Leon Holds Dedication Ceremony

Article from the Dunkirk Observer on June 9, 2011:

LEON - Jodi Oakes, a member of the Leon Historical Social, dedicated the 100-year monument on Memorial Day, May 30.

A Soldiers Monument was dedicated May 30, 1911. It consists of seven pieces of granite, a base 7-feet square, surmounted by a full-size sculptured soldier in honor of soldiers of the Civil War. It is 25-feet tall. Purchased from Frank Forness of Salamanca, it cost about $2,000. Captain Fancher Post 310, G.A.R., Women Relief Corps 156, Senator Albert T Fancher, and friends provided the funds.

In the spring of 1851 William Fancher came to Leon. He went to work with his brother John at the blacksmith trade, worked for about a year, then he and his brother purchased a farm of 146 acres in the east part of Leon.

In September, 1852 he married Lydia Mills, daughter of Thomas Mills, an old resident of Leon.

He worked on his farm until the commencement of the Civil War. In the spring of 1861, Capt. Fancher was elected to the office of supervisor of Leon, but on the breaking out of the Rebellion his military talent was again called. A company of home guards was formed, of which he was elected captain. Sept. 13, 1861 he enlisted in the military service, and soon received a captain's commission in Co. K, 64th Regiment.

He was in active service until the latter part of March, 1862, when he was stricken by typhoid fever, and on May 1 he received a furlough and was allowed to return home.

He reached the residence of his father-in-law, Thomas Mills, May 17, 1862 and died on the 24th following, the relentless hand of death cutting short what bade fair to be an honorable and useful career. He left two children, a son and daughter and wife.

The captain was a man of strict integrity and good business habits. He was highly respected as a town citizen, and his loss was severely felt by a large circle of friends.

The picture of the Monument was honored on Memorial Day in the Town of Leon for the Civil War celebration on 150th year.

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