Dates: Constructed 1904, Purchased by Wyandotte County Historical Society 1967, Restore 1992
Designer: Humane Society of Kansas City
At the turn of the 20th century, Kansas City had a very large horse population. After an epidemic where many horses fell sick and died, it was determined that the horse troughs located around the city were the main cause. Those troughs were just large bins of water that would sit there for days and the water was changed out infrequently which led to the water becoming toxic with bacteria and disease.
In 1904, the Humane Society of Kansas City started constructing fountains in order to give fresh water to the horses and other animals of Kansas City. Water would come of out the lion's head on each side of the fountain and fill up the large granite basin, four feet in diameter, to give horses clean water to drink. People could also fill up cups directly out of the lion's heads. The overflow from the basin would go down into smaller basins at street level in order to give dogs clean water to drink as well.
This particular example of these fountains was the first one to be built in 1904 and was originally located on the Kansas end of what is now known as the Lewis and Clark Viaduct. It was later moved to the tennis courts at 18th and Parallel in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1967, the Wyandotte County Historical Society purchased the fountain, had it restored and placed it at its current home at the Wyandotte County Museum in Wyandotte County Park in Bonner Springs. However, it is no longer an operational fountain.