|The (Former) John Wilkes Booth Monument|
For most people of his time, North and South, the anniversary marked a sad day in American history. But for Joseph Pinkney Parker of Troy, Alabama, it was a day to be celebrated. Parker was a police officer, teacher and Baptist church member, but he was perhaps best known as a hater of Abraham Lincoln.
Called "Pink" Parker by his friends, he would dress in his Sunday best each April 14th to celebrate the day when John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln. Residents in Troy humored or ignored his one man Booth celebration, but in 1906 Parker ignited a national controversy about their town that they could no longer ignore. He erected a monument to John Wilkes Booth and asked for permission to put it on the courthouse lawn.
City and county leaders in Troy balked at that idea and refused, but Parker erected his monument anyway, in a prominent spot on his own property facing Madison Street in the South Alabama city.
|Monument now is Parker's Headstone|
It stayed in its spot facing Madison Street in Troy until Parker died in 1921, when his family quietly removed it and had it recarved to serve as his tombstone. It stands today in Troy's Oakwood Cemetery, but with no trace of the original inscription: "Erected by Pink Parker in honor of John Wilks Booth for killing Old Abe Lincoln."
So far as is known, it was the only monument ever erected to John Wilkes Booth. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/boothmonument.