Cabool Memorial Arch Tribute to Veterans of World War 1.
(Reprinted from the February 28 and March 14, 1974, Cabool Enterprise)
It was Nov 1918 and the Cabool Enterprise carried the following headline: “Germany Thrashed and Rendered Powerless to Renew Awful Struggle.” On Nov 11, 1918, at 5:00 a.m., French Time the Armistice was signed ending World War I, which had plunged scores of nations into conflict and drenched Europe in blood for four years.
How Cabool received the news will be well remembered by many. When passenger train No. 106 approached Cabool at 3:50 a.m. that day, the still of the early morning was broken by the continued screech of its whistle, which emitted one long blast as it passed through. Telephones jingled, and lights appeared in homes as the news spread.
From that early morning hour on throughout the day, the victory celebration continued as the creamery whistle blew steadily. An anvil was secured and a crowd of noise-loving people furnished the powder. A driver with a span of burros hooked to a spring wagon loaded with girls ringing bells and other noise makers paraded the streets. several car loads of young men armed with shotguns ran up and down the streets firing in unison producing a terrific din.
Some practical joker purloined a large cow bell and tied it to a calf then turned it loose. The calf, followed by a shouting mob, left town in a brown streak.
All day the celebration continued unabated, and that night it seemed the whole population of Cabool and countryside was gathered on Main Street. A parade again was formed, headed by the American flag. A large bonfire was lighted, and then the fun began as men and boys caught unaware lost their caps and hats to the fire.
Thus did Cabool celebrate the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I and many paused to give thanks to God for his blessed mercies. For many, it was a time of mixed emotions – for they, too, were happy to see the terrible conflict end but sad for some had lost sons, husbands, brothers and fathers and some died only a few hours before the peace was signed.
Cabool had given of herself in so many ways. Those remaining at home had helped to put every drive over the top – whether it was bonds, thrift stamps, or Red Cross. Women had knitted clothing and made quilts. These articles, along with things such as potatoes, butter, fancy crochet, and even pigs, calves, and any other things of value, were auctioned off to help the war cause. Cabool’s war help amounted to over $67,000 besides the hundreds of dollars raised otherwise. all this and more was done to help bring back the brave fighting men.
From the pen of George Duncan, editor of the Enterprise, in the December 5, 1918, issue of the paper came these words: “Why not a Memorial? Why should it not be the proper thing to erect a monument to our heroic boys?” he suggested a marble or granite shaft to be erected at some Main Street intersection upon which would be inscribed the names of all servicemen and a bronze tablet for those who were martyrs. He also asked for other suggestions from individuals and organizations to be made and that an organization be set up to further the plans adopted.
For many weeks suggestions and ideas were presented. One delegation suggested that Texas County build a beautiful concrete bridge across the Piney River at Gardner Ford with an arch or pillars bearing the names of all servicemen of Texas County. another suggested a public building centrally located in Cabool to serve as a library and auditorium with columns at the entrance with names of servicemen inscribed thereon. Still another suggested a large monument to be placed in the courtyard at Houston, such plan to be supported by all interested Texas County citizens. Many other ideas and suggestions were submitted by different individuals and organizations.
Then editor Duncan, who seemed to be the leader in the effort, had this to say in the January 30, 1919, issue, quoting from a poem by Hilton Gilmore: “Towns are set in the casualty list, that few of us have ever known: Hamlets that even geography missed, Maytown, Fulton, and Rhone. Towns whose main street is a broad dusty lane, brought into print with a sign; Home of a soldier who weltered in pain, Hydesville, and Goshem, and Nye…..”
“It is a painful thought,” he said, “that towns on the casualty list are known only be the good men lost on the battlefields, but not as pathetic as those towns suffering casualties of commercial extinction because they could not keep step with the living soldiers coming back. Will Cabool show her appreciation by a lasting, fitting memorial to their honor?”
A meeting was held on Saturday night, August 23, 1919, and there plans were perfected for a memorial. The ladies of the Liberty Club were to be its sponsors, some of whose names were Mesdames T. Brooks, H Hanna. W. W. Durnell, C.E Davis, L.M. Edens, and many others not listed. The first donation received was from Mrs. Herman Neiwohner, whose son Clarence Colvin had made the supreme sacrifice, followed by many other gifts from individuals and organizations.
The location decided upon was the the intersection of Cedar Street and Main. Here was located the old city well dug in 1881 when Cabool’s Main Street was only a cow path. Later a bandstand was built over it and here Cabool citizens and surrounding farmers gathered for concerts, drawings, speaking, and rallies of all sorts, making it an ideal location.
William Frederick drew up the plans for the memorial arch to be built of native stone and concrete. R.L. Martin was to be it’s builder, and it was to be lighted by 48 ten-watt bulbs, installed by electrician Fred Miller. Mose Lowthers made the lettering and numbers, and Dave Richardson helped, as did many others whose names we do not have, as all labor was donated. At each corner was to be a post with a large flower pot. Many ladies of the Priscilla, Liberty, and Homemakers clubs were active in helping take subscriptions and donations.
Actual work began in early September 1919, and the announcement was made September 18 that the dedication of the new memorial would be held as the first event of Cabool’s Fair and Stock Show at 10:00 a.m. on September 26. then came rainy weather, and the arch could not be completed by that date, but it was decided to go ahead with the dedication anyway.
Finally, the big day came, and a large crowd was assembled around Cabool’s new Victory Arch Memorial. Cabool was busting out all over with pride that day. Many compliments came from traveling people, saying it was the first memorial whey had seen in their travels to be erected to the fighting men in Missouri and perhaps the nation.
Anyway, Cabool was happy that day. Promptly at 9:00 a.m. Cabool’s band started playing and all the school children with their teachers marched army-style down the hill to be present at is dedication. A few remarks were made by Mayor Charles P. Patton, who introduced Professor Dowell of the school.
Dowell spoke until the principal speaker, the Honorable W.E. Barton, arrived and proceeded to deliver a wonderful piece of oratory, much to the enjoyment of the crowd. then the crowd formed a parade and marched to the fairgrounds in a drill by Captains Durnell and Stogsdill.
The picnic that day featured a steam swing which seemed to draw the most of the business. airplane rides were to be offered Saturday, but the pilot, after searching with others for a suitable landing field, could not find a suitable place because of growing crops, much to the disappointment of many.
The arch was lighted up for the first time on Friday night, October 17, 1919, and my, what a beautiful sight it made. It was later found to be almost impossible to keep electric bulbs in it as large freight trains thundering through town kept them broken.
On March 4, 1920, the Enterprise carried a picture of the arch announcing that the bronze plates were in place, and well may the soldiers names are inscribed upon them as well as the whole community proud. The plates cost about $300, and the arch as it stood, all together, about $1000. All the names inscribed thereon were listed in the paper that week.
Cabool and its citizens received many compliments on the arch from many people, but a write-up in the Kansas City Post in October of 1919 topped them all. Here is the article in part: “‘Little Missouri Village Sets Memorial Example for Kansas City,’ Down in Texas County, Missouri, nestling amid the Ozarks eastern slope, there is a little village that has set a wonderful example for Kansas City in the way of a memorial tribute to our soldiers. Cabool is the name of the village. yes, you’ve heard of it before, for it has extended fame as a big red apple center, and there are peaches, pears, strawberries, and chickens, pigs, and buoyant boys and girls, and home-loving women, and red-blooded All-American men, and school house and churches and cozy homes, and much else that goes to make life worth living, including a wealth of glorious sunshine and pure mountain air. But int he midst of the Cabool’s sunshine, there entered onetime a pall of darkness – that was when the young men of the village marched away to war. But Cabool, always optimistic, too a philosophical view, and the ones who had to stay home kept productivity at peak, and liberal beyond expectations when liberty loan solicitors came that way.
“And at last there dawned a day when there was a great homecoming in Cabool, the day when ‘the boys’ came trooping back – that is some of them came back. Plain white slabs of wood in Flanders Field tell the story of several Cabool boys who did not, who could not come home.
“But now as to how Cabool set an example for Kansas City and many other cities. Here it is: With a tear for the dead and a cheer for the survivors, the 1,000 men, women, and children set out to build a memorial. (Population or Cabool in 1920 was 905.) And they built it too, No, it’s not only a grand memorial measured in dollars and cents, its value is not staggering, but it was builded upon a foundation of patriotic sincerity, and considering the entire population is only about 1,000, the undertaking was comparatively greater than that which Kansas City has underway. Pinnacled in final analysis, if every inhabitant of Kansas City will do as well as Cabool people have done, just think what a great memorial can be made possible here. Now, let’s face the facts that we are going to get down to business, and shell out the coin.”
The article went on to say that it wold take hard work, and that Kansas City is some 400 times bigger than Cabool, so “let’s go 400 bigger in the memorial cause….”
The Cabool arch was completed in June of 1920 when the civic club completed arrangements for a concrete platform surrounding it. So from the year 1919, the memorial arch stood in the middle of Main and Cedar streets, constantly reminding people, as the business of the little city swirled around it, of the sacrifice of those whose names were inscribed upon its plates.
Many happy occasions and celebrations were held around it in the years following. Many people drank water from its pump and tin cup. Many sermons and speeches were offered from its platform, and many happy memories lingered around it. For many years the ladies of the Priscilla Club kept its flower boxes blooming with pretty flowers.
VFW Monument Dedicated on the Fourth of July, 1992
By Pearl Short.
On July 4, VFW Post 473 color guard and rifle detail was given the honor to lead the Cabool High School alumni parade to the corner of Main and Spruce where most of the alumni remained to talk over old days of school and family.
The color guard, with Glen Faler in command, led the men back to the Gateway Park where they paid a tribute to departed veterans and living ones as well, for all of us to enjoy peace and freedom. May it last a long time so no more young people have to leave home and family or lose their lives.
All Wars Monument Memorial Constructed at Gateway Park
By Pearl Short
This monument was born with people saying, “Why has it taken so long?”
Three caring people started on their own to make it come true. LaDora Pounds and Pam Boileau made two beautiful dolls to be given away, with a donation, with a drawing. Money raised was to be used as a start of a Memorial Monument for all veterans. R.C. Crossland took it on himself to canvass the City of Cabool business district and some private persons for donations. He was met with lots of nice, friendly, giving for freedom caring persons. Gave of their cash and feelings with the understanding it would be in the beautiful Gateway Memorial Park, in a place of prominence for all to remember the price of peace which is very fragile.
Post 473 Veterans of Foreign Wars was asked to hold said monies in escrow for this project only. At a post meeting they talked about three different size and shapes of monuments and appointed a committee to follow up.
The monument was ordered, flags of the United States and Missouri were readied to be put in places of honor., Rep. Jim Montgomery gave the Missouri flag for the park. The city and veterans worked together on lights and foundation for the monument.
The above two articles were in the July 16, 1992 issue of the Cabool Enterprise.
Above articles and photos submitted by VFW Post 473 Quartermaster Russ Olewinski