Saturday, May 03, 2008
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Genealogical society seeking to restore memorial finds new information

Search for more Logan County Civil War soldier names continues

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[May 03, 2008]  Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, was started at the end of the Civil War. Presidential, gubernatorial and local proclamations were made long before the day of remembrance. Grand picnics and other celebrations were planned and attended. But, as time moves on, the memory of particular wars and the people who fought those wars fades as the collective memory dies with those who carry those memories.

RestaurantAlso fading are the memorials erected to honor those who died during the wars. One such fading memorial is sitting on the courthouse lawn in Lincoln. With up-close inspection of the memorial one can see how faded it has become.

The Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society wants to revive the memories of the men whose names appear on the monument. In doing so, many mysteries and many items of exciting new information have come to light.

The Civil War monument standing on the northwest corner of the courthouse square in Lincoln was erected to honor the Logan County men who died as a result of their service to their country. It was dedicated on June 10, 1869, just four years after the end of the war.


By 1903, in preparation for construction of the current courthouse, the monument needed to be refurbished and moved to its current location. In that short 34 years, the inscriptions had weathered so badly that many were nearly unreadable. Original records of the inscriptions must have no longer been in existence. During transcription of the names, as is often the case when transcribers must guess, misspellings occurred. These alterations are causing difficulties for researchers trying to piece together the story of each of the men listed on the monument.

While researching the 326 names on the bronze plaques attached to the monument in 1903, a researcher discovered that records for many names could not be found, likely due to transcription errors. So, the researchers are looking for information from the public to help find the stories for these men. Their stories must still be told. The names for which no records have been found are R.H. Billington, B. Bones, J.N. Bowers, J.F. Burk, J. Doyle, L. Greenslate, J.W. Hammerton, K. Hanger, D. Hardy, W.B. Hilcox, A.J. Lyon, E.M. Miller, B. Paugh, W.H. Pointer, W. Riley, F. Scroggins, H. Skinner and W. Waschle


For other names the records are inconclusive; that is, the records found do not provide a death date or a cause of death. Sometimes the names on the plaques and the names on the records do not quite match. Perhaps some citizens of Logan County will recognize a name and can help provide new clues that will give direction to the researchers to work toward the solution to each mystery name listed. The names for which records are inconclusive are Isaac N. Allen, S. Barrick (listed twice), A.R. Cunningham, George L. Davis, John P. Edds, Wm J. Ellis, W. Ernest, A. Gaulocher, William T. Lacey, Frank Long, Samuel McAfee, Joseph Pool, Victor Riece, John Robbins, William Robinson, John L. Stockey, Theodore Striker, Simpson R. Sturgeon, Benjamin Waltman and Laban Wheeler.

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Many exciting surprises surfaced while researching these names. One such surprise was finding the name of another Logan County soldier who died during his time in service. His name, too, needs to be added to the list of the honored dead.

Making such discoveries always makes researchers giddy with delight, sometimes culminating in what is generally known as the "Genealogy Happy Dance." But then, another name, and still another name came to light. That surprise occurred about 74 times. Talk about tired legs.

So, now, instead of 326 Logan County Civil War dead, there are currently 400. It is likely that there are more to be found. With newer methods of research, many databases inaccessible to the original researchers are now available. Logan County men served in at least 80 different regiments from Illinois and other states. It would have been impossible for researchers of the time to know that or be able to find the records.

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Unfortunately the monument has continued to deteriorate during the 139 years of its existence. The time will come when a group must step forward to restore the monument. Those honored on the monument should have their stories told as accurately as possible. The names of those who also died need to be added and their stories told.

If you have information about any of the names listed above, please contact the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society, 114 N. Chicago St. Lincoln, IL 62656; phone 217-732-3200; or e-mail

[Text from file received from the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society]


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