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World War I Memorial

by Florice Paulson

The first World War I memorial in the United States stands in our Village square? It is a granite shaft originally from the old Chicago City Hall. It was erected bv six teams of horses and numerous townsmen in 1920.

When shipped here by train from Chicago it was unloaded at the Jefferson St. viaduct and skidded to a draywagon. Senator Lenroot, from Wisconsin, dedicated it on June 10, 1920. He had been nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate and was to be at the convention in Chicago. Because he had committed himself to be here, he lost the nomination to Calvin Coolidge who became president upon the death of Warren Harding. Governor Phillips was also present.

Gold Star Mother, Mrs. Chris Johnson, mother of William M. Johnson, for whom the American Legion Post was originally named, unveiled the monument at a ceremony attended by hundreds of people.

Nearly 150 people were in the pageant following the dedication. Pledges were received and admission was charged to both dancers and spectators at a dance the evening of June 10. So many attended the dance that both the Woodman Hall and the Opera House were needed.

      Oregon Monument in 1941

Oregon Businessmen gather together at the dedication of the World War I monument in 1920