Hayes displays ‘Monument’ papers

FREMONT – The family of one of World War II’s “Monuments Men” hailed from Monroeville – a fact that led U.S. Army Lt. John Davis Skilton Jr. to donate some of his papers to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.

Recent coverage about release of “The Monuments Men” movie created a buzz at the center. A year before his 1992 death, Skilton donated a large collection of his family’s papers, photographs and scrapbooks to the center. Among the materials are a dozen letters written by Skilton at the end of the war. He was stationed in Germany at the time and wrote to his mother about his involvement in returning priceless art treasures to France.

Skilton was a member of the U.S. Army’s “Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives” section, most often called the Monuments Men. An art historian, he was a curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., before enlisting.

The center is at Hayes and Buckland avenues, Fremont. See www.rbhayes.org.