Local History and Genealogy

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Movements for a Steuben county soldiers monument have been inaugurated at other times but have heretofore failed of completion.  The successful effort was instigated by B.J. Crosswaite Post G.A.R. when on resolution of the Post, commander Jereme Cheney (deceased) in the spring of 1916, appointed the following commission: Thos. Owens, President; J.B. Cheney, vice president; Raymond E. Willis, Secretary; Orville Carpenter, Treasurer; Sol M. Cox, A.J. Snyder, E.H. Hetzler, Royal J. Carpenter.  The committee was ably assisted by sub-committees in each township in the circulating of petitions.
A popularly signed petition for the monument was presented to the county commissioners - C. Wade Dally, Frank J. Salisbury, and James Harpham - at the July, 1916 meeting.  It was found sufficient by them and referred to the county council for an appropriation.  The Appropriation was prepared by J.M.Ayres, architect, of Mansfield Ohio and the contract was was let to E.M. Hetzler, at a meeting of the commissioners Jan. 1, 1917.  The material chosen was Barre Granite, with statues in bronze.  The monument was erected by Mr. Matt Haley, of Boston, MA.
The base of the monument is 19 ft 6 in square; its height over all above the pavement is 70 feet; it weighs 300,000 pounds.  The foundation was constructed by the City of Angola, at a cost of about $1000.  The total cost of the work is approximately $16,000.
The base of the monument bears four bronze statues of life size, representing the four branches of the service - infantry, artillary, cavalry and navy.  A figure of heroic size surmounts the monument, being a representation of Columbia crowning the heroes with a wreath, and holding in the other arm a furled flag.  On four tablets on the main die are the namer of 1,278 men who enlisted from Steuben county in the war, of whom 280 never returned, and of whom special recognition is made in the inscriptions.
There are four dedicatory inscriptions in the base as follows:
To the West:--
"Erected 1917 by the grateful citizens of Steuben county to commemorate the valor and -patriotism of her soldiers in the Civil War 1861-1865"

To the South: -- 
To those who never returned
"On Fame's eternal camping ground
Their glory tents are spread
And Glory guards with colemn round
The bivouac of the dead."

To the East: --
In loving memory of the women of 1861-1865, whose courage and heroism at home were a no less worthy sacrifice upon the altar of liberty.

To the North: --
" It is rather for us, that we have highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain: that this nation under god shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

                                                                                                  -- Abraham Lincoln