Where Spring Hill Avenue and Bayou St. intersect was once the home of the Cain family, where Joe Cain grew up. By the early twentieth century however this area had become a public park. In late 1904 a campaign was begun in Mobile to raise funds for a memorial to Father Abram Joseph Ryan, known as the “Poet-Priest of the Confederacy,” who served as chaplain during the war but was renowned for his poetic verse and empathy to the Southern cause. “Father Ryan,” as he was known had traveled widely but lived and worked in Mobile from 1870 – 1883, serving in the cathedral parish and later as pastor of St. Mary’s Church.
It took many years to raise sufficient funds for the project and the sculpture was re-commissioned three times between 1906 and 1913. Ultimately a community-wide campaign was undertaken with an emphasis on the educational value of Ryan’s work. After reading his vivid descriptions of Civil War battles, students were asked to contribute small sums to complete the campaign and the monument was unveiled in 1913.