Soldiers' Memorial Plaza

Soldiers' Memorial Plaza (HM16B0)

Location: Jefferson City, MO 65101 Cole County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 33.859', W 92° 10.135'

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Courage · Sacrifice · Education · Equality · Humanity

Dedicated to the
Officers and Soldiers
of the
62nd and 65th
United States
Colored Infantries

Lincoln University was founded by the black enlisted men of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Infantries and their white officers who fought for the cause of the Union during the Civil War. The black soldiers of these two regiments were the victims of an 1847 Missouri law that prohibited blacks from learning to read and write. Amidst the horror of war, they were given the opportunity to rise above this obstacle when their white officers established informal classes for them. As the war came to a close, the men dreamed of sharing the gift of education with other blacks in Missouri. They resolved to establish a school in their home state dedcated to teaching freed blacks.

Towards the end of the war, the men began to solicit funds to accomplish this dream. With some donating as much as a year's salary to the cause, they were able to collet more than $6,000. Their efforts resulted in the establishment of a school that they located in Jefferson City, Missouri, and named Lincoln Institute. Richard Baxter Foster, a former first lieutenant in the 62nd Infantry, became first principal of the newly-established institution. On September 17, 1866, in an old frame building in Jefferson City, the school opened its doors to the very first class. In 1870, Lincoln Institute received a $5,000 appropriation from the state of Missouri for teacher training. College-level work was added to the curriculum in 1877.

With the deeding of its property to the state in 1879, Lincoln Institute formally became a state institution. Later, under the Second Morrill Act of 1890, the school becme a land-grant institution. In 1921, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill introduced by Walthall M. Moore, the first African American to serve in that body, which expanded the school's mission and changed its name to Lincoln University. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredited the high school division in 1925, the teacher-training program in 1926, and the four-year college of arts and sciences in 1934. Graduate instruction was added in the summer session of 1940.

During the next four decades, Lincoln University surpassed all expectations, growing into a culturally rich and diverse institution. In 1954, when the United States Supreme Court made Brown v. the Board of Education the law of the land, Lincoln University opened its doors to all applicants meeting its entrance requirements. This resulted in the school's most significant increase in enrollment. Today, Lincoln University is a comprehensive land-grant institution serving a diverse clientele, both residential and commuter. The school provides an array of academic programs, engages in a variety of research projects, and offers numerous public service programs. The soldiers' dream has been realized.

The construction of the
Soldiers' Memorial Plaza
was inspired by
the vision of
Dr. David B. Henson
17th President of
Lincoln University

Dedicated May 2, 2007
Ed Dwight, Sculptor
HM NumberHM16B0
Year Placed2007
Placed ByLincoln University and the Lincoln University Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 7:39pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 572404 N 4268757
Decimal Degrees38.56431667, -92.16891667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 33.859', W 92° 10.135'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 33' 51.54" N, 92° 10' 8.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)573
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 836-896 Chestnut St, Jefferson City MO 65101, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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