German machine gun once on display on courthouse square

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During a 1938 homecoming sponsored by the American Legion, a German machine gun was displayed on the Madison County Court House square.  The gun was acquired by the American Legion through an act of Congress.

Ohio cities, towns and villages had asked for trophies to honor the citizens who served in World War I. Rep. S.D. Fess introduced the bill in Congress to secure the machine gun in 1919; it did not arrive in London until after 1921.

The flag pole in this picture stood at the intersection of Main and High streets. The Boy Scouts raised funds to have the flag pole erected. It was dedicated on June 14, 1918, in honor of the Boys of Company C and from Madison County who were in the service.

The flag pole was removed on Nov. 10, 1927, and moved to the court house lawn on a concrete base. Added to the base was a Liberty Loan stone and plaque, along with the captured German machine gun.  It was requested to be moved following complaints received by highway officials stating it was a traffic menace.

The flag pole today is one in the new war veterans memorial that was erected on the court house lawn in 2002. The Boy Scout flag pole displayed Old Glory for over 80 years.

Columnist Earl Ballenger is a resident of London. If you have an old photograph to share, call 740-852-0809. 

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