Timeline of Slatington History

16 September 1909 Fireman's Monument in Union Cemetery Unveiled

Notwithstanding the fact that it rained the greater part of Thursday a little matter like that did not interfere materially with the unveiling ceremonies of the magnificent Fireman’s Monument in Union Cemetery, on that day.
The affair was largely attended considering the unfavorable weather.
Main street was crowded with people during the entire afternoon, and the business places and private residences were already decorated in honor of the event.
The parade formed at 2 o’clock and marched through the principal streets of town and made a pretty sight.
At least fifteen hundred people attended the ceremonies at the cemetery following the parade.
Nobody seems to care about the disagreeable weather, and cheerfully paid the tribute to the heroes who brave the flames.
The exercises were opened by the Slatington Band with a selection entitled “Love’s Offering.” Rev. N. F. Peters then followed with a prayer; Rev. Romberger read the 42d Psalm. “Rock of Ages” was then rendered by a male choir led by Howard Moyer. Prayer was then offered by Rev. H. M. Vogelsonger.
The Monument was then unveiled. Fifteen members of Vigilant Fire Co., No.2, Juniors, officiated. Each had a cord which had been drawn about the monument and it was Master J. W. Holben who pulled the cord with unveiled the monument.
The presentation address was made by Mr. Arthur Scranton, who had done the biggest part, financially, in supplying the lot and monument. He told, in a manner which could not help betray the feeling he has toward all fireman, why he saw fit to present this lasting memory to departed fireman in the shape of a monument He then and there extended the use of the plot to any member of a fire department in Pennsylvania, whether it be a paid or volunteer department.
Rev. G. A. Knerr, chaplain of the Fire Department, delivered the address of acceptance in an able manner. Rev. J. S. Erb pronounced the benediction and the exercises closed.

Source: The Slatington News, 18 September 1909

Fireman monument

Image source: The Slatington News, 11 September 1909


More information on the monument (The Slatington News, 4 September 1909):

The plot of ground on which it is placed was donated by Arthur Scranton, First Vice-President of the State Fireman’s Association of Penna. It measures thirty-three feet by thirty-three feet, and it has a title of perpetuity in which he Union Cemetery Association agrees to keep said plot of ground in good condition for all time to come.
The whole monument is made of a superior quality of Barre (Vt.) granite.
Its dimensions are as follows:
First Base, 9 ft. 6 in. by 6 ft. 10 in. by 1 ft. 3 in.
Second base, 7 ft. by 4 ft. 10 in. by 1 ft.
Third Base, 6 ft. by 3 ft. 10 in. by 11 ft.
Die A. 5 ft. 2 in. by 3 ft. by 2 ft.
Die B 5 ft. 6 in. by 2 ft. 8 in. by 2 ft. 6 in.
Cap, 2 ft. 7 in. by 2 ft. 4 in. by 1 ft. 6 in.
Figure, 1 ft. 7 in. by 1 ft. 7 in. by 7 ft.
Total height 16 feet 3 inches.
The figure represents a uniformed fireman in the heroic act of saving a child, holding it in his arms, and the child with its little arms clinging to the noble fireman.
The monument stands in the center of the plot. It commands a grand view of the surrounding country, including the Borough of Slatington, the Lehigh River, for miles, also Lehigh Gap and the southern slope of the Blue Mountain, together with it’s beautiful adjacent landscape eastward and westward for a distance of upwards of twenty miles.


Cemetery Plot Donated (The Slatington News, 12 December 1908)

Arthur Scranton, First Vice-President of the State Fireman’s Association, last week presented Vigilant Fire Co., No. 2, with a plot in Union cemetery, 33 feet square, on which he will have erected a monument costing $3000. The plot is located close to the soldiers’ and sailors’ plot. Mr. Scranton has donated $200 to the Cemetery association for perpetual care of the plot. If they so desire any members of the Slatington Fire Department may be interred in this plot.

GAR Monument

31 May 1909 (Monday) GAR Monument Dedicated

GAR Monument Slstington

GAR monument, Union cemetery, Slatington, in 2014; photo credit Richard Musselman

Dedication of the Samuel Kress Monument in Union Cemetery. Kress was a private in company I, 153rd infantry regiment PA volunteers, attached to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. He was killed in action at Gettysburg on 1 July 1863. Samuel Kress post no. 284 G.A.R. was organized in 1882. There are two monuments to the 153rd infantry at Gettysburg. (See also this image of the monument.)

The Gettysburg monument inscription reads:

"July 1. The Regiment held this position in the afternoon until the Corps was outflanked and retired, when it took position along the lane at the foot of East Cemetery Hill, where it remained until the close of the battle, assisting to repulse the enemy's assault on the night of the 2nd."
"Carried into action 24 officers 545 men. Killed and died of wounds 10 officers 40 men. Wounded 7 officers 117 men. Captured and missing 46 men. Total loss 211."

Sources: William Leickel, Slatington, Walnutport and Washington Township: A Military History (1991); Stone Sentinels; and NPS.