Erecting The First Monument to the Civil War Dead: Dan Rice and Girard, Pa.’s Place in History – Dan Rice, the best known circus showman of the mid 1800s, had been accused of being a spy for the South early in the Civil War. In March 1865 he discovered a monument being crafted in Chicago. With it he planned to repair his reputation as well as bring honor to his current hometown, but it required approval from the Girard Borough Council. Despite vigorous opposition from several local leaders, his plan came to fruition on November 2, 1865, with a grand celebration for the unveiling of the first U.S. monument to the Civil War dead. The next day those opposed to the monument seemed vindicated. Sabina S. Freeman, B.A.
Sabina Shields Freeman holds a BA in Journalism from The Ohio State University.
Freeman currently has several books in print about people and places in the Erie area. Her first book was about Erie city and county women, Erie History the Women’s Story, which she co-authored with Margaret Tenpas in 1982 for the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Freemans’ books are available through the Fairview Area Historical Society, the Erie County Historical Society, two local bookstores and her website: hiflightpress.com.
Freeman has contributed articles to several historical magazines and is currently working on a comprehensive biography of Girard’s circus showman Dan Rice.