History of the West Park

Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

West Park's World War I Memorial
by Gary Swilik

West Park was still an independent city during World War I. To honor residents who were in the military during the conflict a memorial was dedicated "To Our Boys Of West Park Who Served In The World War 1914 - 1919."

The official effort to recognize those who fought the "War To End All Wars," as optimistic folks believed at the time, began September 7, 1920, when West Park passed an ordinance to issue bonds in the sum of three-thousand-dollars to pay for a memorial. Most of the money was raised through popular subscription from the school children and residents of West Park.

 The monument was originally placed at the southeast corner of West 157th and Lorain Avenue on a vacant lot next to the West Park fire department. In about 1927, when the present West Park Library was erected at that site, the monument was moved and put in storage. There it remained until the early 1930s when the West Park Kiwanis Club and local American Legion Post campaigned for its return. The monument was then rededicated at a new location in front of George Washington School at 16210 Lorain Avenue where it stood for many years.

When George Washington School was closed in the 1970s it became necessary to again find a new home for the monument. In about 1980 it was placed in front of the V.F.W. Gilbert O'Neil Post on West 150th Street, just south of K-Mart, where it stands today. The 159 names inscribed on the monument include some of the most prominent families in old West Park including six who made the "Supreme Sacrifice."

John Wilson: Mystery Man Who Died in WW I is Remembered on Memorial Day

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Updated 4 July 2014