Thursday, January 8, 2009

More than just a statue

Looks like a regular statue, right? Located in the Iola Cemetery at the west end of town on U.S. 54, this is one of only a few statues of a Civil War solider whose hand rests on top of his rifle muzzle.
Another detail. There are only a few white-bronze (cast zinc) Civil War statues in the state. In fact, some information shows that only four of this kind exist in Kansas.
Another of the four would be east on U.S. 54 in Bronson, just inside the Bourbon County line. Posed in the middle of the park is a white-bronze Civil War statue. Dedicated in 1907, this "sentinel" style soldier is most commonly seen in northern states.
But now let's get rurally picky.
The web site states that from 1870 until 1931, soldiers were the most popular Civil War monument designed with the most common position being parade rest. Of the 120 known soldier monuments in the U.S., 89 of these do have the soldier at parade rest. However, the article goes on to say that most at parade rest have the soldier leaning on the butt of the gun, not the muzzle.
Sounds like we have a relatively rare Civil War statue in Iola. It's not at parade rest and the soldier is leaning on the muzzle. As our "commenter" below said, doesn't it make more sense to have the muzzle pointing up so it doesn't get filled with dirt?!
Where are the other two white bronze Civil War statues in Kansas? Is the soldier at attention or leaning on a gun?
Travel to the Koester House Museum at 10th and Broadway in Marysville and you'll find the motherload of white bronze statues. Not Civil War statues but a collection of twelve that are more appropriate for standing around the house. Cast-iron lions and dogs are included in these outdoor adornments.These statues were made between 1880 and 1910.
It's all pretty interesting. In fact, paying attention will help you "Get Kansas!"
KE #2 Marci Penner


Jenni said...

Well, but, he isn't at parade rest, is he? And doesn't having the rifle pointing upward make more sense? Wouldn't it get dirt in it if the muzzle was pointing into the ground? Not that I really know that much about the subject. I took hunter's safety only so I didn't have to leave my son there alone, and I generally avoid talk about guns. They just don't interest me. I'm pretty sure that soldier's position could not be called parade rest though.

I'm so glad I spotted your link over on Flyover People, btw. I've been enjoying these daily updates to help me "get Kansas".

Get Kansas! said...

Thanks for helping me get it right. We're glad to have on board! KE#2

Anonymous said...

On a return trip from Seattle my husband and I planned on visiting the Koester museum, but timing was off and they were closed. It is in the plans for summer 09. Kansas also has a wonderful collection of iron cross cemeteries in the Volga German settlements. They are worth the visit - just to see the variety of styles. We visited some, but there are more on the list

Mary - Michigan

Anonymous said...


Where were those cemeteries?

I just visited the ones in Victoria and Pfifer , but would love to learn of others.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the whole issue of it.