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Photo Archivist's Selection of the Month: November 2005

A Veterans Day Special: Soldiers Monument, St. John’s Park

Our thanks to Librarian Ron Marcus, who steered us towards a small book of poems called LIBERTY ILLUMINED, PATRIOTIC POEMS AND WAR SONGS by Stamford poet Charles Henry Crandall. In it there are several photos, mostly of WWI soldiers killed in action, including Crandall's son, Robert Ferguson Crandall. (Another casualty depicted in the book was Samuel Tresser.) Towards the end of the book, there is a photo of the dedication ceremony of the Soldiers Monument in St. John’s Park on Armistice Day, November 11, 1920, with related text:

photo of dedication ceremony


Cost $54,000; Paid by Subscription.

It is claimed that only one town in the United States erected a permanent memorial to soldiers of the World War equal to Stamford's in artistic worth and actual cost, previous to this one, unveiled in St. John's Park, Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1920. The names of about 4,325 Stamford soldiers in the Indian, Colonial, Revolutionary, War of 1812, Mexican, Civil, Spanish and World Wars appear classified on four bronze plates that surround the sur-base. Following the general architecture of the Grecian "Choragic" monument of Lysicrates, with Ionic columns substituted for Corinthian, the structure is of white marble with white granite base, and is 38 feet in height, from the base to the top of the globe upheld by three eagles cut in stone. A dedicatory inscription encircles the cornice, and between the columns are chiselled the names of the chief battles in American history. Four large bronze tripods, with lamps and reflectors for illuminating at night, are stationed around the structure.

At the dedication, which was attended by probably 30,000 people, the principal oration was pronounced by General Clarence R. Edwards, the noted Commander of the 26th ("Yankee") division in the war, he being introduced by Congressman Merritt. The members of the various committees, appointed and headed by Mayor John J. Treat, that brought the monument to completion are: Walter G. Austin, Dr. F. H. Barnes, Clarence W. Bell, J. Howard Bogardus, Charles H. Crandall, Walter D. Daskam, W. Judson Delap, Edward N. Fast, Samuel Gordon, Frederick B. Hendrie, Robert R. Hirsch, Joseph J. Horne, Walter E. Houghton, William F. Joyce, William H. Judd, Thomas F. Keegan, Charles H. Lounsbury, Maxwell C. Maxwell, Schuyler Merritt, John G. Moore, James V. O'Meara, Dr. Samuel Pierson, A. N. Phillips, Jr., John B. Quinn, Edward Sawyer, Edward E. Scovill, Abram Spelke, Edward Y. Weber and Robert Whittaker. The architect was George A. Freeman of Stamford, designer of the Grant memorial at West Point, etc.

Below & bottom right: undated images

undated photo of the monument

General Clarence Edwards

undated postcard of the monument

'in memoriam'

Robert Ferguson Crandall


book cover of 'Liberty Illumed'

title page of 'Liberty Illumed'


Photos © Stamford Historical Society

Another poem from the book
More on Charles Henry Crandall

Postscript 2009:

Veterans Day Speech, November 11, 2009 by Ron Marcus

Other Photo Archivist Selections of the Month
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