Shame On Cattaraugus County
To The Reader’s Forum:
On September 7, 1914, more than two hundred Civil War veterans gathered on Court Street in Little Valley to dedicate the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building.
Accompanying them was a large crowd of citizens. James S. Whipple, the son of a soldier who was captured at Gettysburg and died as a prisoner of war at Andersonville, opened his main address with these words: “One need only to observe the number of people who have assembled here to appreciate the fact that all of you consider this more than an ordinary occasion. The day, the purpose for which you are here should and will be long remembered.”
And so Cattaraugus County’s most representative and significant Civil War monument was dedicated. The veterans meant for their memorial to stand for the ages. Now, a little less than a century later, on October 23, 2013, the Cattaraugus County legislature voted to demolish the Historical and Memorial Building, betraying the trust of the county’s Civil War veterans.
As the great-grandson of one of those veterans, I can only say: Shame on Cattaraugus County!
Mark H. Dunkelman