Posted By Norman Gasbarro on September 9, 2011
The largest and most impressive monument recognizing the achievements and valor of the men who served in the Civil War from the western parts of Schyulkill County (in the areas adjacent to Upper Dauphin County), is the Soldiers’ Monument of Schuylkill County, located in the Borough of Pottsville. Although Pottsville is located just outside the triangular area of study for the Civil War Research Project, many men from Gratz and the surrounding communities in the Lykens Valley area and the area across the Mahantongo Mountain in Northumberland County enlisted in Pottsville and joined the regiments that were organized there. When the monument was dedicated, many of these same men and their families joined their comrades from Schuylkill County in the festivities that were held there in 1897.
Over the next few days, the posts on this blog will focus on the proposal for the monument and its construction and dedication. The story will told through the words of Schuylkill County historian Joseph H. Zerber and the newspapers of the time.
On 15 June 1887, a meeting of the soldiers and sailors, of Schuylkill County. was held in Pottsville when the imposing monument, which occupies the center of Garfield Square, was proposed to perpetuate and keep green the memory of their heroic deeds for all generations to come….
It was decided to apply to Court for a charter or the new organization and Capt. S. R. Russel, Capt.John A. Schweers and Capt. John T. Boyle were named a committee to make proper acknowledgment before the County Recorder, under the Act of Assembly of 1874, and its supplement. The term of the Association was made perpetual. A constitution and bylaws were framed….
It was on 18 July 2887, that the next meeting of the Association was held. The charter, granted by the Court, was presented and accepted. The constitution and by-laws were formally adopted. A committee of ways and means to finance the monument proposition, was named….
Though several sites were proposed for the monument, some favoring the grounds surrounding the court house and others a location in one of the local cemeteries, it was finally decided to place it in Garfield Square. Permission to do this was procured from the Borough Council by a committee.
Information for this post was taken from Joseph H. Zerber, History of Pottsville and Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, pages 97-104.