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.

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