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World War I Doughboy


 

 In 1919, the state of Missouri appropriated money to erect World War memorials in each county. The Cass County Court, after careful deliberation, awarded a contract for the construction of a monument to Cass County’s World War soldiers to E.J. Kling of Butler. Kling’s copyrighted design was first created for the Bates County monument. W.O. Jackson, a Butler veteran had volunteered to be the model for the statute for Kling to create. The statute cost $2,500, with the state paying $1,000, the Cass County Court paid $1,000 and the American Legion Auxiliary donated $500, covering the total cost. The statute was said to be the only granite statute carved with all the equipment a soldier carried in the war, including light pack, gas mask, side arms and rifle. Upon, the completion of the monument, the county organized a dedication ceremony. The ceremony occurred on Monday, November 11, 1929 on the south side of the square. The event began with a parade starting at the schoolhouse at 1pm and ending at the square at 2pm. The dedication ceremony began at 2pm on the South side of the square. The schoolchildren were excused from school, in order to participate in the event. The three dime stores on the square, Nyland’s on the east and Cox and Russell’s on the south side gave children small American flags to fly in the ceremony. It is said that there were over 10,000 people packed on the square that day. Since that monumental day, the World War Doughboy monument continues to recognize the sacrifice’s of the American soldiers of Cass County from World War I.