Scanlan Fountain


JL Mott Iron Works


Painted cast bronze




Sam Houston Park
1000 Bagby
Houston, Texas 77002

Dating originally from 1891, Scanlan Fountain has been in Sam Houston Park since 1972. Originally placed at the Scanlan family home on Main Street, it was moved, first, to their home in Rosharon, and then to the park, when it was given as a gift to the Heritage Society. The pool of the fountain is 30 inches tall, and the fountain inside it is approximately 12 feet tall. It is made of cast iron painted green. The last restoration was in 1999. Thomas Scanlan was a native of Limerick County, Ireland. He came to America as a child, and to Houston in 1853, where he prospered as a merchant and took a prominent role in Reconstruction-era politics. The Union government appointed Scanlan alderman of the Third Ward in 1868, and Mayor of Houston in 1870. His tenure in office saw significant infrastructure improvements in the city. He went on to serve as postmaster and, as a private citizen, in executive roles in the Houston City Street Railway Company, the Houston Gas Light Company, and the Houston Water Works Company. Scanlan died in 1906. The Scanlan Fountain was created by JL Mott Iron Works. According to company history, in 1917, Marcel Duchamp may have selected a urinal from JL Mott Iron Work’s Manhattan showroom and presented it as a work of art called Fountain at the Society of Independent Artists exhibition.