In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about the Civil War monument that is in Washington Square Park. He notes that “bums” liked to sleep in the park. It is still a favorite place for homeless men. The park is also a favorite place for protestors.
Abraham Lincoln at the top. Dedicated on Memorial Day, 1892, in the presence of President Benjamin Harrison, Gov. Roswell P. Flower and Frederick Douglass. There was a crowd of 10,000. Many wonder today why it is called “Washington Square” when the only monument is for Lincoln. It was called “Johnson Square” in the early days after Elisha Johnson who gave the lands for the square. That’s what it should be today. George Washington never slept there. Bums sleep there on hot nights in the summertime. Here is what the tablet reads: “To those who faithful unto death, gave their lives for the country” “1861 – 1865.” And the words of Lincoln: “We here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain.” The sculptor and designer was Leonard W. Volk. Mr. Wilkinson shook the hands of the above noted gents at a reception in the Powers Building that day.