This day in Mohawk Valley history: February 16, 1889

The Utica Daily Observer, February 16, 1889, Utica, Oneida County, New York

Plans for the Soldiers’ Monument.

“Major W. H. Bright presided at a meeting of the Soldiers’ Monument Association, held yesterday in his office. The plans of Carl Gerhardt were adopted and the action of the Supervisors, in submitting the proposition to raise $10,000 to the voters of the county was commended. Besides President Bright, there were present Major D. T. Everts, Mayor Martin, Thomas F. Baker, Col. J. S. Lowery, Cpl. Charles H. Easton and Major James Miller.”

Source: NYS Historic Newspapers

The May 30, 1890, edition of the Utica Daily Observer reported that additional funding would be needed to complete the project and appealed directly to the public for funding assistance.

The Soldiers’ Monument.

“To-day the Soldiers’ Monument Committee has fittingly selected as the date for the resuming the work of soliciting subscriptions for the Monument fund. Our readers are familiar with the various stages through which this laudable and patriotic enterprise has passed. The amount which is necessary to realize for the construction of the monument according to contract is $30,000. Of this sum the Committee has secured a little over one-half–about $13,000 of which was realized from the Fair in April, 1888, and the balance from private subscriptions. The Committee is about to make an organized effort to obtain the remainder, and THE OBSERVER earnestly hopes that its public-spirited and unselfish exertions will be crowned with success.”

Source: NYS Historic Newspapers

The public voted at a later date to be taxed for the $15,000 needed to complete the project. Today, $30,000 would equate to about $978,451 and the money that the public agreed to be taxed would be valued today at $489,225.

Monument inscriptions read,

We Keep In Memory
The Men of Utica
Who Risked Their Lives
To Save The Union

From Sumter
By Land and Sea
To Appomattox


The monument would be later unveiled on October 13, 1891. The Utica Daily Observer headlines from the time read:

“Addresses by Major William H. Bright, Mayor Alex T. Goodwin and Gen. John Palmer–The Dedicatory Ceremonies as They Transpired Fully Described–A Cold, Threatening Day Does Not Prevent the Attendance of a Large Number of People–The Grand Parade This Afternoon, and Other Incidents of the Day.”

Source: NYS Historic Newspapers

Soldiers’ monument, Utica, N.Y digital file from original taken between 1900-1915. Library of Congress.

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is located at 1282 State St, Utica, NY 13502.