Soldier’s Monument

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Byron Celebrates Soldiers’ Monument
150 Years Old in 2016 – Illinois’ Oldest Civil War Memorial
This event is free and open to the public.
Saturday, October 15, 2016 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

10:00 am Cannon Fired near the Rock River at Hamas Park followed by a memorial wreath ceremony and foot parade to the monument.
11:00 am Re-dedication Ceremony and music at the Soldiers’ Monument  at the intersection of Second and Chestnut street. The music will continue at the reception hosted by the American Legion Hall at 116 North Union Street.
12:00 noon Byron’s Annual Chili Cook Off gates open!

The event begins at Hamas Park around 10:00 a.m. where Battery G will fire a cannon near the Rock River. Battery G is a Civil War reenactment group, based in the Rockford area, they participate in battle reenactments, living history encampments, parades, and ceremonies. Their mission is to educate the public about the American Civil War, about the role that field artillery played in the war, and about the people who fought and lived through those difficult times.

Additional volunteer reenactors dressed in period gear will give first person accounts of local, state, and federal personalities of the 1860s by mingling with the crowd before and after the parade. Beginning at Hamas Park, the parade will end at the monument on Second Street. Live music will be played throughout the event which will wrap up with a reception at the local American Legion Post #209 by noon when the annual Chili Cook Off begins.

The Byron community, along with General Fuller dedicated the Civil War marker that they began building before the war ended in 1865. Today this monument is the oldest still standing in Illinois despite having been struck by lightning and damaged by a tornado in 1918. The original dedication of this monument took place on October 16, 1866. You are invited to join in this historical re-dedication event on October 15, 2016.

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Special THANKS to the Illinois National Guard for participating in this event!




Byron Museum of History is proud to announce that it has received a $3,000 grant for an event planned around the re-dedication of the 150 year-old Soldiers’ Monument in Byron Illinois. The grant was awarded by the Arts and Humanities Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ Community Grants Program. These funds will help support the activities and promotion of the celebration planned for Saturday, October 15, 2016.

About the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois:
The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has been a regional leader in philanthropy since 1953. CFNIL serves as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, grow, and preserve an endowment for the needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding, CFNIL has granted more than $60 million for charitable purposes.


Special THANKS to Exelon for supporting this event!


About the Steering Committee:
The Byron Museum of History is spearheading this event however the steering committee is made up of representatives from several institutions in Ogle and Winnebago Counties including the Byron Forest Preserve, Byron Chamber of Commerce, City of Byron, and the Byron Library. Support and participation is also being provided by the Byron School District, the Illinois National Guard, American Legion Post #209, Battery G Civil War Reenactors, Byron Women’s Club, and local Scout Troops.

The mission of the Byron Museum District is to create awareness and appreciation for the history of the Byron area through preservation of our past for the education of our future. We are dedicated to preserving the Byron area’s rich history through exhibits, programs, and artifact preservation.

Visit for updates about the rededication. Questions about the Soldier’s monument and its history will be answered by calling the Byron Museum at 815-234-5031, or sending an e-mail to The Byron Museum of History is located at 110 N. Union Street in Byron, Illinois, 61010. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.


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working copy save the date

Thanks to those of you that participated in the public forum on November 17th. The steering committee has formed three main sub-committees; Marketing, Logistics, and Pageantry. If you are interested in serving on a sub-committee leading up to the October event, please contact Marian at the museum 815-234-5031 or email

Byron's Soldier's Monument

Byron’s Soldier’s Monument

Memorial Day in Byron around 1900

Memorial Day in Byron around 1900