Soldiers & Sailors Monument Memorial – At the dedication of The Woodside Cemetery Association in 1895, trustees of the Cemetery donated a triangular piece of land for the burials of soldiers and a challenge was put forth to the community to raise funds for a memorial to local soldiers and sailors that fought in the Civil War. The lot was dedicated and turned over by trustees – Joseph R. Allen, James Lawrence, and Henry Knight – for the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and Civil War Veterans.
At the dedication of the ground, Paul J. Sorg, a congressman from Middletown, challenged the community to raise the funds and local farmers were asked to haul their finest boulders to the site on wagons. He promised that if the citizens would do their part, he would donate a bronze figure to adorn the top of the100 ft. Monument. So in 1895, the process of raising funds began.
Working with Woodside’s Board, Paul Sorg secured the services of a young gentleman who would become a world famous architect, Frank Mills Andrews, to design the monument. Mr. Andrews also designed buildings for NCR, Dayton, hotels, state capitol buildings, and other famous structures throughout the world.
Fund raising for the monument locally was slow and Hamilton citizens wanted to erect a monument on the site of old Fort Hamilton, so it was decided to pass a countywide bond issue for both patriotic projects.
Middletown’s Soldiers monument cost $7,358, and Paul Sorg, as promised, donated $3,000 for the bronze statue.
A special dedication program was held at the Sorg Opera House on December 17, 1902. On stage were members of the GAR, and a program of prayer, singing, and speech making. After the program, a parade was formed and citizens again assembled at Woodside at the completed monument. Miss Ada Sorg, speaking for her now deceased father, unveiled the monument, dedicating it in honor of the brave veterans who served the country.