In keeping with the celebration of our veterans this month, here are some fun facts about our Soldier’s Monument built in 1917 to honor Steuben County’s Civil War veterans.
The monument was constructed to commemorate the 1,278 men from Steuben County who enlisted to fight in the Civil War.
The monument is constructed of granite and the statues are made from bronze.
The base of the monument is 19 feet 6 inches square.
The height of the monument above the ground is 70 feet.
The main shaft weighs over 30 tons.
Columbia herself weighs in at approximately 1,000 pounds!
The entire monument weighs about 300,000 pounds.
Columbia stands at 18 feet from her base to the top of her flagpole.
It cost $16,000 to build the monument including the monument and the base.
The base of the monument was constructed by the City of Angola and cost around $1,000.
E.M. Hetzler of Angola won the bid to build the monument by outbidding his competitor by $43.
The four life sized statues represent the four branches of military service at that time- infantry, artillery, cavalry, and navy though there were no artillerymen or sailors serving in the Civil War from Steuben County.
The monument was restored in 1993 due to wear and tear and vandalism.
There are 4 inscriptions at the base of the monument. They read as follows:
“Erected 1917 by the grateful citizens of Steuben County to commemorate the valor and patriotism of her soldiers in the Civil War. 1861-1865”
“To those who never returned. ‘On Fame’s eternal camping ground their silent tents are spread. And Glory guards with solemn round the bivouac of the dead’”
“In loving memory of the women of 1861-1865, whose courage and heroism at home were a no less worthy sacrifice upon the altar of liberty”
“It is rather for us, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth- Abraham Lincoln”