WWI Memorial Dedication – Aug. 13, 1922

The World War Memorial at its present location on the courthouse grounds

          The dedication of the World War I soldiers’ memorial took place on Sunday, August 13, 1922. The memorial stone replaced a temporary monument which had been erected at the intersection of Elk and River Streets in 1919.

          The granite obelisk was ordered from New Hampshire at a cost of $2000, with $1000 being appropriated by the county and $750 being donated by the city of Manistique. The remaining $250 was raised by the Manistique Women’s Club through small donations given by local citizens.

          The monument’s arrival in Manistique was delayed several weeks by a nationwide railway strike which stretched through July. The dedication ceremony had originally been scheduled for Decoration Day but was rescheduled on a number of occasions.

          When the monument finally arrived in Manistique in July of 1922, it was placed on the triangle at the intersection of Elk and River Streets. Brass plaques were mounted to all four sides of the obelisk with the names of Schoolcraft County’s war dead.

          An impressive dedication ceremony led by the American Legion was conducted on Sunday afternoon, August 13, 1922. A parade which included color bearers, firing squad and the American Legion band proceeded from the corner of Walnut and Cedar Street, down River Street to the monument site near the syphon bridge. The speakers and members of the monument committee followed in automobiles. A large crowd witnessed the ceremony from their cars which were parked on both sides of the street.

Photo taken August 13, 1922 at the conclusion of the ceremony to dedicate the World War Memorial. Manistique’s Civil War cannon can be seen next to the monument. Photo Courtesy Maurita Holland.

          The dedication address was presented by attorney James C. Wood of Manistique. The concluding portion of his remarks is presented below:

          “Today, this memorial is, in itself, the orator of this occasion, the potent speaker standing motionless before us. Its silent utterance brings in our contemplation the awful days of the world war and the consequences of that war which has come to us, our country and to the world—consequences which we all feel must continue its influence to the end of time.

          Today this memorial speaks to us. Its future audience will be the succeeding generations as they gather about it. Its speech will always be of patriotism and courage, of liberty and free government, of the immortal memory of those from among us, who with heroic devotion sacrificed their lives for their country’s honor.

          And so today, by this simple ceremony, to you, our departed heroes, do the present generation of a grateful people present and dedicate this memorial, in recognition of your selfless service, your patriotic devotion and duty to God and country.”

          The ceremony concluded with a benediction by the Rev. J. R. Mitchell of the Presbyterian church and the firing of three volleys by the Legion firing squad.

          The World War I fallen soldier’s from Schoolcraft County included: Joseph G. Bebeau, William Alvin Beloungea, Hiram Brown, Henry Davis, Richard Dundee, Frank Eastman, Henry J. Fisher, Eugene Forrest, Henry Geister, Philip G. Gouin, Philip Gaw, Milton Halsey, Leslie B. Handy, Oscar E. Johnson, Michael Krusic, Gaylord P. Leach, Gordon Leach, Henry Mercure, G. Dale Morrison, Everette McCormick, Frank Quinlan, Vernon E. Swingle, Gustaf Titmgar, Michael Tully, Michael J. Udell, Julius Williams and Harry A. Williams.

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