Ada's iconic cannon in Railroad Park was dedicated in 1903 and was a tribute to the area's Civil War soldiers.  (Herald / Joe Schriner)
Ada's iconic cannon in Railroad Park was dedicated in 1903 and was a tribute to the area's Civil War soldiers. (Herald / Joe Schriner)

ADA/circa, 1903 -- The cannon in Ada’s Railroad Park is aiming toward the southeast. That is no coincidence. It was aimed toward Ft. Sumter as a symbolic show of cover protection, as well as a poignant show of respect for area soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

The Battle of Ft. Sumter was the bombardment of the fort by South Carolina militia, which began the American Civil War in 1861.

Ada’s historian Leland Crouse has some archival material on the cannon, including some material from now deceased Ada historian Betty Miller. She wrote a series of essays titled “Small Town Samplers” booklets, including one on the cannon.

She notes that the cannon was dedicated in 1903.

A company in Leipsic made “…a Barre granite base, die and a gun rest” for the cannon. The cost was $575, which was sizeable sum back then. However, some 200 Ada individuals and businesses kicked in anywhere from $1 to $5 for the base.

The cannon, by the way, was free.

Ada had “The Carman Post,” which was a division of the nationwide “Grand Army of the Republic. (GAR)” The GAR was formed post-Civil War and became the predecessor of the American Legion, according to Mr. Crouse.

Ada’s Carman Post 101 petitioned the federal government for a “condemned cannon.” And the government not only said sure, but even shipped it for free.

It came from Ft. Mifflin in Pennsylvania and was shipped via the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The intent of the cannon was, again, about “…Ada honoring it’s Civil War veterans.”

After the cannon was put in place, on Memorial Day, 1903, “…Ada Mayor L.A. Greer presided at the dedication and presented the monument, on behalf to the donors, to Carman Post 101 for safekeeping,’ according to Ms. Miller’s writing.

Note: In an article in the “American Battlefield Trust,” cannons were manned by teams of at least nine soldiers. What’s more, the cannons were often tremendously heavy. The article noted that a cannon meant to fire only 10-pound projectiles, could weigh up to half a ton. It took six horses, or sometimes mules, on average, to move a cannon into position.