WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Construction is still going on in Watertown however, a new addition to the square is finished and it is of historical importance for Watertown.

The Governor Roswell P. Flower Monument’s information is on display for all to see and a flower bed has been added near the Monument.

Governor Roswell P. Flower, born in 1835, was the 30th Governor of New York and a US Congressman, serving in the House of Representatives. He spent his early childhood in Theresa before moving to Watertown until the 1860s when he moved to New York City. Flower passed away in 1899.

The Governor Roswell P. Flower Monument’s information display (WWTI/ Gene Morse)

The monument itself is in the middle Washington St. — where its always been — but the information display is outside 120 Washington St. across the street from the monument. The information on the display is as follows:

Governor Roswell P. Flower Monument

On September 1, 1902, the people of the City of Watertown, New York unveiled and dedicated the Governor Roswell Pettibone Flower Monument as a gift to the City and to posterity.

Born in Jefferson County on August 7, 1835, Flower served as the 30th Governor of New York from 1892 to 1894. After spending his early childhood in his native Theresa, Flower moved to Watertown and remained here until moving to New York City in the late 1860s. He was a United States Congressman, serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1881 to 1883 and from 1889 to 1891. During his lifetime, Flower also made significant charitable contributions locally and throughout New York State.

Following Flower’s death on May 12, 1899, many individuals, organizations and businesses participated in a campaign to fund the creation of the monument. The sculpture is the work of one of the foremost sculptors of his day, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, an internationally noted and renowned artist, teacher, and leader in American culture.

Other notable collaborators on the Flower Monument included Louis St. Gaudens, Henry Hering, Henry Bacon and James Earle Fraser. The sculpture was cast by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co.

For its centennial, contributions from many made it possible to restore and improve the monument for future generations. A rededication ceremony took place on September 20, 2003. Improvements to the surrounding streetscape completed in 2023 provided additional protection to the monument and pedestrian access to the monument island.

The Governor Roswell P. Flower Monument’s information display

More Information on Watertown’s history is available at the Jefferson County Historical Society at 228 Washington St. and The Flower Memorial Library at 229 Washington St.