Sergeant Charles Floyd Monument

Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa

An important historical event took place on the 30th of May, 1901, when a monument in memory of Sergeant Charles Floyd, was dedicated near Sioux City.

The idea of erecting this memorial to the member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who was buried on the bluff, was conceived by John H. Charles a quarter of a century ago. Through his efforts combined with the influence of Hon. George D. Perkins, who secured an appropriation from Congress of $5,000 towards the work, and liberal aid from the State Legislature, Woodbury County and Sioux City, as well as from private citizens, the monument stands as one of the most beautiful and appropriate historical memorials in the United States.

Captain Chittenden, the United States engineer under whose direction the monument was constructed, says: "It is a solid masonry obelisk built in careful conformity with the proportions of the ancient Egyptian models." The material is Kettle River (Minnesota) sandstone. The shaft is slightly more than one hundred feet above the base with two massive tablets of bronze bearing historical inscriptions.

At the dedication of the monument Hon. John A. Kasson, Iowa's distinguished statesman and diplomat, delivered the principal address which was characterized by Hon. George D. Perkins as a "distinct contribution to the history of the Louisiana Territory and purchase." In the address Mr. Kasson says:

"In honor of the dead they dedicated to his memory both the burial bluff and the little river in which they were moored. Thenceforth for all time these two objects in nature will preserve the name of their dead comrade. So does the nameóa mere sound in the airóbecome more imperishable than any structure of human workmanship. Unaffected by flood or tempest, or war's destructiveness, it is repeated from father to son, for all generations. Rut this lofty monument is not erected solely to commemorate the modest life and humble career of the army sergeant whose bones were deposited in this soil long before the plow of civilization had disturbed it. Nor will the memorial serve only to celebrate the splendid exploration accomplished by his more fortunate companions. It also perpetuates the memory of a great historic act which influenced the fate of three nations and opened the way to new liberties and increased the happiness of mankind. It changed the development of our people and gave a new pathway to the march of our young republic. It is this historical significance of the monument which induced the National Congress, the Legislature of Iowa, and the patriotic people of Sioux City to combine their efforts for its erection."

In conclusion Mr. Kasson said:
"May this great memorial stand for ages to come to remind our children of the manly virtues of their race, which in the Nineteenth Century made the Republic so glorious in the annals of history."

[History of Iowa from the earliest times to the beginning of the, Vol. 3, 1903, submitted by Cathy D.]


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