I have been doing veterans video interviews in cooperation with the library for the Veterans History Project.
The Veterans History Project is a program of the Library of Congress. The program was created with the unanimous support of the United State Congress in 2000, and the main objective is to record the narratives of everyone involved in war efforts — veterans, war industry workers, USO workers, medical volunteers and others.
Hancock County has always been a patriotic county, and I have seen veterans form World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East. Dick Jefford was one of the veterans I interviewed.
Did you know at one time there were cannons in front of the Memorial Building in Greenfield? They were trophies from World War I that were removed Oct. 16, 1942, and used for scrap to be molded for weapons.
One cannon was an Austrian howitzer, and the other was a small German field piece. They were brought to the Memorial Building by American Legion No. 119 from New York City. If you go to the front of the Memorial Building in the lawn, you can see the small concrete pads on which the cannon rested.
The Memorial Building itself is dedicated to World War I veterans. Go inside and see the plaque. It is built on the northwest corner of North and East streets.
It was dedicated Sept. 30, 1923. It is a Hancock County building.
Originally, the second floor was devoted to the use of the American Legion and Auxiliary. The ground floor was to be used for agricultural lectures and other community activities.
Taylor Monford, a Civil War soldier and member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), laid the cornerstone. There was a chicken hatchery at the site before the Memorial Building.
Recently, the Indiana National Road Association conducted a workshop on tax credits for those rehabbing old buildings in historic districts.
About 20 people from the downtown area attended. The location was Bob Hunt’s Masonic Building on the corner of Main and State.
Did you know that was known as the Walker Block at one time? I had the opportunity to give a presentation on the National Road, and that is one of my favorite topics to research.
At the location of the Masonic Building once stood a large hotel and livery stable, which was consumed in fire. The fires were in 1839 and 1857, both on the north side of the street.
Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.
Write to historian Joe Skvarenina at firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of the Daily Reporter, 22 W. New Road, Greenfield, IN 46140.