Freedom Fountain

The Freedom Fountain on the northeast corner of the Clay County Courthouse lawn was dedicated in 2001. Mrs. Lulu Johnson Fielder, 102 years old at the time, was the first person to drink from the fountain followed by then Governor Bob Holden and former Liberty City Councilman Sam Houston. The lavender dress, hat and matching purse were the clothes Mrs. Fielder worn for the celebration and are on display at the Museum.

The fountain sits in front of a stone wall with the inscription, “Come, Drink, All Who Thirst For Freedom: The Water Fountain Will No Longer Separate Us As A People.” The wall lists over 150 African Americans and their contributions to Clay County.

Some 500 people attended the dedication ceremony.

(Photo Liberty Tribune, 2001)

Mrs. Lulu Johnson Fielder was born in May of 1899 in North Kansas City to George and Martha

Waller Johnson. The 1900 census shows Lulu as their one-year-old daughter living in Gallatin, Clay County, with seven siblings. Ten years later all but two of Lulu’s siblings had moved from the family home. In this census both Lulu and her mother, Martha, are described as mulatto.

Lulu married Vennie Lottie “Jack” Fielder in 1919 and in the 1930 census the Fielder family was living on Cleveland Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri, now with five children. The 1931 Kansas City Directory shows Jack as a chauffeur. In 1940, the Fielders had six children and it shows Lulu having completed the 7th grade. The couple owned their own home and business.

Mr. Fielder died in 1978 in North Kansas City leaving five sons and three daughters. He had been the owner and operator of the Fielder Hardware Store for 45 years prior to retirement. Mrs. Fielder passed away on January 29, 2002, in Kansas City, and is buried in the Oakhill Cemetery in Atchison, Kansas, with her husband and son, Romalis.

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