Fairfield could change street names noting Confederate generals

The city of Fairfield has two streets named for Confederate generals, and city officials are considering changing those names.

Robert E. Lee Drive and Stonewall Lane are near the southern border of Fairfield. They are named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

“We are researching the process should it be determined that the names of the streets should be changed,” said City Manager Mark Wendling.

He said the city does not have any statues or public art named for people known to represent oppression against a group of people.

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Wendling said the city has received some complaints about these roads through social media.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

One public comment made was by Matthew Scott, a Fairfield resident,  who wrote on the city’s Facebook page under an unrelated post.

“When are you going to rename Stonewall Ln and Robert E. Lee Dr? This is despicable,” he wrote.

Developers, not the city, named streets during the construction process.

There has been a push for communities to either renames of street names or buildings, and remove or relocate statues of Confederate leaders and those who represent racial and other types of oppression. Many of these statues and monuments that have not been removed had been defaced, such as the Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia, before the city's mayor promised to have it removed.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The University of Cincinnati has voted to remove Marge Schott's name from the school's baseball stadium and archive library, who's president, Neville G. Pinto, said the former Cincinnati Reds baseball team majority owner's "record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our university's core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion."

In August 2017, the city of Franklin in Warren County, removed a stone monument honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Dixie Highway and Hamilton-Middletown Road. The monument was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy nearly a century ago, but Lee never fought a battle in Ohio.

The issue was brought to the city’s attention in September 2017, according to our news partner WCPO. A now-former city official told the Cincinnati television station they received an anonymous caller asking if the name could be changed. No other residents had complained at that time.

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