Lincolns For Rosecrans campaign wraps up
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
On President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, Big Walnut Local School District students completed the Lincolns for Rosecrans penny campaign to help pay for a bronze equestrian statue to honor Major General William Starke Rosecrans.
William Starke Rosecrans was born in Kingston Township September 6, 1819, attended West Point, and became one of the Civil War’s least understood generals. So misunderstood that he is the only Civil War general not honored with an equestrian statue.
That all started to change about two years ago when members of the Rosecrans’ Command Headquarters Unit based at the Myers Inn Museum in Sunbury started fundraising activities for the $175,000 statue.
Over the past five-and-a-half weeks students in all three school district elementary buildings and Big Walnut Middle School collected $2,267.21 towards the bronze statue being made by sculptor Alan Cottrill. The top school in the Lincolns for Rosecrans campaign was General Rosecrans Elementary where students collected $1,237.51; and Jessica Amodio’s second grade class led the school by collecting $177.07.
Students in Virginia Crawford’s third grade class collected $167.09, while Kari Thomas’ first graders gathered $101.28. One Big Walnut Elementary student brought in a bucket containing $108.05. Big Walnut Middle School students counted and rolled over $100 in pennies; and volunteers Damon and Janet Bower, Alice Chapan, Suzanne Allen, Liz Golowenski and Polly Horn counted $350 before deciding to use a machine to count the coins.
“We are very pleased with the enthusiastic participation of all the students and staff in the schools,” said penny-drive chair Sue Comisford. “The purpose of the campaign was to give teachers the opportunity to share facts about General Rosecrans with students so they could learn about our local hero in an interesting manner. As they grow into adults today’s students will remember how they collected pennies to help build the statue, and will pass their knowledge of General Rosecrans on to their children.”
Lincolns for Rosecrans was the last planned campaign for raising funds for the statue, but Myers Inn Museum Curator Polly Horn said $10,586 still needs to be collected for the project.
“Many people and companies have said they want to be a part of the project, but have not yet sent in their checks,” Horn said.
Brochures with information about purchasing commemorative bricks paving the Trail to the General are available at the statue site, at the Myers Inn, and at < BigWalnutHistory.org >.
Festivities for the dedication of the statue will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 28.