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Exterior of the G.A.R. Hall in Litchfield, Minnesota

The Grand Army
of the Republic
"Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty"

The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was first organized by Union Veterans of the Civil War in 1866 in Illinois. Their purpose was to "maintain fellowship for the men who fought to preserve the Union and to help widows, orphans, and handicapped veterans." By the 1880s there were over 400,000 members across the United States; 200+ of which belonged to Frank Daggett Post No. 35 in Litchfield, Minnesota.


Construction of the Litchfield G.A.R. Hall (named Frank Daggett Post No. 35) began and ended in 1885, designed originally to resemble a military fort. Henry Ames donated the bricks from his brick yard. When construction was complete, the Post made an agreement with the City of Litchfield that, following the final meeting of the organization, the city would  keep the building in its original condition. In those early days, the Hall served as a gathering place for veterans and public citizens alike. It was a popular space for community events, parties and club meetings while also serving as an early library to Meeker County. 

Frank Daggett

Frank Daggett, the man for whom the Litchfield post was named, was a man who did many great things within a short life. During the Civil War, he enlisted with the 6th Minnesota Infantry and saw combat during the US-Dakota War of 1862. He also commanded two African-American heavy artillery regiments, became part of the Army of the Potomac and a Lieutenant.


After the war, Daggett soon became a leader in the newspaper business and helped create the Litchfield Ledger in 1872. Daggett also remained involved with veterans organizations, served as Commander in Chief of the Minnesota G.A.R., and raised the issues of veterans during his three terms as clerk in the Minnesota House of Representatives.


In Litchfield, Daggett was the loudest supporter of the local G.A.R. chapter being established in Meeker County. Litchfield's first G.A.R. Post was started in 1874, but with Daggett's death in 1876, the post soon folded. When a new post was organized in 1883, the veterans named the post in Daggett's honor. 

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