The “Doughboy” World War Monument in front of Milford’s city hall was dedicated in 1928 to honor the residents who served in what was then called the World War. A plaque on the front face of the monument lists 22 residents who died in the war, and markers on the sides of the monument base lists approximately 745 names of residents who served.
The monument sits in front of the fifth town or city hall to occupy this space. The current building was completed in 1916, and replaces an 1832 structure that was lost to fire in 1915. The inscription over the front entrance reads “Town Hall,” reflecting its construction before Milford declared itself a city in 1959.
As you’ll see in the vintage postcard below, the monument and city hall haven’t changed a great deal since they were completed. More shrubbery has been added to the grounds, and the vehicles have been updated, but the tree on the right side of the image has remained.
A Civil War cannon stood near the site of the World War monument between 1910 and the dedication of the monument. It was moved to the green, and was later returned to the federal government as World War II broke out and melted down to support the war effort.
City Hall is also the location of a three-sided memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that was dedicated in 2005. One side of the monument is dedicated to the World Trade Center attack, and commemorates the three former Milford residents who died in New York. Another side commemorates the attack on the Pentagon. The third side honors the victims of United Flight 93, and carries a quote from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address near the base.
“…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…”
Milford, Connecticut, 350th Anniversary Book (1639-1964)
History of Milford Connecticut 1639-1939, Federal Writers’ Project, 1939 (1973 reprint by the Milford Historical Society)