contact our Junior Vice Department Commander
2649 182nd St
Greetings from the Deptartment of Iowa's Junior Vice Commander. I would like to extend a welcome to those of you who wish to join our Order, or those who merely seek information. My job is to assist you in finding a Camp to join. Merely contact a member of the Camp you wish to join, or contact me and I'll get you set up. If there is no Camp nearby, you may wish to start a new camp with as few as FIVE members. You do not have to have a Civil War ancestor to join a Camp. We will do all we can to assist you. I look forward to hearing from you.
"The Grand Army of the Republic is a unique organization. No child can be born into it. No proclamation of President, edict of King or Czar can command admission. No university or institution of learning can issue a diploma authorizing its holder to entrance. No act of Parliament or Congress secures recognition. The wealth of a Vanderbilt cannot purchase position. Its doors open only on the presentation of a bit of parchment, worn, torn, and begrimed as it may be, which certifies to an honorable discharge from the armies or navies of the Nation during the war against the rebellion, and, unlike any other organization, no new blood can come in. There are no growing ranks from which recruits can be drawn into the Grand Army of the Republic. With the consummation of peace through victory its ranks were closed forever; its lines are steadily growing thinner, and the ceaseless tramp of its columns is with ever-lessening tread. The gaps in the picket lines grow wider every day. Details are made for the reserve summoned into the shadowy regions until by and by only a solitary sentinel will stand guard, waiting until the bugle call from beyond shall muster out the
last Comrade of the Grand Army. "
DEED OF CONVEYANCE
THE INDENTURE made this 13th day of February, 1954 by and between the GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, a Corporation organized by an act of the Congress of the United States approved June 3, 1924, by Albert Woolson, sole surviving member of said Grand Army of the Republic, and the COMMANDERY-IN-CHIEF, SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR, a Corporation organized and existing under and pursuant to the laws of the State of Illinois;
WHEREAS, because of the age and infirmity of the last surviving member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and being desirous of carrying out the objects and purposes for which said Grand Army of the republic was organized and believing that the Sons of Union Veterans is the natural heir of the Grand Army of the Republic;
THEREFORE, pursuant to the provisions of Sections six and seven of said act incorporating the Grand Army of the Republic, I, ALBERT WOOLSON, as sole surviving member thereof do hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey to said Commander[y]-in-Chief, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War all property of any and every kind and nature owned by said Grand Army of the Republic, and wheresoever situate, and all the records and archives thereof; except such property and records as are specifically mentioned and described in a resolution adopted by the Grand Army of the Republic at its 83rd and final Encampment held at Indianapolis, Indiana August 28th to September 1st, 1949.
The meaning and intent of this conveyance is to convey to said Commandery-in-Chief, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, all post and department records of the Grand Army of the Republic and it is my express wish and desire that said Grantee shall use its best endeavors to return said records to the Communities where Grand Army posts were located, so far as possible, for the use and benefit of the Communities where such posts were located.
This conveyance shall become effective upon compliance with Section seven of the said act incorporating the Grand Army of the Republic.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, the said Albert Woolson, as sole surviving member of the Grand Army of the Republic have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal at the City of Duluth in the County of St. Louis and State of Minnesota the day and year first above written.
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
By: /s/ Albert Woolson (seal)
The Deed of Conveyance conveyed the records and property to the Commandery-in-Chief -- the National Organization. Therefore, no Camp or Department has any claim to any of the records and property without the express approval of the National Organization. Camps and Departments are subordinate organizations which hold all property and funds in trust for the National Organization.
Stated in other words, Camps and Departments have no primary claim to any Grand Army of the Republic property or records and only have secondary claims based upon the explicit delegation of the claim by the National Organization.
Iowa Code 37A.1 Veterans commemorative property — penalty.
1. For purposes of this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
a. “Department” means the Iowa department of veterans affairs.
b. “Veteran” means a deceased person who served in the armed forces of the United States during a war in which the United States was engaged or served full-time in active duty in a force of an organized state militia, excluding service in the national guard when in an inactive status.
c. “Veterans commemorative property” means any memorial as defined in section 523I.102, including a headstone, plaque, statue, urn, decoration, flag holder, badge, shield, item of memorabilia, or other embellishment, that identifies or commemorates any veteran or group of veterans, including any veterans organization or any military unit, company, battalion, or division.
d. “Veterans organization” means the Grand Army of the Republic, SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, United Spanish War Veterans, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, Inc., the Catholic War Veterans, Inc., American Legion, American Veterans of World War II, Italian American War Veterans of the United States, Inc., or other corporation or association of veterans.
2. A person who owns or controls property where any veterans commemorative property has been placed shall not sell, trade, or transfer any part of such veterans commemorative property unless the department authorizes the person to do so. The department may authorize the sale, trade, or transfer based upon the following criteria:
a. The veterans commemorative property is at reasonable risk of physically deteriorating so that it will become unrecognizable as identifying or commemorating the veteran or group of veterans originally identified or commemorated.
b. The veterans commemorative property is proposed to be sold, traded, or transferred to a suitable person that will preserve the current condition of the veterans commemorative property and place it in a suitable place that will commemorate the veteran or group of veterans.
c. The person needs to sell, trade, or transfer the veterans commemorative property to ensure that sufficient funds are available to suitably maintain the cemetery where the veterans commemorative property is placed, and the specific lot, plot, grave, burial place, niche, crypt, or other place of interment of such veteran or group of veterans.
d. The veterans commemorative property that is to be sold, traded, or transferred will be replaced at its original site by a fitting replacement commemorative property, monument, or marker that appropriately identifies and commemorates the veteran or group of veterans.
e. If the person reasonably believes that the veterans commemorative property to be sold, traded, or transferred was donated by a veterans organization, the veterans organization consents to the sale, trade, or transfer of the veterans commemorative property.
f. If the person is not the owner of the veterans commemorative property that is to be sold, traded, or transferred, the person is authorized by the owner of such veterans commemorative property, or by operation of law other than this section, to sell, trade, or transfer the veterans commemorative property and to retain and use the proceeds of the sale, trade, or transfer.
3. A person who engages in the sale, trade, or transfer of veterans commemorative property without the authorization of the department pursuant to this section is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
4. The department may adopt rules in accordance with chapter 17A to administer this chapter.
2006 Acts, ch 1107, §2; 2008 Acts, ch 1067, §1
DEPARTMENT OF IOWA
An organization of veterans was effected in Davenport, in the fall of 1865, under the title of the “Old Soldiers’ Association of Scott County, Iowa.” Brevet Brigadier-General Addison H. Sanders, Lieutenant Colonel 16th Iowa Infantry, was President, and Captain N. N.Tyner, now of Fargo, Dakota, Secretary. The Association was merged into the Grand Army of the Republic as Post No.‘ 1, Davenport, Department of Iowa. Early in July, 1866, General Sanders visited Dr. Stephenson at Springfield, Illinois, was then instructed in the work, provided with copies of the Ritual and Constitution, and authorized to organize Posts. A charter was issued, dated July 12, 1866, signed B. F. Stephenson, Commanding Department of Illinois, and Robert M. Woods, Adjutant General, to General Add. H. Sanders, Colonel Robert M. Littler, General J. B. Leake, Lieutenant O. S. McNeil, Captain N. N. Tyner, Lieutenant-Colonel T. J. Saunders, A. P. Alexander, Captain A. T. Andreas, Captain John G. Cavendish and J. W. Moore. A meeting was held in Davenport, July 24, 1866, to organize Post No. 1, and at the same time the Provisional Department was formed with General Sanders as Commander; N. N. Tyner, Adjutant-General; Rufus L. Blair, Assistant Adjutant-General, and A. T. Andreas, Quartermaster-General. A circular was at once mailed to all parts of the State, stating that such an organization of old soldiers had been formed, that, “like a prairie-fire, it has run over certain States in the Northwest, and now this fire is being kindled in Iowa.” On September 15, 1866, a sufficient number of Posts having been organized for the purpose, General Sanders issued General Orders No. 2, calling a special meeting of the Department, on September 26, at Davenport, to organize a permanent Department. Delegates were present from Post 1, Davenport; Post 3, Iowa City; Post 5, Clinton; Post 6, Lyons; Post 7, Dubuque ; Post 9, Wilson ; Post 14, Muscatine ; Post 16, Grinnell ; Post 19, Des Moines; Post 21, Floyd; Post 26, Boonsboro’; Post 28, Comanche ; Post 43, Sabula; Post 45, Bellevue. At the second Encampment, held at Davenport, April 10, 1867, the Adjutant-General reported ninety-five Posts organized, but at the next Encampment, January 8, 1868, only eight Posts were represented out of 130 then chartered. In 1870, the aggregate strength of the Department was reported as “not to exceed 500 members.” By General Orders from National Headquarters, dated February 5, 1871, the Posts in Iowa were instructed to report direct; and the Department organization was dissolved. Post No. 1, at Davenport, alone of all the Posts in Iowa, held its charter, though not meeting regularly, elected its Officers each term and attended to the duties of Memorial Day.
Early in 1872 an effort was made from National Headquarters to re-establish the Order in Iowa. J. N. Coldron, Iowa City, was appointed Provisional Commander; E. G. Fracker, Assistant Adjutant-General. Torrence Post No. 2, was organized at Keokuk, April 18, 1872, with sixteen charter members. Joseph E. Griflith, of this Post, was appointed Senior Vice-Department Commander, and represented the Department in the Sixth National Encampment. Commander Coldron was, on February 16th, 1874, relieved at his own request, and General J. C. Parrott, of Keokuk, one of the best known veterans in the State, was appointed to the vacancy, with L. S. Tyler, Post 2, Keokuk, Assistant Adjutant-General, and W. B. Collins, of the same Post, as Assistant Quartermaster-General, who was later succeeded by L. W. Huston. Other changes were made in the Provisional Staff : J. C. Stone, Post 5, Burlington, was appointed Senior Vice-Department Commander, and Chas. Werner, Post 1, Davenport, Junior Vice-Commander. Council of Administration—A. G. McQueen, Post 2; \V. H. Rockford, Post 1; A. A. Perkins, Post 5; Frank Kyte, Post 132 ; J. E. Johnson, Post 2. Though only three Posts—1, 2 and 5—had reported for the quarter ending December 31, 1874, the Provisional Department was called to meet at Keokuk, January 311875. The oflicers made formal reports, and the few but earnest members present determined to maintain the organization. While they thus kept up all the forms of organization, not much progress had been made when the next Encampment was held at Keokuk, January 12, 1876. Commander Parrott tendered his resignation, stating that a younger man and one with more leisure than himself should be appointed, and that he had recommended to Commander-in-Chief Hartranft, as his successor, Comrade J. C. Stone, of Post 5, Burlington, who was then appointed, with A. A. Perkins, Post 5, Assistant Adjutant-General, and Ed.. L. Hobart, Assistant Quartermaster-General. In September, 1876, Commander Stone resigned, and was succeeded by Comrade A. A. Perkins, with Comrade L. S. Tyler, Keokuk, as Senior Vice Commander; \V. T. Virgin, Burlington, as Junior Vice-Commander; Robt. Spencer, Assistant Adjutant-General, and Thos. R. Acres, Assistant Quartermaster-General, the latter being later relieved by W. H. Perkins, Post 5. In October of this ‘year, Senior Vice-Commander-in-Chief J. S. Reynolds visited several places in the central part of the State and reported an encouraging outlook for the formation of Posts. Provisional Commander Perkins entered earnestly into the work of organization. He convened the Department at Burlington, January 12, 1877, when the officers .above named were re-elected or re-appointed, with the addition of Comrades “7m. Horner, Thos. J.- Hedges and H. G. Rising as a Council of Administration. Comrade W. H. Perkins afterwards resigned as Assistant Quartermaster-General, and was succeeded by J. L. Kelly, Post 5 Burlington. Another meeting of the Provisional Department was held in Burlington, January 19, 1878. H. E. Griswold, of Post 6, Atlantic, was elected Senior Vice-Commander, and Comrades Wm. Horner, Thos. J. Hedges, Wm. Hummell, Ed. L. Hobart, of Post 5, and J. M. Haver, Post 6, Council of Administration, Comrade Perkins still serving as Commander. Comrade Griswold soon after organized Posts at Marne, Bedford and Clarinda, and when a sufficient number of Posts had been thus organized, the Encampment was convened at Des Moines, January 23, 1879, to form a permanent Department. A semi-annual Encampment was held at Des Moines, September 2, 1879, when an address was delivered by General John A. Logan. Comrade J. K. Powers, Assistant Adjutant-General, was delegated to meet General Grant at San Francisco on his return from his trip around the world, and tender him a Grand Army escort through Iowa on his way east. General Grant reached Council Bluffs November 3d, was met by Department Commander Griswold and staff, with other members of the Grand Army of the Republic, and by Governor Gear and citizens of the State, and by them was escorted to Burlington. Eleven Posts were organized during this year, and thereafter the Department gained rapidly in Posts and members, each year showing a decided increase over the year previous.
"History of the Grand Army of the Republic"
Robert B. Beath
* died in office
Davenport Fall 1865 “Old Soldiers’ Association of Scott County” Addison H. Sanders
Davenport July 24, 1866 “Old Soldiers’ Association of Scott County” became
Post No 1, Department of Iowa, G.A.R. Addison H. Sanders Provisional Commander
Davenport September 26, 1866 Joseph B. Leake Commander Sep 1866 – Apr 1867
Davenport April 10, 1867 William T. Shaw Commander Apr 1867 – Jan 1868
Davenport January 8, 1868 James A. Williamson Commander Jan 1868 – Aug 1869
Davenport Aug 4, 1869 Elliott W. Rice Commander Aug 1869 - February 5, 1871
Iowa City Feb 1872 John N. Coldren Provisional Commander Feb 1872 – Feb 1874
February 1874 James C. Parrott Provisional Commander Feb 1874 – Jan 1875
Posts: 3 Membership: 62
1st Keokuk January 31, 1875 James C. Parrott Provisional Commander Jan 1875 – Jan 1876
Posts: 2 Membership: 92
2nd Keokuk January 12, 1876 Joseph C. Stone Provisional Commander Jan 1876-resigned Sep 1876
Posts: 1 Membership: 75
Albert A. Perkins Provisional Commander Sep 1876 – Jan 1877
3rd Burlington Jan 12, 1877 Albert A. Perkins Provisional Commander Jan 1877 – Jan 1878
Posts: 2 Membership: 61
4th Burlington Jan 19, 1878 Albert A. Perkins Provisional Commander Jan 1878 – Jan 1879
Posts: 6 Membership: 119
5th Des Moines January 23, 1879 Hurlbut E. Griswold Commander Jan 1879 – Feb 1880
Posts: 13 Membership: 435
6th Des Moines Feb 4, 1880 William F. Conrad Commander Feb 1880 – Jan 1881
Posts: 12 Membership: 540
7th Des Moines Jan 27, 1881 Peter V. Carey Commander Jan 1881 – Feb 1882
Posts: 34 Membership: 1,549
8th Des Moines Feb 23, 1882 George B. Hogin Commander Feb 1882 – Apr 1883
Posts: 91 Membership: 3,818
9th Des Moines Apr 4, 1883 John B. Cooke Commander Apr 1883 – Apr 1884
Posts: 237 Membership: 11,001
10th Marshalltown Apr 23, 1884 Edward G. Miller Commander Apr 1884 – Apr 1885
Posts: 300 Membership: 16,506
11th Davenport Apr 22, 1885 William G. Manning Commander Apr 1885 – Apr 1886
Posts: 414 Membership: 17,371
12th Sioux City Apr 7, 1886 William A. McHenry Commander Apr 1886 – Apr 1887
Posts: 391 Membership: 16,861
13th Dubuque Apr 20-21, 1887 James M. Tuttle Commander Apr 1887 – Apr 1888
Posts: 395 Membership: 17,646
14th Cedar Rapids Apr 11-12, 1888 Eugene A. Consigny Commander Apr 1888 – Apr 1889
Posts: 401 Membership: 18,384
15th Burlington Apr 10-11, 1889 Charles H. Smith Commander Apr 1889 – Apr 1890
Posts: 424 Membership: 20,236
16th Des Moines Apr 8-9, 1890 Mason P. Mills Commander Apr 1890 – Apr 1891
Posts: 435 Membership: 20, 324
17th Dubuque Apr 15-16, 1891 Charles L. Davidson Commander Apr 1891 – May 1892
Posts: 439 Membership: 19,904
18th Ottumwa May 11-12, 1892 John J. Steadman Commander May 1892 – Apr 1893
Posts: 447 Membership: 19,078
19th Keokuk Apr 26-27, 1893 Philip Schaller Commander Apr 1893 – Jun 1894
Posts: 427 Membership: 17,658
20th Council Bluffs Jun 1894 George A. Newman Commander Jun 1894 – May 1895
Posts: 439 Membership: 18,061
21st Clinton May 7-9, 1895 James K. P. Thompson Commander May 1895 – Apr 1896
Posts: 437 Membership: 16,386
22nd Cedar Rapids Apr 28-30, 1896 Josiah Given Commander Apr 1896 – Jun 1897
Posts: 434 Membership: 15,561
23rd Marshalltown Jun 1897 Amos H. Evans Commander Jun 1897 – Jun 1898
Posts: 434 Membership: 15,059
24th Sioux City Jun 15-16, 1898 Rodney W. Tirrill Commander Jun 1898 – Jun 1899
Posts: 437 Membership: 15,171
25th Waterloo Jun 14-15, 1899 Charles F. Bailey Commander Jun 1899 - Jun 1900
Posts: 434 Membership: 14,718
26th Davenport Jun 12-14, 1900 Madison B. Davis Commander Jun 1900 - Jun 1901
Posts: 393 Membership: 12,952
27th Dubuque Jun 1901 George Metzger Commander Jun 1901 - May 1902
Posts: 384 Membership: 12,653
28th Des Moines May 21-23, 1902 John Lindt Commander May 1902 - May 1903
Posts: 383 Membership: 12,579
29th Cedar Rapids May 19-21, 1903 Levi B. Raymond Commander May 1903 - Jun 1904
Posts: 372 Membership: 12,208
30th Mason City Jun 7-9, 1904 Robert T. St. John Commander Jun 1904 - May 1905
Posts: 368 Membership: 11,728
31st Oskaloosa May 16-18, 1905 Samuel H. Harper Commander May 1905 - Jun 1906
Posts: 356 Membership: 11,412
32nd Boone Jun 5-7, 1906 Charles A. Clark Commander Jun 1906 - Jun 1907
Posts: 356 Membership: 11,221
Charles Clark M.O.H.
33rd Dubuque Jun 11-14, 1907 David J. Palmer Commander Jun 1907 - Jun 1908
Posts: 346 Membership: 10,984
David Palmer CinC
34th Cedar Rapids Jun 9-12, 1908 James C. Milliman Commander Jun 1908 - Jun 1909
Posts: 342 Membership: 10,729
35th Ft. Dodge Jun 8-10, 1909 Michael McDonald Commander Jun 1909 - Jun 1910
Posts: 344 Membership: 10,775
36th Des Moines Jun 8-10, 1910 Henry A. Dyer Commander Jun 1910 - Jun 1911
Posts: 328 Membership: 8,514
37th Muscatine Jun 13-15, 1911 Lot Abraham Commander Jun 1911 - Jun 1912
Posts: 337 Membership: 9,286
38th Mason City Jun 11-13, 1912 John D. Brown Commander Jun 1912 - Jun 1913
Posts: 330 Membership: 9,067
39th Des Moines Jun 1913 James W. Willett Commander Jun 1913 - Jun 1914
Posts: 328 Membership: 8514
James Willett CinC
40th Burlington Jun 16-19, 1914 Byron C. Ward Commander Jun 1914 - Jun 1915
Posts: 322 Membership: 8,207
41st Sioux City Jun 8-10, 1915 John F. Merry Commander Jun 1915 - Jun 1916
Posts: 311 Membership: 7,903
42nd Marshalltown Jun 20-22, 1916 John H. Mills Commander Jun 1916 - Jun 1917
Posts: 303 Membership: 7,120
43rd Davenport Jun 19-21, 1917 James L. Farrington Commander Jun 1917 - Jun 1918
Posts: 288 Membership: 6,513
44th Des Moines Jun 10-12, 1918 Elmer J. C. Bealer Commander Jun 1918 -1919
Posts: 281 Membership: 6,201
45th Cedar Rapids Jun 1919 Alexander G. Beatty Commander Jun 1919 - Jun 1920
Posts: 265 Membership: 5,977
46th Ottumwa Jun 1920 Rufus L. Chase Commander Jun 1920 - Jun 1921
Posts: 254 Membership: 4,930
47th Waterloo Jun 7-9, 1921 James B. Harsh Commander Jun 1921 - Jun 1922
Posts: 236 Membership: 4,433
48th Iowa City Jun 1922 Leonard J. Kron Commander Jun 1922 - Jun 1923
Posts: 220 Membership: 3,994
49th Ft. Dodge Jun 5-7, 1923 William W. Gist Commander Jun 6, 1923 - Jun 8, 1923
Posts: 220 Membership: 3,539
Wilbert S. Freeman Commander Jun 8, 1923 - Jun 1924
50th Marshalltown Jun 10-12, 1924 William H. Needham Commander Jun 1924 - Oct 15, 1924
Posts: 220 Membership: 3,450
Daniel B. Cowles Commander Oct 15, 1924 - May 14, 1925
Orlando S. Hartman Commander May 14, 1925 - Jun 1925
51st Mason City Jun 1925 Frank Dagle Commander Jun 1925 - Jun 1926
Posts: 200 Membership: 2,954
52nd Keokuk Jun 8–10, 1926 Eliphalet J. Stonebraker Commander Jun 1926 - Jun 1927
Posts: 202 Membership: 2,631
53rd Newton Jun 21-23, 1927 Oley Nelson Commander Jun 1927 – Jun 1928
Posts: 188 Membership 2,168
Oley Nelson CinC
54th Cedar Rapids Jun 5-7, 1928 John W. Stratton Commander Jun 1928 - Jun 1929
Posts: 167 Membership: 1,770
55th Ft. Dodge Jun 11-13, 1929 John K. Ewing Commander Jun 1929 - Apr 30, 1930
Posts: 142 Membership: 1,389
Joseph Pratt Commander Apr 30, 1930 - Jun 1930
56th Ottumwa Jun 10-12, 1930 Watson S. Risden Commander Jun 1930 - Jun 1931
Posts: 114 Membership: 1,102
57th Marshalltown Jun 8-11, 1931 John T. Lucas Commander Jun 1931 - Jun 1932
Posts: 107 Membership: 884
58th Council Bluffs Jun 6-9, 1932 Thomas J. Noll Commander Jun 1932 - Jun 1933
Posts: 69 Membership: 652
59th Ft. Madison Jun 12-15, 1933 Frank L. Quade Commander Jun 1933 - Jun 1934
Posts: 71 Membership: 492
60th Des Moines Jun 11-13, 1934 Louis J. Leech Commander Jun 1934 - Jun 1935
Posts: 70 Membership: 402
61st Waterloo Jun 9-12, 1935 Horace B. Kelly Commander Jun 1935 - Aug 2, 1935
Posts: 49 Membership: 271
Jonathan C. Hanes Commander Aug 2, 1935 - Jun 1936
62nd Des Moines Jun 7-11, 1936 John P. Risley Commander Jun 1936 - Jun 1937
Posts: 28 Membership: 179
63rd Davenport Jun 20-24, 1937 John P. Risley Commander Jun 1937 - Mar 27, 1938
Posts: 18 Membership: 129
Michael J. Hawk Commander Mar 27, 1938 - Jun 1938
64th Sioux City Jun 5-8, 1938 Michael J. Hawk Commander Jun 1938 - Jun 1939
Posts: 16 Membership: 73
65th Iowa City Jun 18-21, 1939 James W. Willett Commander 1939 - May 13, 1940
Posts: 10 Membership: 67
Jacob J. Neuman Commander May 13, 1940 - Jun 1940
66th Des Moines Jun 9-12, 1940 Jacob J. Neuman Commander Jun 1940 - Jun 1941
Posts: 10 Membership: 110
67th Des Moines Jun 8-11, 1941 Elliott P. Taylor Commander Jun 1941 - Jun 1942
Posts: 4 Membership: 71
68th Des Moines Jun 7-10, 1942 John M. Gudgel Commander Jun 1942 - Jun 1943
Posts: 2 Membership: 47
69th Davenport Jun 6–9, 1943 Thomas J. Noll Commander Jun 1943 - Aug 31, 1943
Posts: 2 Membership: 28
David Sisk Commander Sep 1, 1943- Jun 1944
70th Ft. Dodge Jun 4-7, 1944 John M. Gudgel Commander Jun 1944 - Jun 1945
Posts: 1 Membership: 17
71st Des Moines Jun 7-8, 1945 John M. Gudgel Commander Jun 1945 - Jun 1946
Posts: 0 Membership: 13
72nd Cedar Rapids Jun 7-10, 1946 John M. Gudgel Commander 1946 - Mar 22, 1947
Posts: 0 Membership: 5
James P. Martin Commander Apr 3, 1947 – Jun 1947
73rd Des Moines Jun 15-17, 1947 James P. Martin Commander Jun 1947 - Jun 1948
Posts: 0 Membership: 3
74th Mason City Jun 7-10, 1948 James P. Martin Commander Jun 1948 - Jun 1949
Posts: 0 Membership: 2
75th Cedar Rapids Jun 5-8, 1949 James P. Martin Commander 1949 - September 20, 1949
Posts: 0 Membership: 1
Commander Martin was ill and unable to attend, Department Secretary Amy Noll presided.
In 1935, the Forty-sixth General Assembly of Iowa made an appropriation to the
Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic to defray the expense of publishing a book of history which should include portraits and biographical sketches of the men who have
served as Commanders of the Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic along with
a brief history of the Iowa Department.
This book was published by the State Historical Society of Iowa at Iowa City in 1936.
LAWS OF THE FORTY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
S. F. 373
AN ACT to make an appropriation to the department of the Grand Army of the Republic
to defray expenses of publishing final history of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Be It Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa:
1 SECTION 1. There is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the
2 state treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum of twenty-five hun-
3 dred (2,500) dollars as an appropriation to the Department of the
4 Grand Army of the Republic to be paid to said Department to defray
5 additional expenses of publishing the history of the Grand Army of
6 the Republic.
1 SEC. 2. The state comptroller is hereby directed to issue a warrant
2 payable to the Department of the Grand Army of the Republic out of
3 any funds in the state treasury, not otherwise appropriated, and the
4 treasurer of state is hereby directed to pay said warrant.
Senate File 373. Approved May 4, 1935.
Centennial Edition, Muscatine Journal
Muscatine, Muscatine, Iowa
May 31, 1940
Fewer than 100 Veterans of Civil War Survive in Iowa
Des Moines -- (AP) -- This year, for the first time since the "boys in blue" came marching home in '65, there are fewer than 100 Civil war veterans in Iowa. State G.A.R. headquarters here today listed 95 veterans of the war between the states as still living in Iowa, in contrast to the 76,000 who answered the call of Lincoln from 1861 to 1865.
The average age of these men is 94.2 years. The youngest is 90; the oldest, 101. Membership in the Iowa department of the Grand Army of the Republic exceeded 20,000 at its peak about 1890. Now there are 45 counties without even one Civil war veteran still living.
Most of the remaining counties have only one. Only Cerro Gordo (Mason City), Dubuque, Lucas (Chariton), Marshall, Muscatine, Page (Shenandoah, Clarinda), Mahaska (Oskaloosa), and Polk (Des Moines), have more. Muscatine has three remining, two in Muscatine and one in West Liberty.
Ten counties lost their G.A.R. member in the past 12 months. A year ago, there were 145 Civil war veterans in Iowa, living in 64 counties.
James W. Willett of Tama, elected state commander of the G.A.R. at the 1939 encampment, died May 13, while still in office.
At the latest official report, March 31, the Grand Army of the Republic listed 2,655 members in the United States, with deaths reported at the rate of 100 per month. There were 52,192 widows of Civil war veterans living on March 31.
Counties without any Civil war veterans living are: Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Bremer, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cedar, Chickawaw, Clay, Clayton, Crawford, Delaware, Dickinson, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Howard, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Kossuth, Lee, Louisa, Lyon, Madison, Mitchell, Monona, Monroe, Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Sac, Scott, Shelby, Tama, Union, Winnebago, Worth and Wright.
The list and age of veterans reported by state G.A.R. Headquarters follows, by counties:
Appanoose - Byron D. Bates, 93, Cincinnati, Ia.; Edward Streepy, 95, Udell, Ia.
Audubon - John C. Bonwell, 97, Gray, Ia.; William H. Jay, 94, Audubon, Ia.
Benton - Dr. William A. Vincent, 93, Belle Plaine, Ia.
Black Hawk - Henry Bray, 96, Waterloo, Ia.
Boone - Frank Ritter, 94, Boone, Ia.
Buchanan - George W. Kays, 92, Independence, Ia.
Buena Vista - Charles P. Matson, 93, Storm Lake, Ia.
Cass - A.D. Bullock, 94, Atlantic, Ia.; Edwin Perry, 92, Cumberland, Ia.
Cerro Gordo - Nathan G. Thorn, 90, Mason City, Ia.; Rockley Whipple, 100, Mason City, Ia.; John R. Williams, 94, Mason City, Ia.
Cherokee - Nicholas T. Wells, 94, Marcus, Ia.
Clarke - Hiram A. Wirick, 94, Osceola, Ia.; Theodore Yetts, 94, Hopeville, Ia.
Clinton - John Avery, 94, Clinton, Ia.; Jacob W. Liebler, 96, Calamus, Ia.
Dallas - Charles S. Curler, 91, Perry, Ia.
Decatur - Jonas P. Hoffhines, 99, Leon, Ia.; James H. Pitman, 95, Leon, Ia.
Des Moines - Edmund B. Davis, 96, Burlington, Ia.
Davis - Benjamin S. Armstrong, 95, Bloomfield, Ia.; William J. Shuck, 98, Bunch, Ia.
Dubuque - James H. Jackson, 96, Dubuque, Ia.; A.E. Keen, 92, Dubuque, Ia.; Frank L. Quade, 93, Dubuque, Ia.
Fremont - Larkin Miller, 94, Hamburg, Ia.; Phineas H. Drake, 96, Tabor, Ia.
Greene - Robert G. Martin, 91, Rippey, Ia.
Guthrie - John Palmer, 96, Bayard, Ia.
Hancock - Llewellyn Lewis, 94, Klemme, Ia.
Harrison - Sylvester Pockett, 91, Dunlap, Ia.; Cyrus E. Cross, 93, Mondamin, Ia.
Humboldt - Charles H. Lingenfelter, 98, Dakota City, Ia.
Jasper - Elliott P. Taylor, 94, Newton, Ia.
Jefferson - Joseph H. Alverson, 95, Batavia, Ia.; John A. Smithline, 93, Fairfield, Ia.
Johnson - Ebenezar S. McMurray, 95, Iowa City, Ia.
Jones - James S. Lawson, 92, Olin, Ia.; Mark H. Morse, 98, Wyoming, Ia.
Keokuk - James Williams, 93, Sigourney, Ia.
Linn - Samuel J. Beck, 92, Cedar Rapids, Ia.; George S. Bushnell, 91, Cedar Rapids, Ia.
Lucas - William Humphreys, 96, Chariton, Ia.; Robert Killen, 96, Lucas, Ia.; Henry A. Newhouse, 93, Lucas, Ia.
Mahaska - Jacob Watland, 96, New Sharon, Ia.; Henry A. White, 93, University Park, Ia.; Henry T. White, 95, Oskaloosa, Ia.
Marion - William H.H. Barker, 99, Harvey, Ia.; Robert A. Millen, 93, Melcher, Ia.
Marshall - Benjamin M. Crookshank, 94, Marshalltown, Ia.; and Joseph R. Coffin, 94, James H. Firman, 91, Peter Garver, 96, Sylvester Manship, 92, Silas Parker, 101, and David B, Sisk, 94, all of the Iowa Soldiers' home.
Mills - David M. Taylor, 93, Malvern, Ia.
Montgomery - Hiram Finley, 98, Stanton, Ia.; Joseph E. Kenworthy, 92, Grant, Ia.
Muscatine - August Eichoff, 93, Muscatine, Ia.; Joseph H. Miller, 92, Muscatine, Ia.; Charles F. Regnier, 95, West Liberty, Ia.
O'Brien - James P. Martin, 92, Sutherland, Ia.
Page - Matthias Baker, 95, Shenandoah, Ia.; Shelby S. Bertram, 96, Shenandoah, Ia.; John M. Gudgel, 92, Shenandoah, Ia.; Charles Sinn, 90, Clarinda, Ia.
Plymouth - Andrew Crouch, 91, Le Mars, Ia.
Polk - John C. Ash, 97; Russell B. Bever, 96; Harrison Cole, 91; John S. Merriam, 95; James McHargue, 95; J.J. Neuman, 93; T.J. Noll, 95; and Alvin Smith, 96, all of Des Moines, Ia.
Pottawattamie - Sylvester Flummer, 93, Council Bluffs, Ia.
Poweshiek - Charles Van Doren, 94, Grinnell, Ia.
Ringgold - H.H. Crecelius, 93, Redding, Ia.
Sioux - John H. Huyck, 93, Hawarden, Ia.
Story - Charles Hamilton, 100, Ames, Ia.
Taylor - Benjamin F. Akers, 97, Gravity, Ia.
Van Buren - Eli W. McKinney, 95, Bentonsport, Ia.
Wapello - Michael France, 95, Ottumwa, Ia.
Warren - Charles Hester, 94, Indianola, Ia.; Anthony Snyder, 93, Lacona, Ia.
Washington - Lewis Sigafoose, 96, Washington, Ia.
Wayne - William H. Earnest, 91, Seymour, Ia.
Webster - William R. Lindsley, 98, Fort Dodge, Ia.
Winneshiek - Ancil O. Ash, 91, Decorah, Ia.
Woodbury - Michael Hawk, 93, Sioux City, Ia.
The badge adopted by the Grand Army of the Republic,upon its organization, and commonly worn
by Grand Army men, is a five pointed star so designed as to have a significance of its own. In the center of the star is the figure of the Goddess of Liberty, representing Loyalty; on either side a
soldier and a sailor clasping hands, representing Fraternity, and two children receiving benediction and assurance of protection from the comrades, representing Charity. On one side of the group is
the National Flag and the Eagle, representing Freedom, and on the other the Flag and the Fasces, representing Union. In each point of the star is the insignia of the various arms of the service — the
Bugle for Infantry, Cross Cannon for Artillery, Cross Muskets for the Marine, Cross Swords for Cavalry, and the Anchor for Sailors. Over the central group are the words, “Grand Army of the Republic”,
and under, the word and figures, “1861—Veteran—1866” commemorating the commencement and close of the rebellion, and also the date of the organization of the Order.
The reverse side represents a Branch of Laurel — the crown and reward of the brave — in each point of the star. The National Shield in the
center, surrounded by the twenty four recognized Corps Badges, numerically arranged, each on a keystone, and all linked together, showing they are united, and will guard and protect the Shield of the
Nation. Around the center is a circle of stars, representing the States of the Union and the Departments composing the Grand Army of the Republic.
The process of preparing the metal for the badge is very complicated and tedious. The old cannon (the tradition of using [Confederate] cannon bronze in the casting these medals) is first cut up into sections then the pieces are melted and cast into small wedge shaped pieces. When the time comes to use them they are molded and refined so that the iron and lead can be removed. Two percent of copper and zinc are then added to reduce the danger of breaking while going through the remaining operation. The rough form is cast in sand. It is again annealed and the fire coating removed by acid bath. The pieces are then placed between steel dies and subjected to a pressure of 200 tons on a press specially designed for the work. The process is repeated 4 or 5 times then cleaned and annealed after each application. The edges [are] mechanically trimmed by machinery and again placed on the press to bring into relief. The edges [are] filed by hand – the ribbon added and it is complete.
Code of Iowa
Edition on 1888
An Act to prevent persons from unlawfully using or wearing the emblems and
badges of the grand army of the republic, or of the military order of the loyal
legion of the United States.
SECTION 1. [Unlawful wearing of badge of Gr. A. R. punished.]—-Be it
enacted by the general asembly of the state of Iowa: That any person who shall
willfully wear the badge or button of the grand army of the republic, or the
insignia or rosette of the military order of the loyal legion of the United States, or
use the same to obtain aid or assistance within this state, unless he shall be entitled
to wear the same under the rules and regulations or constitution of such organizations,
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by
imprisonment for a term not to exceed thirty days, or a fine not to exceed twenty
Approved, April 9, 1888.
Since 1894, the Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic was Headquartered on the lower level of the Iowa State Capitol. This gave the G.A.R. direct access to the Governor and the Legislature. The office was funded annually by the Legislature and on three occassions it was the Headquarters of the National Organization, when Iowans were elected to the position of Commander-in-Chief: 1914/15, 1922/23 and 1935/36. After the death of James P. Martin, Last Department Commander and Last Living Civil War Veteran in Iowa, in September 1949, Department Secretary, Amy Knoll, retained the office in the Capitol an additional four years. The office was then moved to the former State Historical Building across the street in February 1954.
You could almost hear the muffled drums of Shiloh in the Iowa statehouse Thursday. The "Boys in Blue" of the Civil War lined up in ghostly ranks for battle under the command of Amy Noll. The battleground is a room in the statehouse. Since 1897, and probably before, that room has been the headquarters of the Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic. (The G. A. R. was the American Legion of the Civil War.) The plain fact of the matter is this: Those who run the statehouse want the G. A. R. space for other uses. (The Adjutant General's office could use the room.) But Amy Noll says firmly: "We want to stay here." Amy is an alert little grayhaired woman, height 5 feet 2 inches, weight 112 pounds. She is secretary of the Iowa G. A. R. In fact, she is the G. A. R. in this state. The last Civil War veteran, James Martin of Sutherland, died in 1949. With usual feminine coyness, Amy won't say how old she is. (She has to be past 70, however.) But she isn't old enough to give up without a fight. "The G. A. R. had six Iowa Governors," she said with emphasis. "The Grand Army was a real power in this state, I tell you." She pointed out the legislature in 1924 voted that "Room 4 in the basement story ot the statehouse shall be the permanent headquarters ot the Iowa G.A.R.," declared Miss Noll. "There is no room for us in the historical building, any room to show anything, that is. What we want at least is for the legislature to establish a G. A. R. memorial room for us."
Time was when the Iowa G. A. R. needed no little women to fight its battles. Governors, legislatures and mayors trembled and kowtowed. Elections were influenced and laws were passed on the say-so of the G. A. R. More than 75,000 Iowans served in the Union Army in the Civil War. That was a huge proportion of the state's population, which then was under 600,000. Some 13,000 Iowans died in the service in that war. That's more than all the Iowa deaths in both world wars combined. Those fallen Iowans are buried in military cemeteries all over the southern states. The Iowa casualtieswere particularly heavy in such battles as Shiloh and Fort Donelson.
As it does to things human, time has wiped out the G. A. R. It isn't necessary now for the Iowa legislature to meet in joint convention to hear the national G. A. R. commander. The legislature, however, did listen intently the other day to an address by the national commander of the American Legion. But time will take care of that, too. Meanwhile, however, the G.A.R. may be dead, but Amy Noll isn't. She grew up in an atmosphere of reverence for the G.A.R. at Grinnell. For the last 15 years she has been Iowa G.A.R. secretary. Statehouse observers agree that the G.A.R. records, swords and canes sooner or laler will be boxed up and sent to the archives. But it is a fairly good bet that won't happen in Amy's time.
Little is known of the history of this flag. It was made by Annin and measures 5'7" by 4'2". It was gifted to Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa and the Polk County Board of Supervisors upon the dedication of the auditorium in 1954. Mrs. Harriette G. McCollough, Past National President of the Woman's Relief Corps, presented the flag, to be displayed in the Memorial Room of Vet's Auditorium.
During the 2000 State Encampment of the Department of Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, it was voted that the flag should be retired and a replacement appropriated. The Polk County Supervisors approved this decision on October 3, 2000. The original is now in the Iowa State Historical Museum, Des Moines, Iowa.
The replacement flag, which was lost for a period of time was presented to Vet's Auditorium on June 21, 2013 and dedicated on Veterans Day 2013.
This new flag is now suspended in the atrium of Memorial Hall along with the flags of: The United Spanish War Veterans; World War 1 Veterans, Department of Iowa; Iowa State Association Rainbow Division Veterans; American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Iowa; Disabled American Veterans, Department of Iowa; Marine Corps League, Des Moines Detachment; and the American Veterans (AMVETS), Post No. 2, Des Moines, Iowa.
For more information and photos go:
In 1922 the Fifty-sixth National Encampment was held at Des Moines and twenty thousand veterans with their allied organizations came to celebrate what it was thought
would be the "Last Great Encampment". Veterans were there from every State, and Iowa was proud to be their host. With streets brilliant with masses of flags and bunting,
Des Moines was ready to greet its welcome visitors. Every resource and every convenience which the city could provide were turned over to them — "the homes,
the automobiles, the parks, the streets of the city" were all theirs. It was a gala day for the "Boys of '61", and a day that citizens of Des Moines would long remember. Fifty seven years had then passed since the surrender at Appomattox and the average age of the surviving veterans was almost eighty years. The visiting delegates at Des Moines, it was said, "were of all ages from 90 years and almost blind, to the young men of 72, who went
to the front as drummer boys and cheered their soldiers during the trying days of the rebellion."
On the occasion of the Fifty-sixth National Encampment, a lofty banner, stretched high under the vault of the dome of the State Capitol, the Grand Army of the Republic emblem, painted by Joseph Czizek. The banner is retained as a permanent decoration by order of Governor Nathan E. Kendall in 1922.
In June of 1998, restoration began on the interior dome. The G.A.R. emblem was damaged in the process. Many felt the it should not be replaced, bringing the dome back to its original view, but with the strong persuasion of the Department of Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, a replacement was procured. This new banner was done by Tim VanderWell.
The banner is three separate pieces. The dates rest on wires separately from the G.A.R. emblem. The emblem is thirty-five feet by fifteen feet. The dates are six foot by two foot.
The original banner was made of horse hair and plaster and was quite different from what we see today. Originally dated 1922 it was later changed to read the 1861 - 1865 as is the one we see today.
The 65-foot pole was dedicated to the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic of Iowa and was donated to the state by the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic at their 1931 National Encampment. On one side of the base is a bronze engraving of Abraham Lincoln; on the other side is the G.A.R. Emblem. The nearby granite benches were donated by the Ladies of the G.A.R. at the 1938 National Encampment in Des Moines. It lis located behind the Iowa Supreme Court Building.
This bronze sundial was dedicated to Union veterans of the Civil War during their 1938 Grand Army of the Republic National Encampment in Des Moines. Of the nearly three million Union soldiers who fought during the Civil War, only an estimated five thousand were still living in 1938, and more than one hundred of these veterans attended this 72nd Encampment.
Most were over 90 years old.
Dr. D. W. Morehouse, then president of Drake University and astronomy professor, installed and adjusted the timepiece.
It is located on the west side of the Capitol.
H. R. 4825
Public Law 389
To authorize the attendance of the Marine Band at the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic to be held at Des Moines, Iowa, September 10 to 14, inclusive, 1944.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is authorized to permit the band of the United States Marine Corps to attend and give concerts at the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic to be held at Des Moines, Iowa, from September 10 to 14, inclusive, 1944.
Sec. 2. For the purpose of defraying the expenses of such band in attending and giving concerts at such encampment, there is authorized to be appropriated the sum of $9,734.30, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to carry out the provisions of this Act : Provided, That in addition to transportation and Pullman accommodations the leaders and members of the Marine Band be allowed not to exceed $6 per day each for additional living expenses while on duty, and that the payment of such expenses shall be in addition to the pay and allowances to which they would be entitled while serving at their permanent station.
Approved June 30, 1944
Ulysses S. Grant 18th President
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
Colonel, 21st Illinois Infantry. Later, Commanding General of the United States Army
Rutherford B. Hayes 19th President
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
Major, 23rd Ohio Infantry. Later, breveted Major General
James A. Garfield 20th President
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
Colonel, 42nd Ohio Infantry, Later, promoted to Major General
Benjamin Harrison 23rd President
March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893
Colonel, 70th Indiana Infantry. Later, brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers
William McKinley 25th President
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
Private, 23rd Ohio Infantry. Later, brevet Major
William Milo Stone of Knoxville, 6th Governor of Iowa 1864-1868
After the attack on Fort Sumter in 1861, Stone enlisted as a private in the Union Army. He was quickly promoted to captain, and then major, of Company B, Third Iowa Infantry. He fought and was wounded at the Battle of Liberty, but returned to fight at the Battle of Shiloh, where he was taken prisoner. Stone was paroled by Jefferson Davis and sent to Washington, D.C. to negotiate an exchange of prisoners; after initially failing to reach an agreement, he returned to Confederate captivity, was again paroled, and was released after an exchange agreement was reached. In 1862, Stone was promoted to colonel of the 22nd Iowa Infantry. He led that unit in the Vicksburg Campaign, and was again wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg.
member of the John C. Ferguson Post, Knoxville, Iowa
Samuel Merrill of McGregor, 7th Governor of Iowa 1868-1872
Merrill was commissioned Colonel of the 21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment, serving in that regiment until seriously wounded in the hip at the Battle of Big Black River Bridge on the Big Black River in May 1863. He rejoined his regiment in January 1864, but the lingering effects of his hip wound forced him to terminate his military service the following June.
member of the Joe Hooker Post, Des Moines, Iowa
and the Crocker Post, Des Moines, Iowa
Cyrus Clay Carpenter of Fort Dodge, 8th Governor of Iowa 1872-1876
During the Civil War Carpenter volunteered as a private then was elected captain of volunteers on March 24, 1862, appointed lieutenant colonel on September 26, 1864, and brevet colonel on July 12, 1865 "for efficient and meritorious services" when he was in charge of commissary of subsistence in Sherman's Army on the march to the sea. He was mustered out July 14, 1865. During the war he served on the staff of Generals William Rosecrans, Grenville M. Dodge and John A. Logan.
member of the Ft. Donelson Post, Ft. Dodge, Iowa
Joshua Gaskill Newbold of Mount Pleasant, 10th Governor of Iowa 1877-1878
He joined the Union Army in 1862 as captain of Company C, 25th Regiment of the Iowa Infantry, and fought at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, the Battle of Fort Hindman, the Third Battle of Chattanooga, the Battle of Ringgold Gap, the Atlanta Campaign, and Sherman's March to the Sea.
member of the McFarland Post, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
Buren Robinson Sherman of Vinton, 12th Governor of Iowa 1882-1886
In 1861, he signed up with the 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment for the Union Army. He retired as a captain in mid-1863 due to injuries suffered at Shiloh.
member of the P. M. Coder Post, Vinton, Iowa
the Robert Anderson Post, Waterloo, Iowa
and the Kinsman Post, Des Moines, Iowa
Francis Marion Drake of Centerville, 16th Governor of Iowa 1896-1898
During the Civil War he was commissioned as lieutenant colonel of the 36th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment in August 1862. In 1864, he was severely wounded during the Battle of Mark's Mills. He was mustered out in 1865 as brigadier general of volunteers.
member of the John L. Bashore Post, Centerville, Iowa
David James Palmer
Commander-in-Chief 1914 / 1915
David James Palmer was born in Pennsylvania, on November 15, 1839, but spent most of his years in Iowa. As a youth of 21 and a resident of Washington, Iowa, he enlisted in Company C, 8th Iowa Infantry, on July 10, 1861. He was seriously wounded at Shiloh and was sent home to recuperate. Later he organized Company A, 25th Iowa Infantry, and became its Captain. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and commanded his regiment at Vicksburg and on Sherman's March to the Sea. At the close of the war, General Sherman led the troops in the Grand Review up Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.. When Sherman took his place on the reviewing stand with the President, he left Lieutenant Colonel Palmer to lead the Union troops in the great parade.
Returning home after the war, Colonel Palmer engaged in agriculture. Later he served as County Auditor, State Senator, and Railroad Commissioner. At the Annual Encampment at Dubuque in 1907, he was elected Department Commander. In 1914, Colonel Palmer was named Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic. In this high office, it was his privilege to review the veteran troops as they again marched up Pennsylvania Avenue at the National Grand Army Encampment held in Washington, D.C., in 1915, fifty years after the close of the war.
Colonel Palmer lived until November 20, 1928, having attained the age of 89 years.
James William Willett
Commander-in-Chief 1922 / 1923
James William Willett was born in Mercer County, Illinois on March 8, 1846. As a youth he lived in Keithsburg, Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi River.
When the Civil War began, young Willett attempted to enlist in the Union Army, but failed because of his youth and size. In the spring of 1863, however, he obtained employment on a transport vessel as an ordinary seaman. In the fall of that year by passing the examination, he was enabled to enlist in the United States Navy as an able seaman, and was assigned to the United States Gunboat Springfield of the Mississippi Squadron, where he served as botswain's mate.
At the close of the war, Comrade Willlett continued his work on rivers and lakes until 1871, when he gave up the seafaring life, came to Iowa, and began the study of law. Having been admitted to the bar, he opened offices at Toledo and Tama. He has practiced law in Tama County for many years, and for more than 12 years he was Judge of the District Court.
Comrade Willett was a charter member of Thomas F. Bradford Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, organized at Tama in 1883, and after more than 50 years he is still a member of that Post. At the Annual Encampment at Burlington in 1913, he was elected Department Commander. He has also held the office of Judge Advocate General, and in 1922, he had a high distinction of being unanimously elected Commander-in-Chief.
Commander-in-Chief 1935 / 1936
Oley Nelson, a veteran and son of a veteran, was born in Rock County, Wisconsin, on the August 10, 1844. On the June 17, 1864, he enlisted in Company D, 40th Wisconsin
Infantry (known as the University Regiment), which was assigned to General Sturgis's Brigade, Fifteenth Army Corps, with headquarters at Memphis, Tennessee. He was discharged on September 16, 1864,
because of sickness and returned to his widowed mother in Primrose County, Wisconsin, his father having died in service prior to Oley's enlistment. In 1867, Comrade Nelson moved in a covered wagon to
Story County, Iowa.
He was an active member of Ellsworth Post #30, at Ames, Iowa, for 40 years, and has been a member of Grenville M. Dodge Camp #75, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War for 25 years. He was a member of the 21st and 22nd General Assemblies of Iowa, and for 12 years has served as Sergeant at Arms of the Iowa House of Representatives. He was one of the foremost and most persistent advocates of a State Soldiers' Home and during his legislative career voted for the Home. He served as Department Patriotic Instructor, and in 1927 was elected Department Commander. He served as National Chief of Staff in 1931, was elected Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief in September, 1931, and on September 12, 1935, was elected Commander-in-Chief, the third comrade from Iowa to be chosen to this high office.
(CHAPTER 121. 1884.)
DONATING ARMS TO THE G. A. R.
AN ACT to Donate Certain Arms to the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Iowa.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa:
SECTION 1. That the arms of the state be not loaned, but that the Enfield rifles and accouterments belonging to the state, be and are hereby donated to the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Iowa.
SEC. 2. The adjutant-general is hereby directed to tum over to the quartermaster-general of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Iowa, the above described property, such transfer to be made without expense to the state.
SEC. 3. This act being deemed of immediate importance.
(CHAPTER 162, LAWS OF 1884.)
MONUMENTS TO DECEASED SOLDIERS.
An Act to provide for the erection of monuments to deceased soldiers of the late war.
SECTION 1. [Board of supervisors may appropriate $3,000 for a soldiers'monument.
f—Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of Iowa:
That the board of supervisors of any county in this state are hereby authorized to appropriate from the county funds any sum of money not to exceed three thousand dollars, for the purpose of erecting on the court house square, public park at the county seat, or elsewhere in the county, as the grand army post of said county may direct, a soldiers' monument, on which shall be inscribed the names of all deceased soldiers and all who may hereafter die, who enlisted or entered the service from the county where such appropriation may be made, and also the names of other deceased soldiers, as the grand army posts of said county shall direct.
Approved April 5,1884.
(CHAPTER 58, LAWS OE 1886.)
ESTABLISH SOLDIERS' HOME.
An Act to establish and maintain a soldiers' home in the state of Iowa, and making an appropriation for the purchase of land and the construction or purchase of necessary buildings. *
SECTION 1. [Soldiers' home established.]—Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of Iowa: That there be and is hereby created and established in this state an institution to be known as the '" Iowa Soldiers' Home," and that the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars, or so much thereof as is necessary, be and is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the purchase and preparation of grounds and for the erection and completion
or purchase of suitable buildings and fixtures thereon, and furnishing and equipping the same; and the further sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the purpose of maintaining such soldiers' home for the year 1887; provided, however, that it shall not be lawful for the board of managers hereinafter created to draw upon the sum hereby appropriated an amount exceeding seventy-five thousand dollars in the year 1886, and the sum of twenty-five
thousand dollars in the year 1887.
SEC. 2. [Applicants must have resided in the state three years, or have served in Iowa regiment.]—The object of the " Iowa Soldiers' Home" shall be to provide a home and subsistence for all honorably discharged soldiers, sailors and marines who have served in the army or navy of the United States and who are disabled by disease, wounds or otherwise; provided, that no applicant shall be admitted to said home who has not been a resident of the state of Iowa for three years next preceding his application for admission therein unless he served in an Iowa regiment or was accredited to the state of Iowa. The board of commissioners shall determine the eligibility of applicants for admission to said home as herein provided.
SEC. 3. (As substituted by ch. 129, 21st g. a.) [Governor shall appoint a commission to locate home.l
SEC. 4. [Government: number of commissioners appointed by governor.]
SEC. 5. [Board to qualify and give bond
SEC. 6. [Architect or superintendent.]
SEC. 7. [Bids advertised for
SEC. 8. [Bids opened in 30 days.]
SEC. 9. [Contract bond: architect or superintendent
SEC. 10. [Contract signed.]
SEC. 11. [Bids to show cost.]
SEO. 12. [Location and grounds
SEC. 13. [Moneys, how payable.]
SEC. 14. [Interest of commissioners.]
SEC. 15. [Meetings of board, annual.]
SEC. 16. [Commandant: appointment
Approved March 31, 1886.
Initiating the movement for an Iowa Soldiers Home was the Grand Army of the Republic, led by Philip M. Crapo of Burlington, Iowa. This movement resulted in the 21st General Assembly passing an act, which on March 31, 1886, appropriated $75,000 for the purchase of ground and the erection of suitable buildings and another $25,000 to maintain that home for one year. Today we are proud to say that facility has expanded to 150 acres and 6 Nursing units and 1 Residential/Domicilary unit over the 126 years.
The Iowa Soldiers Home accepted its first resident in 1887. The facility provided living quarters for displaced Veterans of the Civil War. Management of the home resembled life patterned after Army rules and regulations. Residents wore uniforms, marched in formation, stood inspections, ate at a mess hall and went to bed at taps. They slept in open wards and needed passes to get by the sentry at the gates. Amos Fox was the first Veteran to be admitted on December 1. Fox enlisted as a Private in Company "D", 47th Illinois Infantry on August 14, 1861. He re-enlisted January 9, 1865, and was discharged in August of the same year. He was a farmer from Humboldt, Iowa.
Amos Fox died March 29, 1916, and is buried at the Iowa Soldiers Home Cemetery.
On March 20, 1886, the Frank M. Thomas Post #94, Marshalltown, Iowa joined in a petition with the Department of Iowa for the establishment of an Iowa Soldiers Home at Marshalltown. The measure was adopted by the Legislature on March 31.
On July 21, 1888, a Charter was issued from the Department of Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic to the Phil Sheridan Post #452, Iowa Soldiers Home, Marshalltown, Iowa, with 41 charter members. Not all Veterans who resided at the Home became members of the Grand Army of the Republic. Many of those admitted to the home joined the G.A.R. for the first time, though a vast majority of the Sheridan Post members had transferred their membership from other Posts upon their admission to the Soldiers Home. Several members of Post #452 held Department level positions throughout the years, with two, Orlando Hartman and David Sisk, serving as Department Commander.
The Phil Sheridan Post #452 was disbanded on April 6, 1938.
In 1975, the Iowa Legislature changed the name to the
Iowa Veterans Home.
Officials and leaders of the Iowa Department, Grand Army of the Republic, plan for an eventual testimonial to the valor of loyal soldiers of Iowa in the War of the Rebellion. The
idea is best outlined in resolutions adopted at the 4lst Annual Encampment of the Iowa Department, Grand Army of the Republic, Sioux City, June 8-10, 1915:
Whereas, Many of our Grand Army Posts and individual comrades and their families possess valuable records, correspondence, pictures, trophies and books which illustrate our service for the Union, and which are likely to be lost, Be it
Resolved, That all comrades of this department are urged to send or provide for the sending of all such material to the Office of the Assistant Adjutant General at Des Moines for safe keeping, particularly all unused Post records, correspondence, pictures, flags and wall pieces, and all letters, commissions, weapons and uniforms that relate to the Federal service of the soldier or sailor, that are still in existence.
Resolved, That we urge the next General Assembly to erect a suitable addition to the State Historical, Memorial and Art Building, to be known as the Grand Army Corridor, or some suitable designation, where all Civil War material the State possesses or may acquire may be assembled. The same to be the sole repository of the Civil War history of Iowa, to be owned by the State of Iowa forever.
From this it is inferred that by a sort of gravity there may come into the keeping of the principal officials of the Grand Army in our State all that exists outside the State's collections,
of writings, relics, trophies, records and literature betokening the contribution in blood and treasure of Iowa people to the Union cause; that when the Grand Army so desires, its official headquarters shall be by them established in an apartment designed by and for them, and for the convenient, permanent and public exhibition of all material relating to soldier service of Iowa citizens.
Nothing so inspires our youtlh as the bullet-shredded standard of our country. Nothing stirs the emotion of new citizens from foreign countries or sister states as the servicestained uniform or accoutrement of the Iowa volunteer soldier soiled in his struggle for human rights. Prohably no
portion of the Iowa field of scholarly study will in future be covered with greater diligence or more devotion than that wherein were planted, grown and garnered the seeds of civil strife.
Iowa soldiers and their families at home or removed else where could not now so honor their names as to respond to this resolution. Our Department has no higher office than the co-operation with the Iowa Department Grand Army of the Republic, in its great purpose. Iowa has no better
tribute remaining, since it has marked with bronze and granite the battle grounds and burial places of her troops in southern lands, than to raise a fitting structure central to all Iowa historical, memorial and art collections, as her Grand Army Corridor. We have had no "Little Corporal." We
recall no St. Helena. We need no Invalides. But without a temple or imperial tomb, in response to this resolution, Iowa should in justice and may in modesty provide a monument less imposing and yet as eloquent.
The Annals of Iowa
Volume 12 | Number 3 ( 1915) pps. 233-234
Military Affairs. Senate File No. 29 March 8, 1927
A BILL FOR
An Act authorizing and directing the Curator of the Historical Memorial
and Art Department of Iowa to collect and preserve the materials
of suspending and disbanding posts of the Grand Army of the Republic
in Iowa, and similar records and materials; and making an appropria-
Whereas, there are many posts of the Grand Army of the Republic in
Iowa recently disbanded or soon to disband, whose records and property
they may desire the State to preserve and
Whereas, there may be similar records and materials of great historical
value in the hands of individuals throughout the State, and
Whereas, neither the Iowa Headquarters G. A. R. in the Capitol Build-
ing nor the Historical Department in the Iowa Historical Memorial and
Art Building nor any other department of State government has display
space in which to house, nor funds with which to meet expense of collecting
and transporting the same, but only space at present for storing and
Be It Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa:
1 Section 1. That there is hereby appropriated out
2 of the funds of the State not otherwise appropriated,
3 the sum of Seven Hundred Fifty ($750.00) Dollars to be
4 expended by the Historical Department under the direction
5 of the Board of Trustees for the purpose of discovering,
6 collecting, transporting and preserving the records and
7 property of any Grand Army Post that has no provision
8 for permanently preserving them, as also for the dis
9 covery, collection and preservation of any similar
10 property of any one who served in the Union Army or
11 Navy in the Civil War, and especially the diaries,
12 letters, commissions, orders, citations, medals, uten
13 sils, apparel, weapons and other materials illustrative
14 of the participation of Iowa citizens in the Union Army
15 or Navy of the Civil War.
1 Sec. 2. This Act being deemed of immediate im
2 portance shall take effect from and after its publication
3 in the Tipton Advertiser, a newspaper published in Tipton,
4 Iowa, and the Anamosa Eureka, a newspaper published in
5 Anamosa, Iowa.