On Saturday, November 11th, Veterans Day, Lytle Camp 10, Department of Ohio, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, became the first fraternal Civil War organization to hold an official ceremony in over 60 years at the Historic Hamilton County Memorial Hall in downtown Cincinnati. Over 30 members and guests attended the Camp installation of the 2018 Officers, as Commander Larry Collins relinquished command of the Camp to Commander Colonel (R) Todd Mayer. Commander Mayer was sworn in to his post using a bible that has been in passed down through the generations since 1880s. Awards were given out to Camp members for their contributions to the Camp throughout the 2017 campaign. Additionally Commander Collins and National Auxiliary leader Wanda Langdon received gifts of appreciation for all of their contributions to the Camp. Commander Collins last act as Commander, was to recognize the contributions of Camp co-founder Jim “Tex” Houston. Brother Houston was awarded a life time achievement plaque for all he has done for the Camp over the years. The plaque has an image of General Lytle, and an image of our membership badge.
After the ceremony, and the meeting was closed, members went upstairs to listen to the Guest speaker, our very own Brother Richard Davis. He delivered an outstanding talk on the GAR, GAR history in Cincinnati and Memorial Hall. This was followed by Brothers Woody Cook and Todd Mayer displaying their military memorabilia, and engaging the public about veterans.
Memorial Hall is located at Elm & Grant Streets, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The building is next to Cincinnati’s Music Hall and across from Washington Park in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. It was built by the Grand Army of the Republic and Hamilton County in 1908, as a memorial to the military of the city and county. The building was built in the Beaux-Arts style.
Constructed according to a design by Samuel Hannaford and Sons, the Memorial Building was intended to commemorate members of all branches of the U.S. armed services. The hall contains a 556-seat theater that was designed for speaking, but is also used as a venue for concerts, film screenings and theatrical events.
In late 1978, the Memorial Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, qualifying for inclusion both because of its architecture and because of its place in the area’s history. Its location on Washington Park places it in the historic district that embraces most of Over-the-Rhine, which was added to the Register five years after the Memorial Building was individually added.
After its construction in 1908, the Hall was used for Grand Army of the Republic Post meetings, including the WH Lytle Post 47. Additionally veterans reunions were held here, including the 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and 4th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry to name a few.
Camp members were thrilled with the event on Saturday, and humbled to be part of an historical event.