DEDICATION OF MONUMENT TO GEORGE
Enthusiastic interest was manifest at the dedication
of the monument to George Rogers Clark August 8 on
the site of the battle of Piqua near Springfield, Ohio.
It was here on August 8, 1780, that George Rogers
Clark and his little army of Kentucky frontiersmen
vanquished the Shawnee Indians and burned their vil-
lage. This was a punitive expedition provoked by the
incursions of the Indians into the territory south of the
Ohio. Its purpose was completely successful and se-
cured peace to the white settlers south of the Ohio.
Together with his achievements at Kaskaskia and
Vincennes it confirmed the claim of the United States
to the territory northwest of the Ohio River when the
treaty with England was made at the conclusion of the
In honor of this achievement the county which in-
cludes this historic site was named after General Clark.
The site of the Indian village is historic for another
reason. It was here in 1768 that the famous Indian
chieftain Tecumseh was born. He was twelve years
old at the time of the battle. It is said that he never
forgot the fate of his people on this eventful day, the
smoke of their burning cabins and his flight into the
The program of the day opened with a street parade
in the city of Springfield. Companies of the 147th
Regiment of the Ohio National Guard, members of the
George Rogers Clark 493
Loyal Veterans organization, uniformed companies of
local fraternal orders, Boy Scouts and school children
marched by the flag-decked stand in front of Memorial
Hall where they were reviewed by Governor A. V.
Donahey and other distinguished guests.
John B. McGrew was grand marshal of the parade
which was in three divisions. Colonel Simon Ross of
the Ohio National Guard was assistant marshal.
The first division was led by the 147th Division
Band, with Merrill H. Mellott as commander. In this
division were the National Guard troops, Spanish-
American War Veterans, members of the Grand Army
of the Republic, American Legion members, local mem-
bers of the Reserve Officers Corps, the George Rogers
Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution
and the fraternal order of Red Men.
The second division was commanded by Charles J.
Gobel, and was composed of various local fraternal
In the third division commanded by Sherman Otstot
were the children from the local schools and playgrounds
marching to music furnished by the children's drum
corps of the K. of P. Home.
Later the distinguished guests were entertained at
luncheon at the Springfield Country Club by the local
committee in charge of the dedication which was headed
by A. D. Hosterman. A great concourse of people at
two o'clock assembled on the hill overlooking the valley
west of Springfield where the battle of Piqua was fought
in 1780. The program opened with music by the 147th
Regiment band of the Ohio National Guard. A
military salute was fired to Major General Omar Bundy
494 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications
of the United States Army, who had been designated
by President Coolidge as official representative of the
President of the United States Government, and to
Honorable A. V. Donahey, Governor of Ohio.
A flag was then raised, the ceremony directed by
General Omar Bundy, followed by flag salute and the
singing of the National anthem.
Prayer was offered by Rev. T. Wallace Gross. The
statue was unveiled by Honorable George Rogers Bal-
lard Thurston of Louisville, Kentucky, a direct descend-
ant from the youngest sister of General George Rogers
Dr. Benjamin F. Prince, President of the Clark
County Historical Society presented the statue to the
State of Ohio.
Following are brief excerpts from his scholarly
One hundred and forty years ago there was enacted here a
deed of more than ordinary character and significance, by the
brave and daring pioneers of Kentucky, then a county of Virginia.
In the spring of 1780 invasions were made into that region led by
the Shawnee Indians from their village here and other places in
Ohio. They were supported by Captain Bird, of the British
Army of Detroit, with a number of soldiers from that post. Two
stations were taken and about three hundred prisoners were car-
ried into captivity. Many of the children were cruelly murdered
by the savages. The hearts of the pioneers of Kentucky were
deeply stirred and a day of vengeance was longed for.
When this invasion of Kentucky occurred General George
Rogers Clark was at Vincennes. He heard of this foray and
hurried back to Kentucky. As commander of the Western Army
he at once issued an order for every man of military age to re-
port at the mouth of the Licking River. These hardy men came
from farms and stations to the number of about one thousand,
ready with Clark as leader to enter the forests for their north-
ward march. * * * Clark and his army approached the Indian
village in three divisions. * * * The battle lasted several hours
with a loss in killed of but twenty on each side. The Indians left
George Rogers Clark 495
Piqua as a dwelling place forever. For a short time they rested
on the site of the present city of Piqua and then located in the
region about Fort Wayne.
Here then the men of Kentucky not only warred but shed
their blood that this region as well as their own Kentucky might
resound with the arts of civilized life rather than the war cry of
a savage people.
Honorable James E. Campbell, former governor of
Ohio and President of the Ohio State Archaeological
and Historical Society, on behalf of the state accepted
the monument. In his remarks he recounted the
pioneer history of Ohio and praised the courage and
fortitude of the early settlers.
He said in part:
The few remarks I shall make are addressed to Governor
Donahey, the titular head of the State, to Mr. Eustice and the
two ladies who are descended from General Clark, to Mr. Alford,
the descendant of Tecumseh, and to all of you who, like myself,
are just simply American citizens.
It is very appropriate that this monument should be given by
the Historical Society of Clark County, through Dr. Prince, a
member of the board of trustees of the Ohio State Archaeological
and Historical Society, the oldest member in point of years, al-
though probably when he looks at me he would like to deny it,
the senior member in point of service and scholastic ability on the
board. Although he is a college president, the rest of us just
graduated from the little red school house. Perhaps you ought to
know something about this Society.
It is supported practically by the State, the members paying
in a little money. They elect nine members of the board of
trustees and the governor appoints six members. The governor
and the head of the educational department of the state are ex
officio members of the board. These seventeen members ad-
minister the affairs of the Society. It has a great building on the
campus of the Ohio State University. It is now building at an
expense of more than three hundred thousand dollars an addi-
tion to be known as the World War Memorial Wing, dedicated
to the soldiers living and dead of the World War, that will be
dedicated, we hope, on next Memorial Day, and it will be a
credit to the state and to our American citizenship.
I am impressed by the audience here gathered to see this
496 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications
unveiling today. We have not only the governor of the State of
Ohio; we have two United States Senators -- that is all we are
entitled to or they would all be here. We have the Secretary of
State, the Treasurer of State and the Auditor of State -- all five
of these gentlemen are well known Republican politicians. Now
I say that somewhat smoothly, being a Democrat myself, but I
will exonerate them from playing politics today. The Democrats
will come out when occasion demands, I will admit, but Fess and
Willis have their seats nailed down for a long term.
We have here Major General Bundy, commander in this
region of the United States Army, with headquarters at Fort
Hayes in Columbus, Ohio, whom you are to hear later. General
Bundy organized the second overseas division and commanded
it when the American troops started in at Chateau Thierry and
never stopped until they had the German army on the run across
We have here today four trustees of this Society which I
represent -- your fellow townsmen Dr. Prince and General Kei-
fer, hero of I don't know how many wars, but every war that
ever happened since he was born, and if he lives until the next
war he will be one of the heroes of that; also General Flor-
ence who was with our regiment in the Rainbow Division in
France, and General Orton. You will notice that we deal in
nothing less than generals. I am the only warrior on the board
who was not a general. I was in a war once, just a common
buck private, but they shot at me as readily as they did at these
big fellows with the shoulder straps. We have also on our
Board Dr. William O. Thompson, President of the Ohio State
University, the best educational institution in America.
In conclusion Governor Campbell said:
Dr. Prince said he thought I would accept this monument.
This reminds me of Allen O. Myers. Those of you who knew
him will remember that he was a great mimic. He used to go
around with me to political gatherings. I was running against
Foraker that time. I might tell you I was beaten twice, but then
you know a lot of good men who have been elected governor only
once. Isn't that so, Willis?
Senator Willis: "You bet."
The only difference is that the rest of us relapsed to our
native obscurity and Willis moved up into the United States
Senate, which shows you can't keep a good man down.
Well, Allen used to imitate Foraker's acceptance of his third
nomination. One is enough for some good men, but three is too
many for any man. It was said that Foraker would not accept
George Rogers Clark 497
the third nomination, but he was nominated and then Allen would
imitate his acceptance. He said that Foraker marched out and
said, "Gentlemen of the convention, I accept this nomination."
And gentlemen, I am equally ready to accept this monument on
behalf of our Society, for the Society of which I am President,
and I hope and believe it will stand forever as a memorial to a
great man, a great cause and a stimulus to American patriotism.
Mr. Charles Keck of New York City, sculptor of the
memorial statue of General Clark, was presented to the
audience as was also Mr. Thomas W. Alford of the
Shawnee Indian Agency, Shawnee, Oklahoma. Mr.
Alford is a lineal descendant of the noted Shawnee
chief, Tecumseh, who was born in the Indian village
of Piqua which was destroyed by George Rogers Clark
and his followers. Mr. Alford was sent to participate in
the unveiling ceremonies through the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C., and Honorable A.
W. Leech, Superintendent of the Indian Agency in
The chairman introduced Governor A. V. Donahey
who spoke in part as follows:
It is my privilege and honor as Governor of Ohio to welcome
and introduce to you the visiting dignitaries of other states, but
before I present them I desire to take a few minutes of your time.
A little more than a century and a quarter ago George Rogers
Clark crossed the Ohio River and wrested the Northwest Terri-
tory from the British. At that time this great territory was a
wilderness with only about two or three hundred white inhabi-
tants. I wish you to visualize in this century and a quarter what
has occurred in Ohio. Today we are six and a quarter millions
of people with a grand tax duplicate of eleven and one half bil-
lion dollars, twenty-two thousand corporations organized and
chartered to do business, ninety-five steam railroads intersecting
the state, with eighty-five thousand miles of highways, with ten
thousand school buildings in Ohio and employing thirty-five
thousand teachers, while twenty-five thousand Buckeye boys and
girls are attending our state-supported universities and colleges.
Vol. XXXIII -- 32.
498 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications
In addition we have ninety-eight hundred churches of all
denominations, and best of all, when a death takes place, vital
statistics record two births in Ohio. If as a people we will edu-
cate ourselves, and approve morality and patriotism, our country,
for which our forefathers fought, will increase blessings for all
the people for all time.
In a few well chosen words Governor Donahey then
presented the representatives of Virginia, Indiana,
Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota who were
present by the authority of the governors of these differ-
ent states and each of whom responded in a well timed
and appropriate address.
The Chairman then introduced the veteran soldier
and statesman, General J. Warren Keifer, ex-speaker
of the national House of Representatives and the hero
of two wars who delivered an eloquent historical ad-
dress. He pointed out the places of special historic
interest that could be seen from the elevated point on
which the monument stands -- the battleground over
which the Americans under Clark charged the Indians
and the site of the village which they burned and the
birthplace of Tecumseh. He dwelt especially upon the
significance of the results of this battle and its in-
fluence in strengthening the claim of the United States
to the Territory northwest of the Ohio River at the
conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Of Tecumseh
and Clark General Keifer said:
Tecumseh was in that battle and it was his first. He was born
here in 1768. He was twelve years old. Tecumseh became one
of the greatest Indian chieftains of this country. He never com-
pletely forgave the people of the United States for having dis-
possessed his people of their lands. He joined the English later
in the War of 1812, was made brigadier-general in the British
Army and was killed at the battle of the Thames in Canada.
Clark was a great soldier and entitled to be honored through
all the ages. * * * The time came when it was a question
George Rogers Clark 499
whether this territory northwest of the River Ohio should be
included with Canada and become British territory. History
tells us that the distinguished patriot, Benjamin Franklin, was
willing to concede that Great Britain held it by treaties with
the Indian tribes. But the new Republic claimed it had acquired
it by conquest, by the victory won by George Rogers Clark; and
it was finally decided that the territory northwest of the Ohio
River and south of the Great Lakes belonged to the United
Dr. W. O. Thompson, President of the Ohio State
University, was then introduced and delivered the prin-
cipal address of the occasion. It is published in full
elsewhere in this issue of the QUARTERLY.
Benediction was then pronounced by Dr. R. H.
Hume and the program closed with music by the 147th
Many distinguished guests were present including
a number of state officials, United States Senators,
Frank B. Willis and Simeon D. Fess, and officers of
the Ohio National Guard and the United States Army.
The program was interspersed with flights of United
States airplanes under charge of officers from Fort
Mr. A. D. Hosterman, chairman of the meeting,
presided with dignity and the entire program closed
without a break and on time. The occasion will long
be recalled with pleasure by those who were present.
The Historical Society of Clark County deserves great
credit for its economical application of the funds pro-
vided by the state in the erection of this historic monu-
ment which for generations to come will invite the at-
tention of the passer-by and tourist to the historic Mad
River Valley and the scenes enacted there in the long
ago when the American colonies were struggling to be
free and independent states.