The story behind the stunning monument…
In January 2006, some local citizens began to meet and discuss the building of a local Civil War Memorial, preferably in downtown Lemont. It was felt that the logical place would be Legion Park, right across from the train station where most men would leave for duty. A committee was formed and it was decided that the first thing to do first was to meet with the owner of Legion Park, the Lemont Park District and present the idea. They were pleased and enthusiastic about the proposal!
There are many key people that made this beautiful Memorial possible.
Clyde Zimmer (pictured to the right) was acting President of the Civil War Memorial Committee and did most of the research to find all the enlisted men from Lemont Township, which numbered about 290. This was much higher (about 10 times more!) than the anticipated quota of about 30! Charles Kallick, a retired doctor, was also part of the committee with his wife Sonia who was responsible for much of the writing of the early history. Their daughter Ingrid was also involved; a very talented artist who had a great idea for a cast sculpture. Richard H. Lee, a friend of Clyde’s and active member of the Lemont Area Historical Society, agreed to help and be the committee’s Secretary and Treasurer. The Park District assisted in setting up a special fund with the Lemont Park Foundation as a tax-deductible charity.
Greta Hayes is another local activist who wanted to get involved and later persuaded her son Shawn to help construct the memorial. Jim McGloin, a retired Library Director, had an interest in the Civil War and also joined the Committee to help. In late 2007, David Wendall, a reporter for the local newspaper, heard about the project and came to meet with the Committee and offered to help. He became the prime mover and organizer for the grand dedication in May 2008. David went out and found local businesses to contribute enough to complete the project. He was the one who invited all the Civil War reenactors and organized a parade, finishing in the dedication.
Another major contributor was Captain Jim McCreary and his son, Matt, from Laser Sketch. The Committee was very grateful to them for their excellent artwork and contributions to the project. At the dedication the following year they donated the granite plaques of the roster for the back of the Memorial etched with a laser.
Today the Civil War Memorial stands proud as a testament to the fine men who served and also to the fine folks of Lemont who made this monument possible.
A special THANKS to the Committee Members:
Clyde Zimmer – President
Richard H. Lee – Secretary and Treasurer
Charles Kallick – Committee Member
Sonia Kallick – Committee Member
Greta Hayes – Committee Member
Jim McGloin – Committee Member
Shawn Hayes – Construction
David Wendal – Reporter and Civil War Enthusiast
Captain Jim McCreary – Artist and Supporter
Ingrid Kallick – Artist
Matt McCreary – Artist
A very special THANKS to all the soliders and sailors who served. Click here for a list of names of those we honor.
“Thank you” to Richard H. Lee for providing the Lemont Park District with the above information.