The Monuments of Crawford County, Ohio - Part Three
By Esther M. Oyster
Two Pillars in Crestline
There are two handsome brick markers on the west side of Crestline at Clink Blvd. They were erected by C.A. Stephan to enhance the entrance to his housing development.
Because Bement was instrumental in having the Lincoln Way rerouted through Crestline, one of Stephan's pillars was dedicated to him. This photo was probably taken by Gael S. Hoag. Note the official Packard parked nearby. 0-134, Lincoln Highway Collection, Special Collections Library University of Michigan
Of a somewhat different design, these two have fewer rows of bricks (sixteen in-stead of twenty-four) and originally had four-tiered capstones topped with ornately turned wooden pieces which supported lighted globes. They also contained the French-enamelled, curved highway signs produced by the association, and the niches are indented sufficiency to accommodate the curve measurement of 2½".
The inscription on the one on the southwest corner reads:
A F. BEMENT
VICE PRESIDENT & SEC.
LINCOLN HIGHWAY ASS'N.
MAY 1, 1922
The McMahon marble plaque in the process of being restored before it was replaced in the marker Esther Oyster
The column on the southeast corner bears the inscription:
J. F. McMAHON
FIRST L. H. CONSUL
MAY 1, 1922
These two shafts remain today, McMahon's listing a bit, and both were vandalized over the years to the extent that the highway signs were gone, and McMahon's plaque had either loosened or been pried out, breaking when it fell. Also, the globes on top had broken and been removed, along with their turned bases, and replaced with wooden forms drilled to hold a flag.
The McMahon marker after restoration. Michael G. Buettner
Aluminum signs, curved like the originals and backed with steel bars for reinforcement against dents, have been installed. While checking into a new marble plaque, it was learned that Gene Toy of Crestline had the original pieces stored in his garage. They were cemented back together and the plaque reinstalled by Richard Taylor of Mansfield, a member of the LHA. A nearby resident, Vernon Musgrave, tends the monuments and occasionally gives the concrete parts a fresh coat of white paint.
John E. Hopley served as state consul for fourteen years. He died on July 10, 1927, and his brother Frank, his many friends, and the Masonic and Elks lodges of Bucyrus erected an impressive monument in his memory. To be built of stone, they obtained special rocks from places connected with John's life, such as Elkton, Kentucky, where he had been born; Southampton, England, and Montevideo, Uruguay, where he had served as U .S. consul, and one from Lincoln's birthplace to add special significance.
The magnificent John E. Hopley monument on the grounds of the Bucyrus Golf Course. Michael G. Buettner
The monument was built in 1929 along Lincoln Way on the grounds of the Bucyrus Country Club and was dedicated on August 25 on what would have been Hopley's seventy-ninth birthday. The face of the imposing structure contains two Lincoln Highway signs, a bronze bas-relief bust of Hopley on a white marble plate, and, until recently a bronze plaque which read in part: THIS MONUMENT, ERECTED BY LODGE MEMBERS AND FRIENDS, IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN EDWARD HOPLEY, PIONEER IN LINCOLN HIGHWAY DEVELOPMENT, FIRST STATE CONSUL FOR OHIO OF THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY ASSOCIATION. ..."
A short distance west, near the drive into the club, stands a stone shaft displaying a highway sign. Presumably it was built of stones left over from construction of the Hopley structure, and it stands a mile east from the center of the square.
The only stone pillar in Crawford County keeps its silent vigil by the Lincoln Way, not far from the large Hopley structure which stands in the pine grove at right background. Michael G. Buettner
John E. Hopley, who had a fine sense of history, served admirably as Ohio's first state consul. He loved the Lincoln Way so much that note of his service is inscribed on his tombstone, and it is fitting that this man was memorialized with the finest monument of all along the Lincoln Way in Crawford County, Ohio.
Page one and two notes
1 Letter, December 4, 1918, J. Hopley to Seiberling: "We have so thoroughly appreciated the Lincoln Highway and its coming importance and possibilities that we thought it merited a much more permanent and creditable marker than the painted telephone poles." Also, the Bucyrus Journal, Friday, July 25, 1919: "The Lincoln Highway is marked by the red, white and blue emblem on the telephone poles from the Atlantic to the Pacific. These require painting frequently to keep them looking bright. So Bucyrus conceived the idea of a permanent marker placed every mile through the county."
2 News clipping of May 28, 1918, paper unidentified.
3 Case No. 12528, Frank O. Sears vs. Ed J. Songer and Michael J. Lutz, Court of Common Pleas, Crawford County.
4 Case No. 125Z9, John E. Hopley and Edward J .Songer vs. Frank O. Sears.
5 Ohio State, 132 Northeastern 25.
6 American Law Reports Annotated, Vol. 16, W- 925-928.
7 Bucyrus Journal, Oct. 27, 1922.
8 Bucyrus Journal, Nov. 11, 1917.
9 Bucyrus Journal, Aug.19, 1921. Also caption of the photograph of the Hopley marker in the 1924 Guide states "Ohio has placed many permanent brick Lincoln Way markers like this."
10 Op. cit.
11 Photo No. O-174; see also O-170 through O-173 and O-175.
12 The farm's address is now 4586 U .S. 30 East, Upper Sandusky.
Esther McNaull Oyster has served in many positions with the Lincoln Highway Association, including the National Director for Ohio, Vice-president and President of the national level.
Mike Buettner's List of Original Brick Pillar Locations in Ohio
1. (J. F.) McMahon Pillar at Crestline, at southeast corner of Clink Boulevard; dedicated in 1922 as gateway to subdivision; McMahon was the first Lincoln Highway consul for Crestline; pillar is still standing