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Monument BankThe Monument of the 104th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers was recounted in Doylestown Old and New (1905) by W.W.H. Davis and summarized for Monument Bank by Judge Ed Ludwig.
The monument to the dead of the 104th Regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers was dedicated in Doylestown on May 30th, 1868.

It was conceived of, financed, contracted for, and its location selected by Colonel William Watts Hart Davis, the regimental commander (later brevetted a brigadier general by Act of Congress). Davis was also a lawyer, author of ten books, publisher of the Doylestown Democrat, printer, and twice defeated candidate for Congress. After the Civil War, he lived on East Court Street for 51 years, until he died in 1910. He founded the Bucks County Historical Society in 1880.

The place originally chosen for the monument was the Doylestown Cemetery.Davis wrote a letter dated January 30, 1867 to the president of the cemetery company, Rev. Silas M. Andrews, D.D., requesting permission to locate the monument in its central plot. That permission was granted but not until late May, and by then Davis had obtained approval of the site in the heart of Doylestown Borough, which became known as “Monument Square.”

The specifications consisted of “white American Marble, sound and free from flaw or other defect.” The contractor was Struthers & Son, of Philadelphia, for the contract price of $2,500 including delivery and installation. A cement foundation, several feet below ground, was laid in April 1868.

The dedication ceremonies, with hundreds of people in attendance, were begun by a procession through Doylestown. There was music, prayer, an ode by a lawyer named George Lear, Esq., an address by a major general, a dirge written by Miss Olivia Hill and sung by a choir, and a benediction by the former regimental chaplain. Congressman C. N. Taylor obtained four cannons from the War Department as a gift to the borough.

Davis’s account of the dedication of the monument concludes as follows:

The Civil War made an indelible impress on Doylestown, as on every other community, North and South. They were never the same afterward; it was a change from the Old to the New, view it from a national, state, business, political or social standpoint. It drew lines as lasting as if drawn by the graver’s tool.

The monument has been one of the focal points of the borough. A former large hotel, across Main Street, the Monument House, was named after it. Standing in front of the courthouse, the monument continues to be an important Doylestown landmark.

January 2007


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