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Dave Olson, Published September 16 2011

Enderlin-area war vets receive memorial

ENDERLIN, N.D. – Frank Mougey’s name was at risk of fading into history – but not anymore.

The Civil War veteran’s name and the names of more than 1,500 other past and present residents of the Enderlin area who have served in the U.S. armed forces now grace a monument that is one of the largest of its kind in North Dakota.

The idea for it began about two years ago, when folks in Enderlin were talking about the veterans monument in Milnor and figured their city deserved something just as nice.

Lisa Stoffel, manager of the Enderlin VFW club, deserves most of the credit for “getting us going on it,” said Carol Leigh Steedsman, who served on a committee that helped make the Enderlin monument happen.

Steedsman said the approximately $45,000 paid for the 20-ton edifice was raised from community members.

Donations included a $10,000 gift from Steedsman’s mother, Glennie Good, who donated the money in memory of her husband, Lelan.

Steedsman said her father, who passed away about a year ago, was a retired Navy lieutenant commander. She said many other family members and relatives served in the military as well.

Several monument companies submitted design proposals. Organizers picked the one from Memorials and Custom Stone Creations in Fargo.

“It was unique,” said Frank Egan, quartermaster of Enderlin’s VFW Post 9050.

Egan said there is room on the monument for 500 to 600 additional names.

“We decided it would be a living monument, as opposed to a memorial,” he said, adding that anyone from Enderlin, Sheldon, Nome, Alice or Fingal who served honorably in the armed forces, including the Guard and Reserves, may be included.

“Part of the requirement was that they lived, worked, grew up, or went to school in that area – approximately the boundary of the Enderlin School District,” Egan said.

Names currently on the monument include veterans from the Civil War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Egan said it’s likely that Civil War veterans like Mougey came from elsewhere in the country before homesteading in North Dakota following the war.

The monument was shipped in several pieces from Fargo to Enderlin last week and erected in Baxter Park, across the street from the Dairy Queen.

Steedsman said Enderlin residents are grateful for the work done by Memorials and Custom Stone Creations and for the steep discount the city received.

Noah Wine, the company’s manager, said the going rate for a monument like Enderlin’s, made from premier black granite imported from India, is in the neighborhood of $125,000.

The company that shipped the monument, Valley Express, also provided a price break so the monument company could keep things affordable for the community, according to Wine.

“Pretty much we’re paying for gas,” he said.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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