Methuen Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument
Location: Junction of Pleasant and Charles Streets, Methuen
Coordinates: 42°43’44.4″N 71°11’06.9″W
Date dedicated: July 24, 1888
Architect/contractor/sculptor: Thomas Ball, designer; Hallowell Granite Works, contractor
Capt. Charles H. Tenney of Methuen proposed and paid for this monument, donating it to the Grand Army of the Republic, Col. William B. Greene Post 100. The GAR later gifted it to the Town of Methuen. The monument was designed by sculptor Thomas Ball, best known for his equestrian statue of George Washington in Boston’s Public Garden. The two lions are distinctive and unusual for a Civil War monument. The dedication address was given by George B. Loring of Salem, a U.S. Representative, former Surgeon of the 7th Massachusetts Infantry, and a popular speaker booked for many monument dedications.
The contract was awarded to the Hallowell Granite Works of Hallowell, Maine. Although it was one of the largest granite companies in the country, Massachusetts municipalities typically looked to closer outfits in Quincy. However, the founder of Hallowell Granite was a Methuen native (Joseph R. Bodwell) and so the contract went to him.
Walnut Grove Cemetery Monument
Location: 19 Grove Street, Methuen
Coordinates: 42°43’21.8″N 71°11’22.5″W
Date dedicated: Unknown
Number of names: 19 buried in the soldiers’ plot
Information is scarce regarding this memorial marking the GAR plot in Walnut Grove Cemetery. It bears the names of 19 soldiers buried there (many more Methuen veterans are buried in private plots elsewhere in the cemetery). The ranking soldier memorialized on this monument is First Sergeant Frank Sanborn, a 26 year-old hatter who enlisted as one of the “Minutemen of ’61” with the 6th Massachusetts Militia. After his first term of service was completed, he reenlisted with the 26th Massachusetts Infantry but was discharged due to illness in 1862. He then reenlisted again with the 59th Massachusetts Infantry and was killed during the Siege of Petersburg on June 29, 1864.