National Humane Alliance Fountain

Before the automobile, individuals and businesses depended on four-legged transportation. Hermon Lee
Ensign, philanthropist, and animal rights advocate, founded the National Humane Alliance in 1897. Part
of his vision was to donate fountains free of charge so communities could provide water for horses, dogs
and cats.
Clinton received notice of its fountain in 1912 after a two-year campaign by the local Humane Society to
acquire it. The fountain’s plaque states that it was built in 1911; however, a local newspaper reported
its arrival in 1913. Originally, it stood in the intersection on the square’s southwest corner and included
an electric light. Later, the fountain was moved to the northwest corner and later still to its current
location out of the way of traffic.
According to a historic trade journal, the fountains cost approximately $1,000 to build. About 125 made
their way across the country from the Bodwell Granite Company in Maine. The company also supplied
the stone blocks for the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.