The Eagle Monument is 100 years old. It was placed on the “Library” green on Memorial Day 1923 to honor the 112 World War I Veterans and veterans from past wars. The cost ($1,800) was raised through a door-to-door campaign across our community. The Eagle was cast in the Monumental Brass Foundry of Bridgeport, CT and placed on a block of local stone, shaped and placed by the Fox-Becker Monument Company of Middletown. Contractor Harry Moore of Deep River, prepared the base and Nurseryman H. J. Zack provided both the plants and labor to install them. The Eagle has been a focal point on Main Street and the center of our Memorial Day services for 100 years.
Our American Legion Post #61 is named for two of them. Richard Ibell, died in France just eighteen days before the Armistice was signed. He was born in New Britain, CT but his father took a job at the CT Valley Orchards and the family moved to Fairview Avenue in Deep River. Richard spent his childhood here and later worked as a groundskeeper for E.J.B. Southworth and became a volunteer fireman. “Dick” took a job as foreman in the electrical department of the Schaffer & Marsh Company in Bristol. He enlisted in Hartford on March 17, 1914 as part of the 4th Company, Engineering Corps at Fort Slocum, NY. During his military career he served in Mexico earning the rank of Sergeant. In March of 1918 he was commission Second Lieutenant and deployed as part of the 301st Engineers American Expeditionary Forces with the Seventy-Sixth Division to San Michiel, France. He was wounded when his tent was shelled and transferred to the hospital. On October 16th he wrote home to say he was much improved. But while in the hospital Lt. Ibell contracted measles and then pneumonia. It was less than a week afterwards that he was reported to have died. He was buried in Cemetery 91 GRS St. 6. His body was shipped to the United States on May 18, 1921 and buried in Farmington Cemetery in CT.
Clarence W. Jacobson was born in Pawtucket, RI but at an early age he became an orphan and was placed in the orphan’s home in Cromwell along with his brother and sister. He came to live on Village Street with Mrs. Melvina Johnson. Clarence worked as a clerk at the A & P store. He enlisted in the National Guard in Hartford on June 6, 1917 at the age of 19 years and 10 months. He served as a Private involved in action in Aisne-Marne and the defense of Champagne-Marne, Chemin-des-Dames, and Toul-Bouca when he was killed in action on July 22, 1918. His brother Harold of Cromwell CT received the telegram with the sad news.
Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a day for remembering those that didn’t come home.