Illini 411: Following my great-grandfather’s death during World War I, the University planted a memorial tree on campus in his honor. Is the tree still alive and, if so, where is it?

Question courtesy Mary Bryant Digenan, ’87 ENG

Question courtesy Mary Bryant Digenan, ’87 ENG

oak tree with nameplate

Burr oak planted for Hiram Hannibal Wheeler. (Image by Ryan A. Ross)

A: In 1920, the University planted 173 World War I memorial trees around the perimeter of the Armory, and extending down Sixth Street and up Pennsylvania Avenue. Unfortunately, some of the trees perished during the 1950s from Dutch elm disease or were cut down during the construction of new buildings. But the burr oak planted for your great-grandfather, Hiram Hannibal Wheeler, still stands, with its nameplate intact. You’ll find it on the Armory’s east side!

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