Location: Center of Public Square
Architectural Style: Monument
Year Built: 1876-1877
Architect/Builder: Henry B. Curtis
Original Owner: City of Mount Vernon

This iconic monument sits in the center of the Public Square.  Designed by locally prominent attorney and gentleman architect Henry B. Curtis, it is a symbol of the Civil War's lasting impact on the citizens of Mount Vernon and the surrounding communities.  In 1863, a group of young women form Mount Vernon created the Young Ladies' Union League.  This organization wanted to erect a monument to memorialize the soldiers and sailors of Knox County, and instigated several fundraising ventures for this purpose.  The Soldiers' Monument, under the efforts of what became the Mount Vernon Ladies' Monument Association, was erected and officially dedicated on July 4, 1877, to honor the men of Knox County who fought for the Union in the Civil War, in remembrance of those who perished, and in celebration for those who survived.  This statue is the reason that the Public Square is sometimes referred to as Monument Square.

Rendered in gray Vermont granite, the statue consists of a square base supporting a tall, fluted column with a composite order capital, which in turn supports the standing figure of a life-size Union soldier looking reflectively toward the South.  All four sides of the base are carved with inscriptions commemorating the men of Knox County who gave their lives for the Union cause during the "Great Rebellion."  On top of each corner of the base is a small pyramid of cannonballs, also executed in granite.  The monument, erected by a local marble works firm under the name of I. B. McKenna, is surrounded by a short, ornate wrought iron fence.  The monument's hollowed cornerstone serves as a 19th-century time capsule.  The following is a list of items that were encapsulated:

      • Copies of the Bible
      • Declaration of Independence
      • Constitution of the United States and the State of Ohio
      • Names of the President and Vice-President of the United States
      • Names of the members of the Cabinet
      • Names of the officers of the State of Ohio and judges to the Supreme Court of Ohio
      • Names of the county officers of Knox County, and city officers of Mount Vernon
      • Names of the Building Committee, architect, and remarks of the chairmen of the Building Committee
      • Copies of the Mount Vernon Democratic Banner, Mount Vernon Republican, Fredericktown Free Press, Gambier Argus, and the Orphan's Friend
      • Program of the dramatic representation of the "Honeymoon," a play performed in the interest of the Soldiers' Monument
      • Coins and fractional currency of the United States
      • Program of the day

Also included within the time capsule was a list of names of the Grand Officers of various Masonic orders, as follows:

      • Dr. J. N. Burr: past Grand Master
      • Edward Burson: R. W. Deputy Grand Master, Thrall Lodge, No. 170, Fredericktown, Ohio
      • William Dunbar: Grand S. W.
      • Silas Mitchell: Grand J. W.
      • A. B. Hutchinson: Grand S. D.
      • J. E. Hunt: Grand J. D.
      • David Blystone: Grand Treasurer, Ohio Lodge, No. 199, Bladensburg, Ohio
      • Samuel H. Peterman, Grand Secretary
      • Rev. J. A. Kellam, Grand Chaplain, Thrall Lodge, No. 170, Fredericktown, Ohio
      • E. W. Cotton, Grand Marshal
      • N. J. McGrew and J. B. Gains, Grand Stewards
      • J. Cornell, Grand Tyler, Cardington Lodge, No. 384

 


 

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