Memorial going to a new home

Published 5:04 pm Saturday, October 11, 2014

One of Mower County’s oldest memorials for soldiers is set for a new home.

The Mower County board unanimously voted last week to move a boulder commemorating the 64 Mower County soldiers who lost their lives during World War I to the grounds of the Mower County Historical Society.

The Daughters of the American Revolution had requested to move the boulder to the Mower County Veterans Memorial on the lawn of the Mower County Government Center; however, the Mower County Veterans Memorial Committee recommended the county board deny the request, stating there’s not enough space at the memorial, among other concerns.

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The WWI boulder memorial is currently near the sign for the Austin Municipal Pool and had been near the flag pole by the pool, but it had to be moved for the North Main Street flood mitigation work.

Mower’s DAR formed in 1921 and initially planted 64 elm trees near Todd Park to commemorate the 64 men who died in the “Great War.”

The boulder was added there later. It is about 2 to 3 feet tall and includes a plaque with the names of all 64 men. Dutch elm disease and time wreaked havoc on the trees, which are no more. The remaining few were taken out in the 1990s for work to the Todd Park diamonds.

The boulder was then moved from Todd Park to near the pool.