Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, Post 20

Mission Statement

Stained Glass Window

To preserve, showcase and interpret the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, Post 20, and its artifacts. To celebrate the history of GAR, Post 20 through exhibits and programs.

The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, Post 20 was built as a memorial for Civil War veterans. On both a national and local scale the GAR was active in pursuing benefits for veterans. The GAR founded soldiers’ homes, worked to provide relief for widows and orphans, and lobbied for pension legislation. Membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served between 1861and 1865.

Grand Army of the Republic, 1909 Encampments, Courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society

Aurora Post 20 was completed in 1878 for the sum of $7,184.54 These funds had been raised over a period of ten years by the Soldiers Monument Association and the Ladies Monument Association, a group that later became GAR Aurora, Post 20. The proud members of Post 20 were visionaries. The men had fought a long and bloody war for the abolition of slavery and preservation of the Union. Indeed, some had served in nearly every battle of that bloody conflict. In the very heart of a thriving new community they built a monument that would honor their fallen comrades while creating a legacy for the future. The GAR Hall was a sanctuary. It served as a gathering place for men who had fought side by side on the battlefields, it was a shrine to the Union dead, and it was a place of scholarship-Aurora’s first free library.