Jefferson Madison Center for Religions Liberty
Educating Americans about religious liberty as expressed
by founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison

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F.O.E. Ten Commandment Monuments in Wisconsin (6)

Ashland, Wisconsin
Ashland, Wisconsin
American Legion Post 90
Screenshot: Google Maps street view October 2015
Ashland, Wisconsin
Ashland Ten Commandments Monument
Closeup Screenshot: Google Maps street view October 2015

Donated by FOE: 1956

Current Location: American Legion Post 90, at 220 Main St. E. (Private property.)

Original Location: Ashland County Courthouse.

Scroll: “Presented To / The Community / By / F. O. E. 239 / Ashland, Wisconsin / 1956”

The Monument: The Ashland monument is unique in a number of ways. The top is simple – with (presumably) the Bible open on the left and the Eagles” logo on the right. There are no other embellishments (e.g., no Eye of Providence or flat at the top, or four leaf clovers on the side. The monument is made of white granite.

Story: The Ashland Aerie is defunct. The monument was dedicated at the Ashland County Courthouse in 1956. Judge E. J. Ruegemer was present. The monument was vandelized on multiple occasions. It was subsequently placed in the County Highway Garage in Highbridge. The American Legion Post 90 and VFW Post 690 (which share the Main Street facility) acquired the monument in December 1999 from the county.

La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Cameron Park
Screenshot: Google Maps street view October 2015
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Cameron Park
Photo: Flickr / Laurie Lane

La Crosse, Wisconsin
Donated by FOE: June 19, 1965

Location: Cameron Park, facing King St. near the intersetion 5th Ave. S.. The City sold the monument and the land around it to the Fraternal Order of Eagles. (On pivate property.)

Scroll: “Presented To The City Of / LaCrosse By The LaCrosse Aerie / And Auxiliary No. 1254 Of The / Fraternal Order Of Eagles / ...”

Litigation: The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit against the city to remove the Eagles donated monument from Cameron Park. Immediately after the suit was filed, the city sold the Eagles a 440 square-foot plot within the park and the monument. Terms of the sale required the organization to a erect fence and post disclaimers clearly stating that the display and area were privately owned. Despite these measures, the District Court ruled in February 2004 that the monument must be removed from Cameron Park in La Crosse because the sale of the monument, a fence surrounding it and a disclaimer sign would not cure the appearance of the city’s endorsement of religion if the monument were to remain within the confines of the park.

The La Crosse Common Council voted 13-2 to appeal the case to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In Mercier v. Fraternal Order of Eagles, 395 F.3d 693 (7th Cir. 2005), the federal appellate court reversed the District Court’s ruling, holding that the sales of the monument and a parcel of land around it to the Eagles was “constitutional.”

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
“Garden of Healing” (St. Joseph’s Hospital)
Screenshot: Google Maps street view October 2015
Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner, who played Rameses in Cecil B. Demille’s
1956 movie The Ten Commandments, speaking at the
dedication of the Eagles Ten Commandments monument

Donated by FOE: 1955

Current Location: : Relocated to “Garden of Healing” (St. Joseph’s Hospital), 5000 W. Burleigh St., in 2002. (On private property.)

Original Location: Dedicated in 1955 during the Grand Aerie Convention, the monument was rededicated and placed in 1957 at the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building.

Scroll: “Presented To / The City Of Milwaukee / By / The Grand Aerie / Fraternal Order Of Eagles / Convention of 1955”

Monroe, Wisconsin
Monroe, Wisconsin
Green County Family YMCA
Screenshot: Google Maps street view August 2013

Donated by FOE: October 1960

Current Location: Green County Family YMCA, 1307 2nd St. (On private property.)

Original Location: Lincoln Park.

Scroll: (Cannot be determined from the above photo)

Story: After receiving are request from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Monroe city council voted April 3, 2002 to move a Ten Commandments monument from Lincoln Park and donate it to the Green County Family YMCA. The religious monument—the only monument in the park—was moved in May 2002. [“The U.S. Supreme Court in February 2002 let stand a ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago barring placement of a Ten Commandments monument from the statehouse grounds in Indiana. Last May, the high court similarly let stand a decision by the same appeals court against a Ten Commandments marker in front of a public building in Indiana.”]

Note the American flag (to the left of the monument). This juxtaposition associations the Ten Commandments monument with America, thereby creating the impression that the United States is a Christian nation, which it is not. It is a secular nation governed by the U.S. Constitution, the constitions of the States and both of their laws.

South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Tri-City National Bank
Screenshot: Google Maps street view August 2011
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Tri-City National Bank

Donated by FOE: 1967

Location: Tri-City National Bank, 2115 10th Ave.

Scroll: “Presented To The / City Of South Milwaukee / By / South Milwaukee Aerie 1461 / Fraternal Order Of Eagles / 1967”

Waukesha, Wisconsin
Waukesha, Wisconsin Waukesha Aerie No. 453
Screenshot: Google Maps street view October 2015

Donated by FOE: 1969

Location: Always at Waukesha Aerie No. 453, 709 N. Grandview Blvd.

Scroll: “Presented To The City / Of Waukesha Wisconsin / By The / Waukesha ... / Fraternal Order of Eagles / 1969”

Story: The Eagles attempted to donate it to the City of Waukesha, but the city refused the Eagles’ offer.