Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Soldiers Monument Rebuilding Project


Pictured: The various stages of rebuilding the Bunker Hill Soldiers Monument

From the Gazette-News: May 24, 1951    

    The four top pieces of the Soldiers Monument in the Bunker Hill Cemetery, which have laid half buried in the ground since they were toppled by the tornado in 1948, were put back into place Saturday.  Pictures above show the various stages of taking up the long upper spire, which was said to weigh nearly four tons.  The picture at the far right shows the monument complete with hovering eagle at top.

    The work of putting back fallen pieces was done by Floyd Spickerman, James Vaughn, and Malvern Allen.  A gin pole, blocks and tackle, and plenty of rope was employed to hoist up the heavy stones.  Burlap sacks were placed under the ropes to keep them from being cut on the sharp corners of the stones.  The big piece, which caused the men no little concern, was taken up in five hitches, using a tractor for power to pull the two blocks hitched to a sling on the stone.

    The monument suffered rather badly in the tornado.  The center section, bearing a coat of arms, was broken on one corner and the lower spire and foundation was also chipped and broken, as perhaps you can detect in the photos.  The eagle lost a large part of its tail and left wing in its unceremonious flight to the ground.  

Pictured: The Bunker Hill Soldiers Monument with Civil War Veterans

    The Soldiers Monument was erected in 1866 and is dedicated to the memory of the brave men who lost their lives in the Civil War.  For many years, Memorial Day memorial tribute has been paid to veterans of all wars in ceremonies held at the base of the monument.  No doubt, many people will be glad to see that the monument has been restored for Memorial Day services to be held next Wednesday.

Pictured: Sept. 27, 1901, Members of Hubbard Post No. 721 G.A.R.; Photographed in front of Jencks Livery Stable.
 Top Row (l-r): A.H. Bastian, Wm. Neil, W.W. Goodall, G.R. Sutton, P.J. Marks, E.W. Hayes, R. Wood, John Brandenberger, Samuel Smith, Joseph Ward, P. Wiegand (deceased), Jacob Scheldt, Peter Jacobi, Phillip Simmermaker, J.P. Dove, Henry Schoeneman, Fred Haman, George Morrison.
  Bottom Row (l-r): John C. Hayes, Fred Dabel, John B. McPherson, August Kardell, W.O. Jencks, John Gillies, Abraham Sherfy, E.S. Williams, Pete Thielen.

Pictured: Present Day Bunker Hill Soldiers Monument

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, August 10, 2011.

Bunker Hill Gazette-News, May 24, 1951,