The restoration of three historical markers found on the Edgar County Courthouse lawn is complete and a re-dedication ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 6 on the southeast corner of that lawn.
A celebration is planned with special decorations, music and a rededication speech and the general public and members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) are invited to attend. Members of the Edgar County Historical Society will be there to answer questions regarding the significance of each marker.
The nearly 100-year-old markers have been restored due to generous donations that amounted to a little more than $2,300 from Edgar County residents as well as descendants of the veterans from the states of Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, Arizona and Illinois. The quest for donations to restore the memorial for Revolutionary War veterans buried here was so successful it was decided to do two other markers on the courthouse lawn, and those additional projects were completed within their budgets.
Patti McHenry and her daughter spearheaded the project through their connection with the DAR. Word about the need for restoration was spread by information from the DAR, the Edgar County Historical Society and the Edgar County Genealogical Society as well as individually. The Edgar County Historical Society received and managed the donations.
Adams Monument Company did the metal restoration work and did not charge for power washing the stones. The three markers involved were: a listing of Revolutionary War veterans buried in Edgar County, the Gettysburg address by Lincoln and Lincoln being acknowledged as riding the Eighth Judicial Circuit, which included Edgar County. The Gettysburg Address marker was erected by the Driskill Women’s Relief Corps #87 of Paris in 1923.
The program begins at 10 a.m. with a welcome and thanking the generosity of Paris residents and an explanation about the Revolutionary marker. The playing of taps by members of the Paris High School Band under the direction of Kevin Pruiett honors the Revolutionary soldiers, and all soldiers, buried in Edgar County.
Following the brief program, the public is invited to tour the other markers on the lawn. Historical society members stationed at the Gettysburg Address and Eighth Judicial Circuit markers can answer questions.
In addition, Looking for Lincoln committee members will provide walking tours, for those interested, to sites connected to Lincoln’s time in Paris.
The DAR mission of today is to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. In 1919, when the Revolutionary War marker was first dedicated, the Edgar County DAR chapter had a similar mission to promote interest in history, especially of the Revolutionary War period, and also the history of Edgar County.
McHenry’s purpose was to create an awareness and appreciation for all the effort and sacrifice given to make this a community to be proud of.
The transformation of these markers from eyesore to beautiful artifact memorials needs to be seen and appreciated especially by the citizens of Paris and the surrounding communities.
The names of the 28 deceased listed on the Revolutionary marker are: Elijah Austin, Hugh Barr, James Benson, Gurdun Bumham. Elijah Clay, William Combs, John Conrey, William Craig, John Edmiston, William Gannon Sr., Ferrel Hester, Ambrose Hotchkiss, William Hurst, William James, James Knight Sr., William Meadows, William Means, Asa Moore, James Mullins, Stephen Ogdon, George Redmon, Jacob Reed, Daniel Rhodes, Daniel Rowell, Wilson Tharp, John Tutwiler and Abraham Wood.
The stone is also inscribed: “To the honor and glory of the soldiers of the American Revolution. This tablet is dedicated with grateful reverence by the Madam Rachel Edgar Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.”