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 2Ĺ".

The inscription on the one on the southwest corner reads:
                    DEDICATED TO
                    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:
                    DEDICATED TO
                    J. F. McMAHON
                    FIRST L. H. CONSUL
                    CRESTLINE, O.
                    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.
 

Stone Monuments
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.

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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
2. (Austin F.) Bement Pillar at Crestline, at southwest corner of Clink Boulevard; dedicated in 1922 as gateway to subdivision; Bement was vice-president and secretary of the Lincoln Highway Association; pillar is still standing
3. (Frank A.) Seiberling Pillar at Holmes Curve, one mile east of Bucyrus on State Route 19; location verified by photograph in University of Michiganís Lincoln Highway collection; dedicated in 1918; Seiberling was the president of the Lincoln Highway Association at this time; fate of pillar is unknown
4. (Ed J.) Songer Pillar at Stewart Cemetery, on south side of road just east of todayís Bucyrus Bypass; dedicated in 1918; moved to here circa 1920 from its original location on State Route 19, at east city limits of Bucyrus (near Whetstone Street); Songer was mayor of Crestline and a county consul; pillar is still standing
5. (John E.) Hopley Pillar, at west city limits of Bucyrus (near Mary Street); dedicated in 1917, but demolished by wayward auto in 1922; location verified both by photograph in University of Michiganís Lincoln Highway collection and by local newspaper article; Hopley was Ohio state consul for the Lincoln Highway Association; original concrete base discovered by Esther Oyster (now Queneau) in 1990s; ďzero milepostĒ with respect to the five pillars immediately below
6. (Henry C.) Osterman Pillar, at one mile west of Hopley Pillar; dedicated in 1917, but almost immediately destroyed by unhappy landowner; location verified both by photograph in University of Michiganís Lincoln Highway collection and by local newspaper articles; Ostermann was national field secretary of LHA
7. Brick pillar, at three miles west of Hopley Pillar; location verified by photograph in University of Michiganís Lincoln Highway collection; fate of pillar is unknown
8. Brick pillar, at five miles west of Hopley Pillar (or one mile east of Oceola); dedicated in 1921 when last stretch of brick pavement was opened in western Crawford County; pillar is still standing
9. Brick pillar, at six miles west of Hopley Pillar (at northeast corner of main crossroads in Oceola); demolished by wayward van in 1993; plaque was salvaged by Delphos collector and later used as model for similar plaques in todayís replica pillars; the replica pillar now in Oceola was built in July 2001 by members of the Mid-Ohio Chapter, on a new base farther from the intersection
10. Brick pillar, at seven miles west of Hopley Pillar (at southeast corner of crossroads at the county line); location verified by survey records from highway department (was Ohio Department of Highways, now Ohio Department of Transportation); probably lost when highway was widened after 1948
11. Brick pillar, at southeast corner of crossroads at State Route 231 (north of Nevada); location verified by survey records from highway department; probably lost when highway was widened after 1948
12. Brick pillar, at northwest corner of crossroads at County Road 128 (three miles west of above); location verified by survey records from highway department; probably lost when highway was widened after 1948
13. Brick pillar, about four miles east of Upper Sandusky, at east side of driveway to Kuenzli farmhouse (house #4586); location verified both by photograph in University of Michiganís Lincoln Highway collection and by survey records from highway department; probably lost when highway was widened after 1948; paired with a pillar at west side of same driveway, thus:
14. Brick pillar, at west side of driveway to Kuenzli farmhouse; same notes apply as per above
15. Brick pillar, about 2.5 miles east of Upper Sandusky, at north side of road; locations verified both by photograph in University of Michiganís Lincoln Highway collection and by survey records from highway department; dedicated in 1925 upon completion of brick paving between Bucyrus and Upper Sandusky; probably lost when highway was widened after 1948
16. Brick pillar, near southwest corner of Wyandot Street and Eighth Street in Upper Sandusky; verified by photograph from collection of local historian Ray Gottfried; fate of pillar is unknown
17. Brick pillar, at northwest corner of original main crossroads at Williamstown; locations verified by survey records from highway department; probably lost when highway was improved
18. Brick pillar, at cemetery at east edge of Beaverdam; location verified by photograph in collection of Allen County Historical Society; original concrete base discovered by Mike Buettner in late 1990s; a replica pillar was built on this original base in October 1999 by members of the Mid-Ohio Chapter; fate of the original pillar is unknown