Post by stevenonhudson on May 22, 2011 8:06:49 GMT -5
On page 159 of Volume 16 of Marc Abrams' invaluable 'Newspaper Chronicle of the Indian Wars' is reprinted an article by Elizabeth B. Custer entitled 'Commemorating General Custer that originally appeared in the New York Times on Sunday, June 19, 1921. Written to mark the upcoming "...forty-fifth anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, in which, the promised support failing to arrive in time, the Seventh United States Cavalry, under General G.A.Custer, was overpowered by an overwhelming force of Sioux Indians and annihilated entirely", Mrs.Custer writes that "Finally, in the city park of Hardin, a monument to General Custer will be unveiled". Later in the article she states that the "site of its [Hardin's] City Park is the intersection of Custer Avenue with the Custer Battlefield Highway...". And then that "the monument to be unveiled there is of granite, one side bearing a tablet with General Custer's military record, the other a bronze medallion with his likeness". Before reading this article in Marc's book, I had never heard mention of this monument, neither in print nor during my trips to Hardin and the LBH. So, I'm wondering if anyone reading this knows anything about this 1921 monument - was it ever unveiled? Does it exist today in Hardin? If not, what happened to it? I would be much obliged to know the answers! Thanks all.
Steve, if you don't get an answer here, you might go the the Friends of the LBH Battlefield site & send an email to Bob Reece. He should either know or know someone who does. For that matter, Karlkoz on this board may know. Another resource could be Diane at the other site. PM me if you need either Diane or Bob's email.
The following specific park recommendations should be considered by the City:
Custer Park (City Park)
Custer Park is an excellent central park that is fully improved and approximately 2.1 acres in size. When combined with the Kid’s World Playground and the facilities at South Park, the central residential neighborhood is well-served.
Custer Park was dedicated on June 25, 1921, the 45th Anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The granite monument has a bronze tablet on one side bearing General Custer’s military record. On the other side is a bronze medallion bearing his likeness. Montana Governor Joseph Dixon gave the dedication address. Other notables present were 7th Cavalry Veterans—including General Godfrey and Custer’s Crow Scouts—along with the former mayor of Monroe, Michigan (Custer’s home town). While Hardin was eulogizing General Custer, Monroe dedicated a bronze of his military record for his equestrian statue on the same day. The dedication was a huge undertaking for the City of Hardin, which had been founded 14 years earlier. Adjacent Third Street was once part of the Custer Battlefield Highway which originated in Omaha, Nebraska and ended in Glacier National Park.
The major improvements needed at Custer Park are modernization of the playground equipment to meet current recreational equipment standards.
 Carla Colstad, former member, Hardin Centennial Committee; correspondence
Post by stevenonhudson on May 25, 2011 5:49:05 GMT -5
great question, Zekesgirl, and one that we still don't have an answer for. as soon as it stops raining in Hardin - assuming it does - I'm gonna call the Parks Dept and ask 'em about the monument, I imagine they've got more important things to worry about just now. but it does seem strange that the town and the various 'Custer' history groups would not have been promoting this as something for buffs to check out and pay respects to if still around. we know that Mrs. Custer never made it out there so other than her NY Times article we probably don't have another mention of it from EBC, such as what she thought of the likeness. -StevenS.
Post by stevenonhudson on Jun 8, 2011 6:31:24 GMT -5
Father Vince Heier confirms that the monument is still in the park in Hardin, that he has seen it many times and that it is well worth visiting, so, next time I'm in Hardin I'm definitely gonna go check it out. But I would still be interested in finding out whether Mrs. Custer had prior approval of the design and if she ever saw photos or drawings of the finished product and her reaction to it. if anyone knows...
Post by stevenonhudson on Jun 30, 2011 12:17:06 GMT -5
that would be great! at the last minute something came up and I wasn't able to make it out to Hardin this year so I would be much obliged to see a photo of the monument, if at all possible. thanks, LS. -StevenS.
Post by stevenonhudson on Jul 8, 2011 9:53:35 GMT -5
many thanks to Gerry and Karl - and Dale - for posting photos of the monument. I'm definitely gonna go see it for myself the next time I'm in Hardin. but this was the next best thing and you guys really came through!