Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, April 15, 1880
Having noticed in you columns from time to time the question "where shall the soldiers monument be erected?" I desire to present for consideration, one place not yet mentioned publicly, so far as I am aware, viz, the old Althaneum property, opposite the post office and this place has many decided advantages over any other I have yet heard mentioned.
It is directly on the line of two of the principle avenues of the city (Market and 16th street) and opposite the Custom House, this making it one of the most eligible public locations in the city.
By purchasing this property from Marker back to the alley, and from 16th South to the alley, one of the handsomest places in the city for the erection of a monument sacred to the many of our heroic dead would be secured, making it not only an ornament but likewise a credit to the trustees of the fund, the veterans and our people who revere the memory of our fallen heroes, who gave their lives that "a government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." By enclosing said property with a neat railing, and ornamenting it by planting a few evergreens and flowers and perhaps some spirited citizen might donate a neat little fountain to adorn the grounds; it would also be a PARK to the city, and I imagine, the nearest to one our city will have for at least a score of years to come. The idea of erecting a monument IN A STREET is abhorrent; it looks as though our people were so PENURIOUS that they would not spend a few dollars to set apart a small space sacred to the memory of our dead soldiers.
I am informed the soldier's monument will cost about $8,000, that the amount of funds in hands of trustees is about $11,000. My idea would be to apply the $3,000 over the cost of the monument to the purchase of the lots above mentioned, and by solicitation, concerts, or festivals the residue could be easily raised. I would earnestly call the attention of the veterans to this subject and ask them to see that a suitable location is selected, and not build it up in one of the streets simply because it would not cost anything for the ground. I have been informed the property would be purchased and from the well known public spirit of the owner, I doubt not but in purchasing for the aforesaid purpose, he would place it at the most reasonable rates and favorable terms. INTELLIGENCER, APRIL 14, 1881
On Tuesday the injunction sued out by Daniel Peck and R. J. Smythe, restraining the city from granting the Trustees of the Soldiers; Monument the privilege of erecting the monument at the intersection of Chapline and Fourteenth streets, was granted by Judge Cranmer. The case has been pending for some time, and now that it is settled the Trustees will immediately take steps to select another site that will not meet with the opposition or objections of any citizens. The ordinance passed by the City Council, April 1880, granting the trustees the privilege or erecting the monument at the place designated above appeared to some minds to be exceeding the powers of the city if confer such privilege, but those who held these views, in deference to the wishes of the veterans waived their objections to the site selected. Judge Cranmer's opinion to very pointed on the subject of the rights of the city. The court based its opinion on Section 45 of the Charter of the City, which provides as follows: "The Council shall have authority within said city to lay out and cause to be opened, any streets, walks, alleys, market grounds and public squares, or to extend or widen, the same first having obtained title to the ground necessary for that purpose, and to graduate any street, walk, alley, market ground or public square which is or shall be established within the said city; to cause them to be kept open and in good repair and generally to ordain and enforce such regulations respecting the same or any of them as shall be proper for the health, interest, or convenience of the inhabitants of said city."
The powers conferred upon municipalities must be construed with reference to the object of their creation namely: as agencies of the state in local government. Whenever a municipality shall attempt to exercise powers not within the proper province of local self government, whether the right to do so be claimed under express legislative grant, or by implication from the Charter, the act must be considered as altogether ULTRA VIRES, and therefore void.
So far as the Council's functions are legislative that body cannot refer the exercise of the power to the discretion and judgment of its subordinates or of any other authority. The Court held that these considerations that the ordinance passed permitting the erection of the monument at the intersection of Chapline and Fourteenth Streets was migatory and void, and from the law as well as from the evidence submitted it was the duty of the Court to grant the power of the bill and make the injunction heretofore granted perpetual.
A reporter called on Messrs. T. H. Logan and Samuel Laughlin, two of the trustees of the monument fund, yesterday afternoon, and inquired what would be done. Both were glad to hear that the case was finally settled so they could take measures towards selecting another site. Neither was in favor of putting the monument out of the city, but rather favored a spot where the monument could be seen by all. They thought, or rather it was their preference,, that the northwest corner of the Capitol Square would be selected. This seems to be the most desirable situation after all. In this place it can be better protected from injury and mutilation, as it would undoubtedly be subject to was it placed in any of the cemeteries on the hill near Mount Wood. The monument has been finished for nearly a year and is now ready for shipment. It is the purpose of the trustees to meet at an early day and make arrangements for the erection of the monument so it can be dedicated on June 30, Decoration---- a very appropriate time.
WHEELING DAILY INTELLIGENCER, JULY 8, 1881
The laboring force employed in getting up the Soldier's Monument was busy yesterday in removing the top layer of dressed stones surmounting the foundation. The mortar on which they had been placed had exhabitat a granulated and soft edge, which had been unfavorably commented on by a large number of people, some of whom took the trouble to gouge out pieces with their knives, lead pencils, etc. These rumors and performances reached the ears of the commissioner, and they decided to have the stones dressed so as to set nearly flat on the foundation.A reporter saw Mr. Laughlin with reference to the matter, and he seemed somewhat indignant what the work was not allowed to proceed under the competent mechanics who have been engaged for its first class performance. The mortar used, he explained, was to have been supplanted with leady, the lead being driven in the slugs. He thought the New England Granite Company was sufficiently competent to put up the monument safely and substantially, and intimated that many of the critics who were making remarks had not examined the work or knew enough about it to criticise it at this early day. Mr. Laughlin did not know how soon the monument would be erected, but said the work would be pushed forward as fast as circumstances permitted. The reporter imagined that the circumstances might allude to outside interference with the present plans.
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