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Coolidge Firm is Major Sponsor for Lewis B. Gunckel Fountain at Dayton VA Medical Center

07/13/15

On June 17, 2015, the Lewis B. Gunckel Fountain at the Dayton VA Medical Center was formally dedicated. The Coolidge Wall law firm was the major sponsor for this project. Lewis B. Gunckel and his partner Hiram Strong had founded the Coolidge firm in 1853 as Gunckel & Strong, and the firm has continued throughout the years in direct succession to its current name.

At the dedication ceremony Merle Wilberding made a presentation on the legacy of Lewis B. Gunckel, for Gunckel was a man of great stature in the Dayton community from 1851 until his death in 1903. Besides practicing law from 1853 to 1903, Gunckel served in the Ohio Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives.

His passionate speech in the Ohio Senate urging Ohio to build a home for disabled Civil War soldiers won him national acclaim. He was appointed to serve on the board of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, along with 12 other members, including the President of the United States, the Chief Justice of the United States, the Secretary of War, and six generals. With that as a platform, he was able to have Dayton selected as one of three sites for the national home for disabled soldiers, and he led the campaign for the community to purchase the site a few miles west of Dayton.

Speakers at the Dedication besides Merle Wilberding included Judge Walter H. Rice, Mayor Nan Whaley, Glenn Costie the CEO of the Dayton VA Medical Center, and Bob Neff, Master Gardener.

Grotto PlaqueCW Members attend Dedication
Coolidge Wall representatives at the Dedication of the Lewis B. Gunckel Fountain at the Dayton VA Medical Center included, (left to right) Joe Gruenberg, Mike Leesman, Merle Wilberding, Steve Herbert, Rick Schwartz, Bud Seall, Matt Rauch, Rick Talda, and Chris Conard

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