St. Albans WWI Monument

St. Albans WWI Monumentloupe
Saint Albans City

The project to erect a Viquesney Spirit of the American Doughboy monument in Taylor Park in St. Albans began in late 1922 or early 1923. Various committees worked to raise funds under the overall direction of former Vermont Governor E. C. Smith. The executive committee was comprised of Fuller C. Smith, chairman; N. N. Atwood, treasurer; Harry Walker, Secretary; Steven S. Cushing; W. H. Finn; J. J. Thompson; E. R; Thibault; G. R. White; and George Grossman. American Legion Green Mountain Post No. 1, under Post Commander Donald L. McCrary, provided enthusiastic support. Most religious, fraternal, civic and social organizations were also involved.


The estimated cost was $5,000. A drive to raise the funds began in July 1923 and a committee of 100 volunteers promised to call upon every one of the 2,200 households to request donations, hoping that the $5,000 could be raised in a single day, August 14. The St. Albans Messenger had almost daily articles for two weeks in advance and letters were addressed to every household to alert the residents. The committee promised to place the names of the solicitors and every donor on a list to be deposited in the base of the monument. (Presumably, this was done.) The drive was a success and most of the required funds were raised on the appointed day.


The Doughboy monument, on a ten-foot pedestal of Barre granite, was dedicated at 3:00 p. m. on November 11, 1923, in a ceremony preceded by a parade organized by WWI veteran, Captain C. E. Pell, Grand Marshall. The parade was lead by the St. Albans Brigade band, which was followed by state and local officials, community organization members, survivors of past wars, and contributing sponsors.


Major S. S. Watson, senior St. Albans WWI military officer, was in charge of the dedication ceremony. An invocation by the Legion Post Chaplain, Stanley C. Cummings, was followed by an unveiling by J. G. Moore, a Civil War veteran and Commander of the A. R. Hurlbut Post, Grand Army of the Republic. The bronze plaque on the side of the monument was also uncovered.

Following the unveiling, the St. Albans Glee Club sang "The Soldiers Farewell." Charles E. Barber, Commander of the American Legion Department of Vermont then spoke. He was followed by Mayor F. A. Collins, who accepted the monument on behalf of the city. Congressman John Q Tilson of Massachusetts, a member of the U. S. House of Representatives Military Affairs Committee and a veteran of the Spanish-American War on the Mexican Border Campaign, delivered the main address of the day. The ceremony closed with a benediction by Chaplain Cummings followed by a rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" by the St. Albans Brigade Band.

Each year, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Green Mountain American Legion Post No. 1 holds a ceremony at the Taylor Park site of the Doughboy.