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Large Attendance at Dedication of Edison Monument

Written by Dick Perue

Between 600 and 700 persons convened at a point on the Encampment-Slater highway, near Battle Lake above Encampment, Sunday for the formal dedication of a bronze memorial to Thomas Alva Edison. 

The lead paragraph of a news item in the Sept. 8, 1949 edition of “The Saratoga Sun” emphasized the large crowd at the dedication of the Edison Monument.

The article continues: 

The ceremonies were sponsored by the Historical Landmarks Commission of Wyoming and attended by several state and national dignitaries in addition to many interested persons, spectators and sight-seers from throughout Wyoming.

The ceremonies got under way about 11 a.m. with the formal dedication of the bronze plaque, about two-feet by three-feet in size and imbedded in the face of a concrete monument.

Warren Richardson, Cheyenne, chairman of the Landmarks Commission, presented the memorial to the state of Wyoming. State Auditor Everett T. Copenhaver, representing Gov. A.G. Crane, accepted for the state.

According to the account, several speeches followed, with the most interesting being that of a representative of the Edison family. The “Sun” noted:

Adm. Harold A. Bowen, New Jersey, executive director of the Thomas A. Edison Foundation, gave a short address. He attended the ceremony as a representative of the foundation and of Charles Edison, son of the famous inventor, who was invited but was unable to attend.

C.H. Ashley of Encampment reminisced on mining days in the Encampment and Battle areas, and Congressman Frank A. Barrett, who was among the dignitaries present for the occasion, gave a brief talk. Joseph Weppner, landmarks commission secretary, acted as master of ceremonies throughout the program.

The Encampment high school band, directed by S.S. Sharp, provided the musical portion of the program.

At 1 p.m., a beef barbecue was served at the old Battle town site. A champion 4-H beef was provided for the barbecue by the Encampment, Saratoga, Rawlins, Medicine Bow and Rock River-McFadden Lions clubs.

The monument is located along the Battle Lake Highway, Wyo. Hwy. 70, between Encampment and Baggs.