.
Liberty Fountain was built as a memorial to Fay Hessian, a young girl from Humboldt, who died of tuberculosis in 1912. Her father commissioned Father Dobberstein to build the fountain with a statue of Fay Hessian as a memorial to his beloved daughter.
The words LIBERTY, VICTORY, HUMANITY, and JUSTICE were created in stones on the rim, suggesting that the Fountain is both a memorial to Fay Hessian and a commemoration of American patriotic values, which were especially strong in 1918, at the end of World War 1.
By 2009 the fountain was inoperable due to deterioration caused by years of chlorinated water eating away at the mortar. The Humboldt Parks Department commissioned Preservation Services, Inc. to undertake a two-year restoration project.
Liberty Fountain was restored to its original splendor and functionality in 2011. The project was supported by the Rotary Club, the Humboldt Area Arts Council, Friends of the Park, the Humboldt Historical Preservation Commission, and individual donors.