Wetzel County has the only "living" war memorial erected in memory of this county's servicemen who gave their lives in the service of their country. The war memorial, located in New Martinsville, is one of two memorials approved by the act of the legislature. The other is located at Williamson.
Unlike the state sanctioned "monument" at Williamson, the monument erected by the citizens of Wetzel County is a spacious building that has served as a "living" reminder to the memory of the country's servicemen who have died in the defense of their country.
The Wetzel County War Memorial was proposed by the New Martinsville Kiwanis Club in June, 1927 and immediately the American Legion, Marne Post No 28,of New Martinsville took up the challenge, and on August 9, 1927 requested the Wetzel County Court "to assist in the erection of a memorial in memory of those who in the World War and other wars laid down their lives for their country." The American Legion presented petitions to the county court bearing names of hundreds of Wetzel County residents asking for the memorial. The request was granted and the court included in its estimate a levy of five cents on each $100 valuation of taxable property in the county. The levy raised approximately $18,000.
The American Legion had also asked the city of New Martinsville to lay a special levy for the memorial, but instead the city contributed $1,000 to the fund. The American Legion pledged $1,000 plus additional funds to be raised by popular subscription. The $1,000 pledged by the American Legion came from ex-servicemen from throughout the county. Other funds were contributed through the efforts of county, civic and fraternal groups. The Legion's final contribution was approximately $12,000.
The building has a room dedicated to World War I veterans who served and to those who gave their life. Following World War II, a huge honor roll was placed in the ballroom noting those who served and died in World War II.
This memorial was dedicated in 1920 in honor of the citizens of Pavilion who served in the World War 1914 - 1918. The inscription reads:
The Town of Pavilion
in honor of
its citizens who served
in the World War
*John D. Arnett
+Mary E. Fagan
Ray E. McWethy · George Patridge ·
Carl Curry · Leo Aldridge ·
Robert J. Graham · Joseph Snider ·
Morgan Miller · Lee Connor ·
James M. Hudson · Adelbert Mix ·
George Murray · Elmer McDowell ·
Leo F. Gaugel · Clarence McDowell ·
Hugh Campbell · Harold Peterson ·
John Campbell · Fred Rose ·
Chauncey Connor · W. Clifford Hutchinson ·
Joseph Barnasse · Joyce Morce ·
Edison Phillips · Harold Clemens ·
McKinley Phillips · Walter Clemens ·
Maurice Fagan · Charles Canaway ·
Frank Fagan · Earl Kenna ·
John Burton · Thomas Burns ·
Glenn Van Duser · Frank Sandles ·
Charles Lupperger · Russell Lobaugh
*Killedin action in France
+Red Cross nurse served in France
Patterson was still a quiet country town at the beginning of the First World War. Although the State had begun to assume responsibility for the major roads through the area, three-way intersections like this one, more typical of wide turning horse-drawn wagons than automobiles, with triangular islands in the middle were still common. There was electric power in town and some people had telephones, but in many ways Patterson was a typical American small town, isolated from the outside world and especially from the passions and politics of Europe.
It is difficult for us to imagine the impact which the experience of the First World War had on the lives of the men whose names are listed on the south face of this monument and on the lives of their friends and families. Many had left home for the first time to fight in the largest conflict the world had yet seen. Three of them did not return. This monument was erected to all who served and it continues to be the focus of parades and Memorial Day ceremonies to this day.
The American Legion was formed in Paris in 1919 immediately after the end of the war. They adopted a constitution at their convention in St. Louis the same year which stated, among other things, that part of the Legion’s purpose was to “consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.” It is largely through the volunteer efforts of individual members of the Patterson Post of the Legion that this monument and the ground around it has been maintained.
This memorial consists of an artillery piece and was erected by the James P. Clark Post No. 204 of the American Legion. The inscription reads:
In honor of our
in the World War
1917 - 1918