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Humboldt, Iowa: Fay Hessain Fountain

Built by the rock artisan Father Paul Dobberstein, as a side project to his massive Grotto of the Redemption, in memory of a girl who died of tuberculosis.

S. 6th St., Humboldt, IA
In the center of John Brown Park, midway between 2nd and 3rd Aves S., and S. 5th and S. 6th Sts.
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Fay Hessain Fountain.

Fay Hessain Fountain

Liberty Fountain was created by Father Paul Dobberstein, the famed builder of the Grotto of the Redemption. 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 conceived 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, topped with a statue of Fay, 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 the final months of World War I.

[Roger Conlon, 08/06/2017]

Father Dobberstein built his Grotto of the Redemption for 42 years (1912-1954), a miraculous rock-encrusted mound that covers a city block.

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