New Liberty Bell plaque  tells ‘rest of story’

Steve Waller (l) and Robert Daniell pose at the Liberty Bell in Courthouse Square.

Candler County Historical Society

The Liberty Bell on the Courthouse Square in the front of Candler County Courthouse has an interesting history. The original bell, placed there on July 4, 1968, was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Sam Fine. 

Robert Daniell related background history on the bell, stating that his mother, the late Peggy Daniell, was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Metter back in 1960’s. 

She, along with other DAR members, worked tirelessly with the schools in Metter to further educate and reinforce ... “our nation’s founding and the sacrifices associated with it. The Metter chapter of the DAR regularly sponsored these learning opportunities in the schools, and the schools and their students were eager to participate.” 

On July 4, 1968, during the Vietnam War era, Peggy Daniell was the program chairman for Candler County’s Fourth of July Celebration on the Courthouse lawn.

According to Robert Daniell, Vera Fine, a fellow DAR member, and her husband Sam Fine, a businessman in Metter, “purchased a bell and pedestal to be placed on the Courthouse Square. 

Mr. Fine was a first-generation immigrant to America. He always remembered and revered what becoming an American citizen felt like. He loved the United States of America. 

On the 4th of July, 1968, the liberty bell was formally recognized during the celebration program on the courthouse lawn. “The Fines wanted the liberty bell to serve as a reminder to future generations that liberty is not free. Many sacrifices were initially made during our nation’s founding, but the defense of our nation has never ceased, even to this very day.”

The original liberty bell was later discovered to have a crack in it and was replaced by Dewberry and Ethel Edenfield in memory of R.C. and Naomi Edenfield on July 4, 1990. A plaque on the east side of the pedestal indicates part of the story of the bell.

Steve Waller, president of Candler County Historical Society and curator of the History Museum located at 245 West Vertia Street, and Robert Daniell, son of Peggy Daniell and Graham Daniell, CCHS 2019 Historian of the Year, placed a plaque on the front of the liberty bell pedestal on July 4, 2020, to further educate the public regarding the rest of the story about the bell. The new plaque reads as follows:

“The Original Liberty Bell was placed on this site by Mr. and Mrs. Sam Fine on July 4, 1968 In Honor of the Greatness of America! Upon the discovery that the bell had a crack, it was replaced on July 4, 1990.”

The History Museum is currently only open by appointment because of COVID19 precautions. 

To view the contents of the museum, especially the Military Room where Peggy Daniell, Graham Daniell, seven Silver Star recipients from Candler County, and other veterans are highlighted and honored, call Steve Waller at 314-1536 or 685-2235.

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