IOWA HISTORY PROJECT
Dorothy G. Clark Papers
Genealogist, Historian, Author, Artist
A Century of Marked and Dedicated Memorials in Mahaska County
by Dorothy G. (Mrs. Stillman) Clark, Historian
(A guided TOUR offered by Mahaska County Historical Society, Fall, 1975 as part
“Pioneer Days in Oskaloosa”, a celebration of the United States Bicentennial. This
TOUR covers twenty-one memorials which have been dedicated by patriotic
organizations honoring people, groups, and locations of historic value in Mahaska
I. CITY PARK
A. BALDAUF FOUNTAIN
~ A beautiful circular drinking fountain was once located on this square of cement blocks (east side of Park-center walk). It stood on a white marble pedestal with another marble pillar which went up from the center and held a large lighted globe. This fountain was surrounded by four majestic pillars – we don’t not know if they were marble or wood. They were held together with a wooden arbor of cross beams.
~ It was a gift to the City of Oskaloosa by one of our pioneer merchants, Sam Baldauf.1 His contribution was part of the community’s effort to beautify the City Park. The Baldauf Fountain was dedicated during the annual Harvest Home Festival and Old Settler’s Reunion, October 23, 1912. The speaker of the day was one of Oskaloosa’s most venerated citizens, Major John F. Lacey,2 lawyer, statesman, soldier, and lover of nature. He highly commended the public-spirited citizens who were dedicated to make the City Park a place of beauty for all to enjoy.
~ So far we have no record of when and why this fountain was removed and dismantled permanently. A group of businessmen in 1969 wished to mark this location and so placed a small bronze marker (center south). The Mahaska County Historical Society was asked to conduct a short dedication ceremony (which included a the reading of the inscription).
~ The Baldauf Building (also) still stands as a memorial to this man.
B. MUNICIPAL BANDSTAND 3
~ This unique Bandstand4 is a historic landmark. The first wooden structure built over an unused artesian well in 1865 was enlarged in 1882. It stood high above the ground on an open circular platform, which was painted green.
~ In 1912, this wood structure was torn down and an architect from Des Moines, F. E. Wetherell, with some suggestions from Charles L. Barnhouse,5 bandmaster, (and founder of C.L. Barnhouse Music Publishers, still in business) designed the present Bandstand. This steel and concrete structure is circled with colorful tiles, designed by Miss Jamie M. Barnhouse. At one time, all the names of W.W.II service men encircled it.
~ Our Municipal Band is the oldest band in Iowa, celebrating its Centennial this year (1975). Many famous directors and musicians have come to Oskaloosa and conducted and played with our band, which still continues open-air concerts during the summer months.
~ A replica of the original Bandstand was entered in President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural parade by the Musicians Union of Washington, D.C.
~ This Bandstand, in color, was in the April, 1938 issue of Fortune Magazine 6 when the story of Oskaloosa was told in that magazine.
C. SPANISH TORPEDO MINE (south and center of the Square)
INSCRIPTION: “This Spanish Torpedo mine was taken out of the Harbor of Guantanamo in 1899 by Lieut. Commander Frank F. Fletcher, U.S. Navy – presented to the city of his birth as a souvenir of the Spanish-American War. It is supposed to be of the same pattern as one which destroyed the Battleship Maine. Torpedo is in position as when loaded and placed in the water.”
~ Admiral Frank F. Fletcher was born in Oskaloosa, November 12, 1855. He graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis with honors in June, 1875. He held various commands, on land and sea, and became highly respected among his colleagues. He was made Rear Admiral, commanding the United States Atlantic Fleet, with supreme command of Mexican waters. He won his first great sea victory during the struggle with Spain over Mexico in 1914.
~ He died at the age of 73 in New York City, November 28, 1928. The University of Virginia Library has all of his diary and manuscripts of his writings, as well as copies of his many successful inventions used by the U.S. Navy. 7
~ On May 4, 1942, a new navy Destroyer was officially launched at Kearny, N.J. – the Federal shipbuilding docks on the Hackensack River. The name of the destroyer was called the “U.S.S. Fletcher” in his honor.
D. GOLD STAR MOTHER’S FLOWER BED
~ The story of this W.W. I memorial is little known. It was a gift to the City Park by W.W. I mothers who had lost one or more sons in that war. These mothers belonged to the first women’s patriotic organization in Mahaska County that was called, “Sammie’s Mother’s Club” (1917). This group was later incorporated into the National Service Star Legion. For many years, these mothers tended and kept yellow roses growing in this flower bed, but when they could no long do the garden work, the City Park Board took over their work.
E. CHIEF MAHASKA
(Bronze Statue standing on the West Side of the Square)
West Side ~ “MAHASKA”
South Side ~ “Mahaska for whom Mahaska County was named was a Chief of the
Ioway tribe of Indians. He lived at peace with the white man and was
slain by an Indian in 1834 at the age of 50 years in what is known as
Cass County, Iowa.”
East Side ~ “Presented to the City of Oskaloosa by James DePew Edmundson in
memory of his father, William Edmundson 8, who settled in Iowa in
1836 and was Sheriff under appointment of the Territorial Legislature
which had charge of organizing Mahaska County, which was
completed on (the) 13th day of May, 1844.”
North Side ~ “The Ioways, a powerful tribe of Indians for which the State of Iowa
was named, at one time inhabited the southern portion of the Territory
which now constitutes the State of Iowa which includes in its
boundaries, the County of Mahaska.”
~ This bronze statue is a composite of an Iowa Indian – which the local citizens quickly named “Chief Mahaska”. It was the work a young artist, Sherry Edmundson Fry, from Creston, Iowa, who had won international fame in both Paris and Rome (winning the Prix de Rome) for this bronze design of an American Indian.9 Young Fry was a protégé of James Edmundson10 of Des Moines, who commissioned him to create a (full-scale) duplicate statue, some seven feet high, to be shipped to Oskaloosa as a memorial gift to honor his pioneer father, William Edmundson.
~ The Dedication Ceremonies took place May 12, 1909 with the State and Local Chapters of the Improved Order of Red Men in charge of the celebration. It was a gala event – schools dismissed for the day and people in wagons, on horseback and some even in cars, came by the hundreds. The speaker of the day was Major John F. Lacey.11 Major S.H.M. Byers,12 author of the official Iowa (State) Song, wrote a poem called “Mahaska,” and delivered it. And Mrs. Semira Anne Phillips, the first school teacher in the County was selected to unveil the statue.
~ Many people today dislike the green discoloration or patina which has formed on this bronze statue. Dwight Kirsch, Des Moines artist and once head of the Des Moines Art Center, who painted the Mural in the Mahaska State Bank, warned “Let nature take its course,” and to make no attempt to clean this beautiful sculpture. He reminded Oskaloosans that the bronze Statue of Liberty is now a pea green and known the world over for its beauty.
F. COMPANY “H” PLAQUE
INSCRIPTION: ~ “In Memory, Company H, 168th Infantry, Rainbow 42nd Division, W.W. I”
~ This bronze marker, set in marble, unfortunately for both the Rainbow Division memorial and
the Chief Mahaska (statue) has been placed in a very poor location. It almost appears that the
Rainbow Division donated the statue of Chief Mahaska (!)
~ National, State, and Local officers of the Rainbow Division, so-called by General (Douglass)
MacArthur,13 were at the dedication ceremonies on October 29, 1972.
~ Much has been written about the battles and triumphs of this famous Division over in
Germany and France during W. W. I. After two years of service overseas, they returned home
to one of the largest community welcome home celebrations this County has known. A hundred-piece band met them at the Rock Island Station and they marched through a huge Triumphal Arch built especially for the occasion. They were discharged from the army on May 17, 1919 at Camp Dodge.14
G. WOMEN’S RELIEF CORP (G.A.R.) ~ Bronze Tablet
INSCRIPTION: “Dedicated to the memory of our Civil War, Spanish-American War
and World War I soldiers, sailors, marines and aviators.”
~ The Women’s Relief Corp was the Women’s Auxiliary of the G.A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic) of the Phil Kearney Post during the Civil War.
~ This beautiful memorial was dedicated August 29, 1920 to the memory of the deceased soldiers, and sailors of all wars and even to some of the first W.W.I boys of our community who had lost their lives in a “war to end all wars.” The background of this tablet rests against a granite piece from the St. Cloud, Minnesota quarries.
~ The program consisted of music by the Iowa Brigade Band, with Rev. George E. Purdy, minister of the Christian Church, as main speaker. Mayor A. Mendenhall, made the acceptance speech for the City of Oskaloosa. An original poem, written by John Fluwelling was read by him and the closing words were:
“Brave hearts! We salute you! May our land ever be
Just what you have made it – the land of the free!”
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II. HOME of FREDERIC KNIGHT LOGAN
Location: 416 B Ave. East
“1871-1928 ‘Home of Frederick Knight Logan, Musician and Composer’
~ Musical score ~ ‘Fallen Leaf’
~ Marked by the Oskaloosa Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution – 1940”
~ This boulder moved from the Augustine farm near Rose Hill, holds the bronze plaque honoring one of Oskaloosa’s famous musicians, Frederic Knight Logan, known as the world’s ‘Waltz King’. He was born here on October 14, 1871, and he died in the prime of his career in his home here on (June 11), 1928.
~ This marker was donated and dedicated by the Oskaloosa Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, on May 23, 1940 while Frederic Knight Logan’s mother watched the ceremonies in her wheelchair from the front porch of their home. The following November, she too, died.15
~ Thus completed a musical story not duplicated for many years in the United States where a famous mother and a famous son were collaborators in the field of music. Virginia Knight Logan was an Opera singer (coloratura) and wrote the song lyrics for her famous composer-pianist son.
~ After years as an accompanist on concert stage for singers Chauncey Olcott, Miss Maude Adams, and Enrico Caruso, Mr. Logan retired to his home town, Oskaloosa, where he and his mother began the Knight-Logan Studio of Musical Art.
~ They contributed much to the cultural life of this city and were constantly promoting musicals, operettas, and other programs in the Masonic Opera House (which was torn down in 1975 for the for a new building to house the Mahaska State Bank).
~ Although Frederic Knight Logan composed hundreds of songs, he was best known for the “Missouri Waltz” and the Indian song, “Pale Moon”. The royalties from these two songs were willed to the Oskaloosa Women’s Club. Mrs. Logan was instrumental in its organization in 1895, and was its president, serving two terms. The “Logan Place”, the present Club House on 701 First Avenue East, was built with royalty money. The $32,000 brick building’s cornerstone was laid in 1958.
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III. THE FIRST SCHOOL HOUSE in MAHASKA COUNTY
Location: 2-2 ½ miles east of Oskaloosa on Highway 92
INSCRIPTION: “The first schoolhouse in Mahaska County was located on this Section of
land. Miss Semira Ann Hobbs, teacher, opened school September 16, 1844.”
(Marker) ~ Placed by Oskaloosa Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution - 1954. ~
~ This bronze tablet was first dedicated in October 1954 but when Highway 92 was widened, the D.A.R. rededicated the marker in its new location in June, 1961. At that time, they planted a row of evergreens and many beautiful flowering plants. However, since the State Highway Commission mows this area, we soon found that the flowers and shrubs soon disappeared with power mowers!
The Meaning of the Marker:
~ By an Act of the Territorial legislature on February 5, 1844, provisions were made to organize Mahaska County. In every Township, each 16th section was designated by the government for school purposes. Many settlers had been on their claims for over a year, since on May 1, 1843, the New Purchase had been opened to white settlers. These parents now living in the New Purchase wanted their children in school - but in September of 1844, no school was to be found in Mahaska County.
~ Semira Ann Hobbs.16 Semira arrived in August from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa Territory, to live with her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Cox. It was soon learned that she had taught school for two terms, could cipher as far as the single rule of three. She knew a little Kirkham’s Grammar17, something about geography, could write a fair hand, had been the choice at spelling schools, and had been known to spell down a whole school.
~ The heads of the families with children soon had her consent to teach their children, eighteen in number, for a period of twelve weeks for the sum of $1.25 for each pupil.
~ But to have a school, there must be a schoolhouse. The account of the building of this log schoolhouse, within two weeks, is related by Semira Ann (Hobbs) Phillips in her book written in 1900, “Mahaska County – A Story of Early Days.” She located the school in Section 16 of Spring Creek Township – she tells that this land was all timber filled mostly with oak, elm, and lind. (Current American usage: “linden”, which is the German plural). The lind trees were not beautiful, but easy to chop and split.
~ Five or six men joined in the enterprise and on the appointed day, went into the woods, taking with them axes, mauls, wedges, froes, augers, saws and broad axes. They then proceeded to chop down lind trees, not taking time to hew them but built a cabin with round logs leaving the bark on. They rived the boards of oak to cover it for roofing, putting weight-poles on to hold the boards in place.
~ The floors, benches and writing desks were made of puncheon. PUNCHEON were split logs, made smooth only on one side hewing with a broad axe. Some of these early settlers had become experts in hewing puncheons and riving clap-boards.
~ This “temple of learning” was provided with a sod chimney, a hearth long and wide (enough) to hold several logs.
~ One log was sawed out, for purposes of admitting light, and with a pocket knife, one carpenter whittled out sticks for window panes over which was stretched oiled “foolscap paper” – glass was a luxury not easily obtained.
~ The door faced the south, and only a blanket was used to keep out the cool fall breeze and early snows.
~ From this humble beginning have grown Oskaloosa’s fine schools and colleges.
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IV. NELSON PIONEER FARM AND CRAFT MUSEUM
Location: 2 miles N.E. of Oskaloosa, on Glendale Road (RR #1)
A. National Historic Place
DANIEL NELSON HOME (1853) and NELSON WHITE BARN (1856)
“This 310-acre farm was bequeathed, July 9, 1958, to the Mahaska County Historical Society by the Wills of Daniel Roy (Roy) and his sister, Lillian Nelson, in memory of their parents, John and Mary Green Nelson, their aunts, Martha and Sara Nelson, and their grandparents, Daniel and Margaret Carden Nelson.”
Lillian Nelson Daniel Roy Nelson
Born – August 24, 1878 Born – August 12, 1881
Died - June 6, 1958 Died - July 9, 1958
~ Both Lillian and Roy Nelson were members of the Mahaska County Historical Society. They had full confidence in our Society following their wishes and we have not betrayed their trust.
~ The home of their grandfather has been restored to the period from 1853 to 1888 that Daniel Nelson, (the) pioneer who laid the first Claim on this land in 1844, lived on it.
~ In November, 1974, this Home was designated by the Department of Interior, National Park
Services, as a National Historic Place…the Barn was also included.18 Very few old homes have been left in the original (state) without some major change – this home is just as the Nelsons lived in it. The Barn, however, was changed slightly because it was made into an Exhibit Hall rather than left as a barn.
B. CYRUS W. WEST MEMORIAL
Location: Nelson Pioneer Farm, at Flag Pole
“IN MEMORY. Private Cyrus W. West, Company H, Third Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Mahaska County, was killed, July 11, 1861, in the Battle of Monroe, Missouri. The first Iowa soldier to die in the Civil War in the Defense of the Union.”
~ This bronze plaque is placed at the foot of the flag pole, presented to the Museum area by the American Legion “Harry L Anderson” Post #34, on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1965. 1965 was the year of the Civil War Centennial and so:
~ It was a double ceremony, and included also the Dedication of the bronze Memorial plaque in Memory in Cyrus W. West. He was among the first Volunteers who joined the army before President Lincoln’s “Call to Arms” in 1862. The skirmishes between the North and the South were just beginning and his Company was sent to Missouri. He was accidentally killed by one of his own Regiments as he lay in an army trench during the Battle at Monroe, Missouri.
~ Because Shelby Norman of Muscatine was killed by a Confederate bullet a month later, our Iowa forefathers decided that he should have the honor of being (named) the first Iowa soldier killed in action. A huge monument to him (Norman) now towers on the State Capitol grounds.
~ Historian Jacob Swisher in his book, “Iowa in Times of War”19 now claims, along with us, that Cyrus W. West should have been acknowledged and honored as the first soldier from Iowa to die in the Civil War.
V. FOREST CEMETERY MEMORIALS
A. GRAVE SITE of SEMIRA ANN HOBBS PHILLIPS
Born: May 18, 1826
Died: February 27, 1912
(First school teacher in Mahaska County)
B. MONUMENT TO BRIGADIER GENERAL SAMUEL A. RICE
“Samuel A. Rice, Brig. General of the U.S. Volunteers Born January 27, 1828 –
Died: July 6, 1864 of wounds received in the Battle of Jenkins Ferry.
Erected in Honor of the gallant leader by the members of the 29th and 33rd Infantry
Regiments of Rice’s Brigade.”
~ Just above his inscription is a Stand of Arms and the United State Flag, beautifully carved on this 40 foot Vermont marble shaft. Above this is a wide band which bears the names of the battle grounds – “Jenkins Ferry” - “Helena” – “Yazoo Pass” – “Little Rock” all in Arkansas; and on the west side of the monument are the final two names of the principal battles in which General Rice participated: “Prairie de Anna” and “Camden”; and around the top is a wreath, topped with an American Eagle.
~ He was fatally wounded in the battle of Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas. One ankle was shattered by a mini-ball which struck his stirrup and the imbedded iron caused blood poisoning. He came home to die at the age of 36 years.
~ Samuel Rice was more than a soldier, as he was one of Oskaloosa’s outstanding pioneer citizens. He was appointed County Attorney in 1853 (at 25), and was elected to the high office of Attorney General for Iowa in 1856-60 (at 28-32). 20
~ Dedication Ceremonies took place in November, 1865. The money was raised by the soldiers who served under him.
C. CIVIL WAR PLOT
~ Many casualties of the Civil War from Iowa Companies are buried here. Nancy Smith, photographer for the Oskaloosa Daily Herald, wrote an inscription for her newspaper pictures of this cemetery – “They would have been pleased for our remembering the freedoms we have (because of) their sacrifice.” All soldier’s graves of all wars are flagged in the 54-56 cemeteries in the County each Memorial Day. This dedicated work is done by men and women members of local Veterans’ organizations. Forest Cemetery alone has over 600 graves to flag – so we do remember their sacrifice.
D. SERVICE STAR LEGION MEMORIAL PLAQUE AND FLAG POLE
Location: By the large lake at the North end of Forest Cemetery
“Dedicated May 30, 1954 in loving memory of our Mahaska County heroes who served in all branches of the armed services, and who gave their lives in defense of our country for the cause of freedom around the world.”
~ National, State and Local officers of the Service Star Legion were present for this dedication. For many years, the Memorial Day services had been held at the Central Methodist church, while the G.A.R. veterans were still living. Later it was moved out to Forest Cemetery and annually a large wooden platform would have to be constructed for the speakers and those taking part on the Memorial Day program. It seemed fitting then that some patriotic group of women like the Service Star Legion, who were relatives of veterans, should provide a permanent platform and podium.
~ The savings account of the Sammie’s Mother’s Club now totaled $700.00 and was in the custody of the Service Star Legion organization. So they voted to build this beautiful memorial. The Tennessee stone, which is used throughout the cemetery, was also used in the (new) building area and it blends well with the cemetery in general.
~ THE FLAG POLE. To the left of this memorial and dedicated at the same services, is a 75 foot Flag Pole which had been dedicated in 1920, and had stood at the entrance to the Cemetery. It originally had three gold stars, representing the first men to die from the army, marines and navy in our country. However, the wind whipped the flag hoisted on it to shreds, and so the stars were removed. The first dedication was a joint project of the American Legion Post and the Service Star Legion.
~ In 1954, this Flag Pole was moved and placed at the left of the (new) platform. At the base is a large star which the Cemetery gardener fills with red geraniums annually.
~ The 900 star Service Flag of the Sammie’s Mother’s Club which always hung behind this platform on Memorial Day has now been donated to the Mahaska County Historical Society Museum for preservation.
VI. COMMUNITY STADIUM
Location: North First Street
~ After many years of planning, the ground was finally broken by an unusual method. Ezra Meeker21 an Iowa pioneer turned the first soil with his five-hitch ox team and plow. He had traveled through Iowa in the early days of the 1850s in a wagon train on his way to Oregon. Many years later, he returned to Oskaloosa as one of the attractions of the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West shows in 1929. The stadium committee took advantage of his return and asked him to use his ten oxen to break the ground. He was 90 years old at the time.
~ This Stadium is 333 feet wide and 600 feet long, with two sections (on either side) of reinforced concrete. The seating capacity is around 6000. Carl Weeks, of Des Moines, was the first donor and hundreds of local citizens financed the project so that there was no cost to the taxpayers of the city.
~ Bronze plaques bearing memorial names were placed on the balustrade of each section of seats, so each section is know by the donor’s name.
VII. FIRST PENN COLLEGE
Location: North of College Avenue Friends Church
INSCRIPTION: “Site of William Penn College – 1873”
~ This large boulder with the handmade marker was dedicated August 10, 1973, during the Annual Yearly meeting of Friends during their Centennial Celebration and Founder’s Day observance. Dr. Duane Moon, President of the College, dedicated the marker with many dignitaries of the church present and also the Governor of Iowa, Robert Ray.
~ The large building on this site which once housed all of Penn College was badly damaged in 1892 by the Powder House explosion (where the stadium now is) which blasted out most of its windows, tore off doors and damaged sections of the roof.
~ The building was repaired and used again until a fire on May 27, 1916 completely destroyed it. Two men were killed during the effort to remove school files, - Henry Oakley and Robert Williams. The timbers holding the large bell on the roof gave way burying them in the debris.
~ In 1917, Penn College began building its new building at the present location.
~ For many years, a large wooden structure stood on this corner which served as a theater for the Community Chautauqua programs. But it too was finally torn down. Now campers coming for the Annual Yearly Meetings use the lot.
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VIII. OLD CAMP TUTTLE
Location: West of Grandstand – (Southern Iowa) Fairgrounds
INSCRIPTION: “In memory of the 33rd Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry,
mustered into U.S. Service here – October 1, 1862.”
~ On September 5, 1927, this marker was dedicated by the Women’s Relief Corps – Ladies Auxiliary of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic). Special music was furnished by the Iowa Brigade Band and the ceremonies were held in the grandstand close by where the old Civil War veterans could easily be accommodated.
~ The 33rd Regiment honored their camp by naming it after Colonel J.M. Tuttle, of the 2nd Iowa Infantry, who had rendered distinguished service at Fort Donaldson and Shiloh. It was the mobilization and drilling grounds for the 33rd Regiment which was made up of some 985 men from Keokuk, Marion, and Mahaska Counties.22
~ On November 20, 1862, they were ordered into action and marched to Eddyville where they took a train to Keokuk and then went by steamer down the Mississippi river to St. Louis and then on to Helena, Arkansas.
~ By common consent they made an outstanding record of gallant service and sacrifice …408 were wounded with 265 deaths.
~ In 1881, the survivors organized the Phil Kearney Post #40 (called the G.A.R.) in Oskaloosa. They held annual reunions for many years.
IX. THE DRAGOON TRAIL 23
Location: Northwest of Oskaloosa on (old) Highway #163
- Leighton turn-off corner … 5 miles (?)
INSCRIPTION: “Here passed the Dragoon Trail blazed in 1835 by First U.S. Dragoons
under Colonel Stephen Watts Kearny.”
~ This marker was dedicated on June 14, 1940 by the Oskaloosa chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
~ The Dragoons were a military unit of the U.S. Army created by Congress for the purpose of doing Garrison Duty, Patrol Duty, holding Councils with various Indian tribes, and for strengthening the defense along the frontier – keeping mostly white settlers out of Indian territory.
~ Colonel Stephen Kearny headed such a Unit, a detachment of some 150 men, who were well mounted. They were sent to establish a proper Military Post in the vicinity of the junction of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers where the city of Des Moines is now located. They followed the dividing ridge between the Skunk and Des Moines Rivers. Their line of march led through Lee, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, and Mahaska counties.
~ In Keokuk’s town, six half-breed Indians joined them as game hunters and interpreters. Near the present site of Oskaloosa, their journals tell of the land being red with wild strawberries – like a blanket. One of their beeves became a “milker” so they were in luxury. Wild game was in abundance.
X. EDMUNDSON MEMORIAL PARK
Location: West on Beacon Road
INSCRIPTION: Bronze Plaque on Flag Pole (top of hill)
West Side “This Park was made possible by a bequest to Oskaloosa by James DePew Edmundson 1936.”
East Side- “How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood.”
~ This $100,000 Edmundson Memorial Park honors two famous men in our County – our first sheriff, William Edmundson, 24 and his son, James Depew Edmundson, 25 whose gift made it possible when in 1937, he donated $20, 000 toward this Park.
~ All of the labor was done by about 120 men in our County working under the W.P.A. (Work Progress Administration). Sixty acres of rugged farm land was turned into a beautiful spot for the pleasure of the community. The stone used for shelter houses, main gate entrances, fireplaces and bridges all came from the quarries in various Townships in our County. Some 1000 trees and shrubs were added, and roads were graded throughout the Park. A children’s area was designated and a swimming pool constructed; all to be dedicated along with a lovely flag pole at the crest of the hill.
~ The formal dedication took place July 4, 1937 with the Oskaloosa Municipal Band playing in the new amphitheater. Harley Riggs, Park Commission chairman, presented the Park to the City of Oskaloosa with Mayor George Burdock accepting the Park for the City. Members of the American Legion – Harry L. Anderson, Post #34, presented and raised a new flag to the top of the flag pole, and many of our local patriotic and civic organizations assisted.
XI. REVOLUTIONARY WAR HERO’S MARKER
Location: Eddyville Cemetery – entrance
INSCRIPTION – on granite boulder:
“1759-1856 ~ Richard J. Scarrem fought in the American Revolution with the Vermont Volunteers who defeated Burgoyne at Saratoga and in other battles of the war. Dedicated to the memory of this service to his country.”
~ An estimated 2000 persons attended this Memorial Day service on May 30, 1941 when this marker was dedicated. State, District, and Local officers and members of the American Legions, Daughters of the American Revolution and Boy Scouts gathered in honor of this memorial to Mahaska County’s only Revolutionary War veteran.
~ The J.L. and Ed Linderman Post #418 of the American Legion in Eddyville, received this burial plot at the entrance to the cemetery from the Town of Eddyville, although most of this cemetery lies in Mahaska County, the oldest (county) in the ‘New Purchase’.26
~ The main facts of Richard J. Scarrem were learned in 1916 from a Civil War veteran, raised in the home of a Mr. Linderman. He pointed out the gravesite in the Linderman family grave plot. Several years went by while interested persons checked out records with the United State War Department to verify this information. The State of Iowa appropriated $500.00 for a fitting marker for this grave. The County Memorial Day Committee suggested to the Eddyville American Legion that they complete and dedicate a marker. The following year, they did so.
~ The remains of the “Old Revolutioner” were removed (from the Linderman family grave plot) and placed in the present Memorial Plot (at the entrance to the cemetery), with a granite boulder and bronze marker to mark the spot.
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