Chauncey Depew Statue Dedication 1918

On September 24, 1918 the statue of Chauncey M. Depew was unveiled in Depew Park, Peekskill, NY. Chauncey himself, who was 84 years old, was on hand to assist in the ceremony. The park was originally purchased from Native Americans in 1685 by Chauncey’s ancestor François du Puy under a license from Governor Thomas Donagan and was donated by Mr. Depew to the Village of Peekskill. Fellow 1840 classmate of Chauncey’s from Peekskill Military Academy, Sanford R. Knapp, made the presentation speech.

According to the NY Times “Mr. Depew, in his speech, told of the early history of Peekskill and the efforts of many of the old Peekskill citizens during the civil war, when Mr. Depew was Secretary of State for New York, and the heroism of the soldiers who marched away then. Praising the American Army in France today.”

The NYT also transcribed part of Depew’s speech:

“Now the boys of our village are fighting over there. Though the seas divide them from us there is no waking moment when they are not in our thoughts. We have the youngest army that ever walked on a battlefield, but it understands as well as the President and the Cabinet or the House and the Senate why it is in France. It asks no loot on territory or indemnity, but it is determined never to return until autocracy has been beaten to its knees, until militarism has received its death blow, and until the world is sure of permanent peace with liberty.”

The statue was created by Sigurd Neandross and was unveiled by Miss Helen Husted, who was the daughter of General James W. Husted.

About Legislator John G. Testa

John G. Testa, a life-long resident of Peekskill, began his first term on the Westchester County Legislature in January 2010. Prior to his successful run for the District 1 Legislative seat, he served 3 terms as Mayor of Peekskill from January 2002 until December 2007. Before becoming mayor he also served a four-year term as a Councilman. From his first days in office Testa worked tirelessly to set the City on the path of economic stability. Peekskill flourished under this plan, increasing the city fund balance to its highest in history. During John’s tenure in office, the NY State Comptroller’s Office named Peekskill one of the most fiscally sound municipalities in the State; independent auditors proclaimed Peekskill as being in its best fiscal condition in over 30 years; and Moody’s Investor Service agreed to upgrade its bond rating, resulting in further savings. The plan he put in place was so successful that it enabled the City of Peekskill to pass three budgets in a row with a 0% tax increase. These fiscal skills will prove valuable to Testa as he works to put the brakes on what has been wildly escalating county spending and unchecked government growth. He has pledged his efforts to work to consolidate services, eliminate wasteful spending and improve efficiency. In addition to the fiscal conservatism that served Peekskill so well, Testa worked to promote the city, attracting investment, jobs and an increased tax base. Over $100 million of private investment came to Peekskill in the forms of new residential construction, retail space, and the redevelopment of historic structures. As Mayor, Testa led a successful battle to stop the unfair and unsafe plan to send sewage to the Peekskill plant from outside the sewage/water district. John’s roots are deep within the soil of Northern Westchester. His father’s family has lived here for more than a century and his mother’s family is nearing that mark. He is proud that he was born in Peekskill and has lived and worked here all his life and, with his wife Nancy raised their two children here.
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