Lillian Arhelger was a native of Fredericksburg, Texas. She was a graduate of the University of Texas. She came to Charlotte to join the faculty of Central High School as the coach of girl's sports.
Miss Arlinger was a counselor for the Girl Scout troop at Myers Park Presbyterian church. On June 21, 1931, while on a trip to Glen Burnie Falls in the North Carolina mountains, she was killed in an attempt to save a young camper who had fallen into the water.
In recognition of Arlinger's heroism, the people of Charlotte raised money to erect a public memorial. In 1931, the memorial, designed by Helen Hodge, was placed in Independence Park. The park has since undergone renovation but the memorial has remained at its original location.