Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Railroad Train to Bunker Hill



A major influence on the growth of Bunker Hill was the decision to run the railroad through Bunker Hill.  In 1851, ten years before the outbreak of the Civil war, the only mode of transportation in Bunker Hill was by stage coach, wagon, or horse over poorly constructed roads.





In the winter of 1852 and the year of 1853, the first work was done on the new railroad.  The railroad was completed in 1854 and the first train came up from Alton loaded with steel rails and ties for the railroad.  They call the first train the Tiger, and described it as resembling a threshing machine engine with the smoke stack on the back of the engine.


Photo: Lee and Arthur Sutton - Mail Clerks
 
 The first passenger train came through Bunker Hill in August 1855, bringing the officials of the railroad company along.  The decision to run the Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad through this city made the difference between Woodburn and Bunker Hill, as it brought growth and prosperity to Bunker Hill, while Woodburn remained much in its original condition.  The bringing in of new industry, modern improvements in housing facilities and  an easy means of transportation and travel was the cause of our city growing to be one of the largest towns in the county during the first 50 years of progress.


 One hundred and forty-five years ago trains were not only the source of travel, but of news as well.  Who arrived and departed from the local depot made news, and the local editor made it a point to be at the depot at train time.  the train time of the St. Louis, Alton, and Terre Haute Railroad was listed in the first issue of the Gazette, January 19, 1866.



From the Gazette News October 12, 1900: A goodly number of people came to town last Monday evening in response to advertising that Governor Theodore Roosevelt of New York, a Republican candidate for Vice President of the United Stated, would be in Bunker Hill that evening.  the largest number present at the depot was 450 to 500.

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at http://bunkerhillhistory.org

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, September 20, 2012.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bunker Hill Bandstand


Photo: Bunker Hill's Bandstand

This is a picture of the bandstand which stood in Bunker Hill where the flagpole now stands at the intersection of Warren and Washington Streets.  The Bunker Hill Museum has the bronze plaque which says it was donated by Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Jacoby in 1923.  The bandstand was destroyed by the 1948 tornado.  An April 28, 1955, the present Memorial Flag Pole was installed at the intersection.


Photo: The bandstand after the 1948 tornado


...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at http://bunkerhillhistory.org
 
 --Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, September 13, 2012.

Monday, January 26, 2015

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.



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

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

1904
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 July 14, 1909)

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at http://bunkerhillhistory.org
 
 --Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, August 30, 2012.