On the Porch

Anyone passing by the Lyon County Courthouse in Marshall may have noticed the monument on the courthouse grounds. The Soldiers’ Monument, as it is called, has been in place in front of the courthouse since 1911. The Soldiers’ Monument was dedicated by the Marshall Grand Army of the Republic post, the D.F. Markham Post, and the Tracy Grand Army of the Republic post, the Joe Hooker Post on Tuesday, May 30, 1911. The Civil War veterans who were officers of the D.F. Markham Post at this time were: Robert M. Addision, Post Quartermaster; Thomas P. Baldwin, Post Adjutant; Cyrus P. Shepard, Commander; Barnet Vosburg, Senior Vice Commander; George R. Watkins, Junior Vice Commander; John J. Laudenslager, Post Surgeon; Harry A. Barnes, Officer of the Day; Salmon Webster, Trustee of Post; Jacob D. Eastman, Officer of the Guard; and Arnold R. Chace, Post Chaplain. Charles C. Whitney was Chairman of the Monument and Memorial Committee. Commander of the Joe Hooker Post of Tracy was J.M. Wardell.

Before the monument was dedicated on that Tuesday, May 30. The G.A.R. began memorial events on the Sunday prior with a memorial union service. At the service, Rev. Bockoven gave a patriotic speech about the monument. An abstract of his speech was later printed in the June 2 edition of The News Messenger. Here is a part of his speech to describe the monument:

“The old soldiers and the citizens of this city and region have erected a memorial stone. It looks out upon your busy street. It is close to the place of law. And its meaning is sacred. Notice the forefront figure, for that figure gives meaning to the stone. He commands my theme this morning. On his head a soldier’s cap, about his shoulders a soldier’s uniform, under his hand a soldier’s gun, the defender and sustainer of our priceless liberty, he is panoplied (dressed in, equipped) and ready.”

At the dedication, Miss Veda Shepard unveiled the monument by drawing apart flags that were hiding the monument. As the flags separated, she spoke the words on the bronze plate: “Erected by the Citizens of Lyon County, in Memory of the Union Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War, 1861-1865, and dedicated to D.F. Markham Post of Marshall and Joe Hooker Post of Tracy.”

The traveling exhibit, “Boys in Blue: The Grand Army of the Republic, A Civil War Veterans’ Organization” opens at the Lyon County Museum on March 1. The exhibit runs March 1-June 1.

The Lyon County Historical Society is a nonprofit, member-supported organization. For more information on membership, research, volunteering, or the museum’s collection, please contact us at 537-6580 or director@lyoncomuseum.org.