PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.
The planning of a 7-day celebration for the dedication of the Edwin M. Stanton Statue in 1911 surprises me in 2011. The amount of work that must have been involved would have been enormous.
Finances were an issue in 1911, and the Stanton Monument Association sold shares, after the fact, which provided the purchaser with an official certificate and a copy of the Souvenir Volume containing the memoirs of Stanton for a cost of $ 2.50
The week of events began on Sunday, Sept. 3, 1911 with special worship services in all of the churches in the city. Military units had arrived the day before, and were camped around Steubenville to participate in the parades planned for nearly every day of that week.
The Lewis H. Stanton Family had arrived from New Orleans, and was the centerpiece of the celebration to dedicate the statue to his father.
Monday, Sept. 4 was Labor Day, a celebration that had been designated a Federal holiday in 1894. Following the parade and speeches, a balloon ascension took place on 8th St., and “aeroplane flights” were done at the edge of the city.
The Tuesday celebrations were stopped by rainfall, which had cleared by afternoon in time for an “educational gathering” in the Wells High School Auditorium, which featured an address by educator Booker T. Washington.
An automobile parade finished the day’s activities, with the route extending all over the downtown area. Automobiles, aeroplanes, and balloons were “new” in 1911, and all warranted repeated parades and events.
Wednesday, Sept. 6 brought festivities relating to veterans, including a reunion of the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Association, as well as a meeting of various veteran’s organizations. The remaining Civil War veterans met as part of the Stanton Post of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The parade for the day featured Industrial and Civic units.
The unveiling of the Stanton Statue was held on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 1:30 in the afternoon. Addresses were given by a dozen people including the Governor of Ohio as well as various military leaders. A military parade proceeded to the Court House lawn from the encampment on Pleasant Heights.
Crowds estimated at 10,000 people filled the streets around the Court House, and watched as Mrs. Cora Stanton Jahncke, granddaughter of Edwin M. Stanton, removed the covering from the new statue.
The day’s activities continued with “aquatic sports” in the Ohio River near the Market Street Bridge, followed by a motor boat regatta, another balloon ascension, finishing with fireworks and a military dance.
Friday, Sept 8 was the day for homecomings, receptions, and reunions by area families, organizations, and churches.
It was reported that every house in town was filled with guests, and the trains were filled with out-of-towners coming for various days’ events.
All of the parades passed Stanton’s birth place, former law office, and residences on N. 3rd St., all decorated for the event. His final home in Steubenville was located at N. 3rd and Logan Streets, which was occupied by Dr. Enoch Pearce in 1911.
That was the Stanton home that was demolished in 1953 to allow the new High Street Thoroughfare to be constructed, today’s SR 7.
Only the bronze plaque at 5th and Market Streets remains today, which designates Stanton’s boyhood home.
The busy week had ended, and the resulting statue remains today as an important part of our city.