More than a century ago, a Civil War monument was built in Fond du Luc, Wisc., to recognize the service of thousands of area men who had volunteered for the war. Now, as sesquicentennial events take center stage, town officials have decided to give the veterans their due: a dedication ceremony will be held on Saturday, 109 years after it was erected in the park..
The statue of a Union soldier atop a tall pedestal was placed in Veterans Park in 1902 but disappointment in the material used and questions of missing money from the memorial fund delayed indefinitely a dedication ceremony.
A story in the Fond du Lac Reporter says that in the 1890s, local artist Mark Harrison donated $5,000 of the estimated $6,000 needed to build the memorial. The last $1,000 was raised through public donations.
Although the memorial was a private project, city officials involved themselves in the undertaking.But when the statue arrived, they were disappointed to see it was made of hollow tin rather than the bronze they had expected. Furthermore, they wanted an accounting for $500 raised but not spent on the memorial.
Those questions don’t appear to have ever been satisfactorily answered but on Saturday, that won’t matter.