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Soldier's Monument at Brookfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful Soldiers’ Monument was unveiled at Brookfield in May, 1912. It occupies a commanding position, on a grassy plot in North Main street, between two picturesque parks.

The Brookfield Gazette of May 4 printed this sketch concerning the magnificent tribute to the soldier who went to battle for his country: “In memory of the days of ‘61-‘65, in honor of the men, living and dead, who fought under the folds of the flag of the great Republic, who periled life and limb that a nation might live, of the men who in their young and vigorous manhood toiled through long, weary marches, but who now sleep beneath that ‘low, green tent whose curtain never outward swings,’ or march with halting step or bended head to pay the last sad rites to a dead comrade or to strew flowers on the graves of comrades who have in the years that are past crossed over the river of death and pitched their tents on the other side.

“In memory of all these, and not forgetful of the gallant men in gray whom they met in the shock of battle, the patriotic people of Brookfield have builded the durable, beautiful and artistic monument that now ornaments the oval between east and west parks, from the summit of which the effigy of a volunteer soldier of the Civil War, carved in Italian marble, standing at ‘parade rest,’ looks down upon the busy scenes of the main street during the day and keeps watch and ward over the sleeping city at night. “It is all a patriotic expression of a patriotic people, some of whom were in sympathy with the men who fought under the stars and bars, and who, feeling a just pride in the magnificent valor displayed by these grand men in gray, are yet glad that owing to the valor and sacrifices of the men in blue that this is today one country with one united people and under one flag. “ The monument is not only a credit but an ornament to Brookfield, and is, we believe, the only monument of the kind in Missouri.”

The movement to erect the monument grew out of a suggestion on the part of the local Women’s Relief Corps, the ladies’ auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, to replace the monument to the unknown dead, erected many years since in Rose Hill cemetery, by a more imposing structure. In a conference between the local corps and the local Grand Army Post, it was suggested that a Soldiers’ Monument Association be organized , contributions be solicited and a monument to the soldiers of the Civil War be built. It was seriously doubted if a sufficient amount could be raised, but there were a few who expressed the utmost confidence that the patriotic people of Brookfield would respond liberally to the call. A number of subscriptions were pledged at once. An association was organized, and officers and a board of directors were chosen, as follows: Henry Tooey, president; George W.  Martin, vice-president; Robert W. Davis, secretary, and E. M. Lomax, treasurer. Directors Henry Tooey, Frank Dick, A. W. Baker, Will W. Martin, R S. Brownlee, R. W. Davis, J.C. Gardner, Mrs. Jennie Tuckerman and Mrs. F.P. Lacey. E. M. Lomax was afterwards elected president to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Henry Tooey.

A soliciting committee was appointed, headed by the president of the association, Henry Tooey, and a sufficient fund was pledged in but a brief period to assure the success of the project. In this work the energy and zeal of the president of the association, the lamented Henry Tooey, always conspicuous in any and every good cause, was never more plainly demonstrated. He not only worked untiringly himself, but brought out good work on the part of others, and the Soldiers’ Monument as it stands today between the parks is also a monument to the patriotism, zeal and energy of that splendid citizen,

Henry Tooey, who will long be remembered by the people of Brookfield, not only on account of his zeal or his energy in work for the best interests of Brookfield, but on account of a warm heart that promptly responded to the call of distress on the part of any and every human being. The monument is of Barre granite, the figure of the soldier of Italian marble,  the base nine feet four inches by nine feet four inches, artistically tapering to the summit, and, with the figure of the soldier, is twenty-two feet six inches in height. The cost, not including the foundation which was put in by the city at an expense of $105, was $1,620. D. L. Williams, the Linneus monument dealer, was the local contractor and A. Fraser & Co., of Mansfield, Ohio, the builders. It is constructed in strict compliance in every respect, in material, in workmanship, in artistic design, with the contract.  The board of directors were unanimous in their approval. Stewart Marsh, with his trained force, moved the massive blocks from the freight house to the park and set up the monument. It was his first experience in handling such heavy weights, but he went to work like a veteran, without hesitation and without doubt, and did the work as well as though he had been setting up towering monuments all his life. Brookfield has a monument of which our people may well be proud, and in one hundred years from now, unless removed by the hand of man, it will be standing where it stands now, as artistic and as complete as it is today.