Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Franklin County Soldiers Memorial Hall

I was "wandering around" the Library of Congress digital collections when I happened to discover a group of unique stained glass windows in a Grand Army of the Republic hall in Hampton, Franklin County, Iowa.

Franklin County Soldiers
Memorial Hall
Nearly twenty years after the Civil War, the people of Franklin County, Iowa decided to  build a memorial honoring the Union war heroes. They wanted to recognize the 169 men from the county who fought in the war and especially the 44 soldiers who died in the conflict.

The Iowa General Assembly voted to allow each county to levy a tax, not to exceed $3,000, for a memorial or a building. The people of Franklin County chose a building. The City of Hampton provided the site and, with the addition of private contributions, the county completed the Franklin County Soldiers Memorial Hall in 1890.

The building is a unique, octagon-shaped structure in the Gothic Revival style. It contains ten marble tablets with the names of Franklin County Civil War soldiers engraved on them. The seven (six  shown here) arched, stained glass windows each have a different motif, incorporating Civil War themes relating to weaponry and the soldiers' gear that were used in the war. The Union Soldier on Guard statue atop of the building is made of white zinc and it was purchased for $170 from the Graves Registration Bureau in Washington, DC.

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