Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lincoln's Statue

Photo: Present day Lincoln Statue - Bunker Hill IL

    In the center of the intersection of Washington and Fayette Streets in Bunker Hill stands a statue of Abraham Lincoln, a gift to the city by Civil War commander Captain Charles Clinton, as a token of appreciation to the Bunker Hill men who served in his company during the war.

    The unit was Company B of the First Missouri Volunteer Calvary, which was raised by Captain Clinton of St. Louis and was comprised of men from Illinois, Missouri, and other states.  Company B was organized at Jefferson Barracks August 1, 1861.

    After the war, Captain Clinton had high regard for Bunker Hill and became friends with Mrs. Moses True, widow of the founder of Bunker Hill.  He indicated to her his desire to do something for the men who had been in his command, and the statue of Lincoln was decided upon.

 Photo: Captain Charles Clinton

    The cost for the base of the statue was raised by local subscription.  the bronze casting of Lincoln was shipped from Philadelphia and the granite for the lower part was shipped from Vermont.  The Lincoln statue was sculpted by William Grandville Hastings, and English artist, who died in 1902 at the age of 34, before any of his statues were mounted.  Captain Clinton collaborated with the artist in designing the monument.

Photo: Bunker Hill's newly donated Lincoln Monument (circa 1904)

    Captain Clinton donated a similar statue, complete with the kneeling "Liberty" to the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Two other castings of the sculpture were cast.  Neither have the kneeling "Liberty".  One is located in Jefferson, Iowa, and the fourth is in Sioux City, Iowa.  These were donated by persons other than Captain Clinton.

    The statue was unveiled September 7, 1904.  A plaque mounted on the statue has inscribed:

In Ever Lasting Memory of
the Conflict by Which the Union
In Which they
Took Part This Statue of
Abraham Lincoln
was presented
To the Citizens of Bunker Hill
By the Soldiers of Company B
of the
First Missouri Calvary,
Charles Clinton

Photo: Postcard photo of the Lincoln Statue (postmarked June 15, 1908)


Photo: Postcard photo of the Lincoln Statue (postmarked July 14, 1909)

...Read more about 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 30, 2012.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Bunker Hill Soldier's Monument

The Soldier's Monument
On November 11, 1865, the preliminary steps were taken for a soldier's monument to be placed in the cemetery in Bunker Hill.

The soldier's 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 military tribute has been paid to veterans of all wars in ceremonies held at the base of the monument.

On three sides are the names of the men who died in the Civil War, the place where they died, and the cause of death.

The work of putting back the fallen monument after the tornado of 1948 was done by Floyd Spickerman, James Vaughn, and Malvern Allen.  A gin pole, blocks and tackle, and plenty of rope was employed to hoist 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 pieces, 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.  The eagle lost a large part of its tail and left wing in its flight to the ground.

The engraving on the monument is:
To the memory of
The brave men
Who died in the service of their Country
During the war
For the suppression of the slave holders'
Rebellion of 1861
This monument is erected
by their fellow citizens

...Read more about 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 23, 2012, sec. 1. Republished 13 November 2014.