Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Civil War Memorial

The Grand Army of the Republic Civil War memorial at the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn, commissioned during 1915 to mark the 50-year anniversary of the end of that great conflict, was erected during May of 1916 and remains unaltered. Many similar monuments were elected at roughly the same time across Iowa, sometimes differentiated by the costume of the soldier atop them. In this instance, the soldier is wearing a sack coat and slouch hat. The tall flagpole near the monument bear the intials of the G.A.R.

Frank D. Myers

Frank D. Myers

The postcard image below shows two features of the memorial area that have been removed --- mounted Civil War cannons at the southwest and southeast corners of the monument, accompanied by cannon balls mounted in concrete. These artifacts were acquired by members of Daniel Iseminger Post, Grand Army of the Republic, for the memorial, but have vanished. According to some theories, the cannon were buried near their original locations; according to others, they were disposed of as scrap metal, perhaps during World War II.

Jimmy Durham Collection/Lucas County Historical Society


The southeast courner of the court house yard has been the Mecca for all old soldiers the past week and many younger men have been equally interested in the operations now going forward at that point. The attraction is the bg monument now being put in place, piece by piece, and the methods of handling the large blocks of granite which compose it. The contract for the monument was awarded Harding & Viers, but with an order of such size the concern from which they buy sends out a specially trained man to direct the work of erection, furnishing all steel cables, blocks, pulleys, etc., needed in the heavy work. Under direction of the expert, work was begun last week and it is expected that every portion of the big shaft will be in place today; another day will then be required to clean up the grounds and the completed job will then be ready to turn over to the soldiers. The latter will have considerable work to do, however, in the building of protecting walls and walks, the placing of the cannon recently shipped to Iseminger Post and beautifying the grounds adjacent to the big shaft which commemorates their deeds in defending the country against disunion. (The Chariton Herald-Patriot, May 26, 1916)

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