Attractions History & Heritage

Byron Civil War Soldiers Monument

Byron, IL - Ogle County
Home / What to Do / Attractions / History & Heritage / Byron Civil War Soldiers Monument


  • Intersection of Chestnut & 2nd St
  • Byron, IL, 61010
Get Directions



The Byron Civil War Soldiers Monument is Illinois’ oldest Civil War monument and was built in 1866 at a cost of $1,400.00.  It was originally built to honor all local soldiers who had died in the Civil War but the monument eventually included all local civil war veterans upon their passing, including those who had enlisted in other states.  The monument, located off the business district in the intersection of two streets, has been an integral part of the Byron scenery since its dedication.  Its symbolic value was recognized when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 14, 1985.

An article from the August 19, 1897 Byron Express newspaper describes how the monument first came to be: “In the summer of 1865, soon after the close of the war a movement was set afoot for the erection of a soldier’s monument in honor and to the memory of those brave men who had fallen during that terrible struggle. A subscription was started and in a short time the necessary funds were raised. A meeting was called Sept. 27, 1865 and a permanent association called ‘The Byron Monument Association,’ was formed.  I.W. Norton was chosen president, M.L. Seymour, Sect’y and James Johnson, Treas., a constitution and By Laws was adopted and a committee consisting of F.A. Smith, Silas Kidder, Wright C. Hall, Aquila Spencer, A.F. Johnson, J.P. Smith, Dr. J. Blount, John S. Rosier and M.L. Seymour was appointed with power to go on and complete the work. The monument proper was erected at a cost of $950, but the foundation, fence etc., increased that amount to $1,400.”

The initial concept then was to inscribe the names of all of local soldiers who had died in that war. In practice the monument eventually included all local civil war veterans upon their passing, including those who had enlisted in other states, such as Richard Christopher, Byron’s only African-American CW veteran. Curiously, one that was missed in this latter category was Lieutenant Luke Parsons, a prominent former Byron citizen who had enlisted in Kansas. Although veterans of the earlier 1812 war and the later Spanish-American war have also been included it’s fair to claim this is primarily a Civil War monument. It was one of the first in Illinois to be erected and the earliest one still standing in 2016, its sesquicentennial.

It should be no surprise that Byron, Illinois was among the first communities in the country to build a monument to fallen Union soldiers and sailors.  In the years leading up to the civil war the village had already been active in supporting the political causes of retaining the Union and resistance to slavery.

๐ŸŽฅโœจ Step back in time at the ๐—”๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜† ๐——๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜ ๐— ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜‚๐—บ! ๐Ÿš‚โœจDon't miss out on this journey through history. ๐Ÿ‘‰

#VisitNWIllinois #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois Enjoy Illinois #history #railroad #railroadhistory
๐Ÿ“ฌโœจ Donโ€™t miss a beat! Stay updated on all the latest events and attractions in Northwest Illinois by subscribing to our monthly email newsletter. From festivals to local secrets, weโ€™ve got all the highlights! ๐Ÿ‘‰ ๐‘บ๐˜พ๐‘จ๐™‰ ๐˜พ๐’๐™™๐’† ๐’•๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ช๐™—๐™จ๐™˜๐™ง๐™ž๐™—๐™š!  ๐.๐’. The next issue goes out on July 16.

#VisitNWIllinois #LocalEvents @enjoyillinois  #middleofeverything #enjoyillinois #summerevents #discoverillinois
๐ŸŽ‰ Get ready for a weekend of fun in #NWillinois! ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐Ÿ“… Dates: July 12โ€“14๐Ÿ“ Location: Across Carroll, Lee, Whiteside, and Ogle Counties๐ŸŽถ Live music, delicious food, exciting activities, and more! Don't miss out on the summer vibes and community fun. Go to our EVENTS Calendar for more activities:

#VisitNWillinois @visitcarrollcountyil  cmaaa @hiddentimber #byronfest, #daylillybloomfest @therhythmsectionamphitheater @byronfest @enjoyillinois #enjoyillinois #middleofeverything
๐ŸŒž Summer vibes in full swing! From sunny days to fun-filled adventures, Northwest Illinois has IT ALL! Get our #FREE #TravelGuide.

 #VisitNWillinois #middleofeverything Enjoy Illinois @enjoyillinois #FunTimes #ExploreLocal
Heads up, art lovers! TOMORROW, 7/6, the ๐—ก๐˜‚๐˜๐˜€ ๐—”๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—”๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ runs from 9-4 p.m. at John Dixon Park in #DixonIL. It's an annual highlight of the @dixon_petunia_festival. It's free, and has food, music, and a kids' tie-dye t-shirt event. 

#VisitNWillinois #artshow @tnps_dixon  #middleofeverything @enjoyillinois @visitleecountyil
๐ŸŽ† Happy 4th of July, from your friends at #VisitNWillinois! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Celebrate with BBQ, fireworks, and trying to remember the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" after three hot dogs! ๐ŸŒญ๐ŸŽ‡ 

#IndependenceDayFun #enjoyillinois Enjoy Illinois #middleofeverything @enjoyillinois
๐ŸŒž What are your weekend plans? If you're seeking an adrenaline rush, why not try skydiving at the ๐—–๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฆ๐—ธ๐˜†๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—–๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ in #RochelleIL? ๐Ÿช‚ Experience the thrill of a lifetime and make unforgettable memories! 

#Skydiving #RochelleIL #AdventureAwaits #WeekendFun #visitnwillinois @enjoyillinois #middleofeverything @skydivecsc


Request a free copy or view our latest guide online.


Ideas and resources to help plan your next real getaway in NW Illinois.