First United Methodist Church
125 South Bench Street, Galena, IL 61036

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant came to live in Galena in April 1860 and to work in the family leather store with his brother.  During that time, he attended the Galena Methodist Church.   When the Civil War began, Grant, a retired West Point graduate, drilled volunteers in Galena and later led them into battle.

At the end of the war, he returned to Galena and the entire town turned out to welcome him home.  The Methodist Church was decked with flags and buntings to welcome and honor him.

When news reached Galena of President Grant's death at Mount McGregor in 1885, the church was draped in mourning and a memorial service was prepared.  In front of the pulpit was placed "a  stand of pure white flowers, with the initials, U. S. G., in purple flowers."

Quoting further from Wilbur Crummer's book, General U.S. Grant, "The pew formerly occupied by the General when there was covered with the United States flag, tastefully draped.  The house was filled with his friends and neighbors, and a feeling of personal loss was felt by all.  The services were simple but beautiful.   Several of his personal friends spoke feelingly of the great General's life."

The pew General Grant occupied while in Galena is marked with a flag and a plaque.
Click on photo to enlarge.  

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