The 65-foot pole was dedicated to the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic of Iowa (G.A.R.) and was donated to the state by the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic at their 1931 national convention. On one side of the base is a bronze engraving of Abraham Lincoln; on the other side an eagle, the Union Army symbol, is pictured. The nearby granite benches were donated by the Ladies of the G.A.R. at the 1938 convention in Des Moines.