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Monument in Illinois
for the
Moffitt Brothers


Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, June 30, 1938

Fine Monument Marks Final Resting Place of Brothers Slain Here by Indians in 1864

Interest in the early-day history of Lincoln county and a desire to have an actual record of the last resting place of two young men who were massacred by Indians on Aug. 6, 1864, led Grover Lyne to communicate with the newspaper editor in Kewanee, Ill., where the bodies of John L. and Thomas Moffitt were taken for burial.

Mr. Lyne sent a copy of the Sentinel-Republican which contained a story of the massacre with his request for a picture of the graves of the martyrs and recently received in reply a copy of the Kewanee, Ill., Star-Courier and excellent pictures of the monument that was erected in Wethersfield cemetery where interment was made

The monument is a large twin obelisk of granite which rests between the graves of the two brothers slain by the Indians in Kansas. Engraved near the base of the monument are these words: "They were Massacred by the Indians in Kansas while hunting." No mention is made of Lincoln county.

One of the twin obelisks bears the inscription "John L. Moffitt, died Aug. 6, 1864, in the 27th year of his age," and the other is inscribed "Thomas Moffitt, died Aug. 6, 1864, in the 23rd year of his age."

The lines below the names tell the fate of these young men. The Star-Courier sent Mr. Lyne reprinted nearly word for word the story which had been published in the Sentinel-Republican, recalling the massacre and F.A. Cooper’s desire to paint the scene as it actually occurred, accurate in every detail.

Mr. Cooper has now abandoned the original water color which he had started of the massacre and is now painting it on a canvas, 3x4 feet, using oils which will be more enduring and serve as a better medium of expression. Mr. Lyne’s interest in historical data and his enthusiasm for accuracy have been motivating forces in having the picture painted.


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