Moving 'Old Ben Butler'
● By Steven Hoffman
Old Ben Butler, the Civil War-era cannon, will soon be on the move.
Mark Haftl, an Eagle Scout, has sought and received permission from Kennett Square Borough Council to move Old Ben Butler from its current location near the former Kennett Square borough building at the southwest corner of East Linden and North Broad streets to the current borough building on Marshall Street as part of an Eagle Scout project.
Haftl presented borough council with his plan for the move. He will also be moving a time capsule that has already been opened. Haftl has completed the fundraising effort that was necessary to move the cannon. He will build a base for the cannon.
Bayard Taylor, the poet and author, one of Kennett Square's most prominent residents, presented the cannon to the home guard of Kennett Square in 1861. The cannon was cast at the Pennock Foundry that was located on State and Willow streets. The cannon became known as Old Ben Butler, and was named after a military officer in the Civil War. The cannon was fired to hail Union victories in the Civil War.
Noting that the cannon could be difficult to move, council member Dan Maffei asked Haftl how much he thinks Old Ben Butler weighs.
“A good amount,” Haftl quipped.