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McCormick, Bart E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 28, Number 4 (Feb. 1927)

How the Lincoln statue came to the campus,   p. 140


Page 140


How the Lincoln Statue Came to The Campus
THE PROXIMITY          of the dateof
    Lincoln's birth and the birthday of
our own University gave us a happy
inspiration for this month's cover of
the Magazine. It also made us pause
and reflect upon those "troublous times"
when Wisconsin, a young institution,
little more than a decade in age, re-
sponded to Lincoln's call and gave of
her young manhood so that the Union
might be saved. In "The University of
Wisconsin, Its History and Its Alumni,"
by Reuben Gold Thwaites, p. 76, we
read: "In the spring of 186i, the War of
Secession opened. In common with col-
lege students the country over, oir
University men were quick to regpond
to President Lincoln's call. During the
year, the following enlisted in volunteer.
regiments: George W. Ashmore, of
Arena; James H. Bull and John A. Bull,
of Middleton; Cary M. Campbell, of
Madison; Edwin D. Coe, of Watertown;
Joseph W. Curtis, of Madison; Brasier
R. Ellis, of Westport; RobertH. Henry,
of Verona; E. C. Hungerford, of Water-.
town; Michael Leahey, of Portland;
Edward G. Miller, of Sweet Home;
Pliny Norcross, of La Grange; Otis
Remick, of Cornish, Me.; S. S. Rock-
wood, of Milton; Henry Smith, of
Middleton; Henry Vilas, of Madison;
and William A. Wyse, of Sauk City."
The following paragraphs of the same
volume list others ofthe undergraduates
who followed in '62, '63, and '64.
  A vision of fresh faced young men,
with all of youth's ideals, hopes, and
dreams of high adventure is recalled by
the above passage. And yet, only to-
day, while picturing these young men
in the days of their youth, we are in-
formed that two of them have just re-
cently passed away, Joseph W. Curtis,
on October 9 at the age of 84 years, and
Brasier R. Ellis, on December 3o, at the
age of 85.
  Again we pause, give tribute to their
memory, and reflect upon how closely
the events of the present are linked
with the past.
  And all of these pauses and reflections
somehow make us feel more strongly
than ever that Lincoln himself is a part
of our heritage, a part of the heritage
.of our institution, a part of the strength
which we gained through self-sacrifice
when we were a young, struggling school.
It seems especially fitting, therefore,
that the statue of Lincoln should grace
the entrance to Bascom Hall, in a posiĆ½-
tion where it overlooks our beautfui
campus and the city of Madison, and
that all alumni should know something
of. the history of this statue and how it
-came to the University. We quote from
the Daily Cardinaltof November 30.
  "The Lincoln statue   which graces
the crest of the hill is the only replica
of the original located in Hodgenville,
Ky., near which town Lincoln was born.
  "It was mainly through the efforts of
the organizer of the Lincoln Farm asso-
ciation, Richard Lloyd Jones, a former
Wisconsin student (now editor of the
Tulsa Tribune, Okla.) that the replica
was obtained.
  "Mr. Jones was appointed by the
governor of Kentucky in 19o7 to have a
suitable tribute erected to Kentucky's
greatest son whose memory had not as
yet been honored by a visible token of
esteem in that state.
  "The sculptor, Mr. Adolph A. Wei-
man, New York City, accepted the
assignment, and after destroying his
first clay model representing months of
labor, created a work that received wide
notice and much favorable comment in
artistic circles. Many educational insti-
tutions and many cities wanted teplicas
of Mr. Weiman's statue.  The Univer-
sity of Nebraska appropriated $25,000
for a replica. Requests came from the
cities of Providence, R. I., and Phila-
delphia, Pa., and from the universities
of Illinois, St. Louis, and Washington at
Seattle.
  "But -the statue belonged to the
State of Kentucky, and its consent had
to be obtained.. Mr. Jones, seeing the
demand for the -statue-by several uni-
versities, was fired'with the desire of
getting it for his Alna Mater.   He
showed photographs of it to President
Van Hise, who became enthusiastic
about tie, idea. Mr. T. E. Bri-ttingham,
Madison, promised to pay for the cost of
bringing it here if the state would pay
for an adequate setting.
  "After weeks of visiting influential
members of the Kentucky legislature,
Mr. Jones received the statement that
the state would allow only one replica.
of the statue to be cast and that was to
be disposed of at the will of the sculptor.
Mr. Weiman genefously gave the statue
to the University of Wisconsin for the
cost of casting it.
  "The original was unveiled Decora-
tion day, i9o9, in the Court House
square at Hodgenville, Ky. Three weeks
later on Alumni Day, June 22, the one
and only replica was unveiled here with
fitting ceremony. It was then. further
down the hill than its present location,
being on a line between North and South
halls.
  "A decade later on Alumni Day, June
24, 1919, the statue was dedicated at its
present setting, the state living up to its
promise by building the beautiful ter-
race and exedra in front of Bascom Hall.
The ceremonies on that day served the
double purpose of dedicating the Lincoln
terrace and offering tribute to the Uni-
versity's war heroes. Richard Lloyd
Jones, who was one of those men most
responsible for bringing the statue to
this campus, spoke on 'The Memory of
Lincoln.
(Continued on page 141)
     There he sits, silent, immovable, as if watching over the destinies
of the young men and women of Wisconsin
as they climb the Hill in quest of knowledge. Many who pass do not recognize
the beauty, the greatness, the
power, and the character of the man represented by this bronze statue. Behind
him is Bascom Hall, a fitting
background, representing education, a thing that he was able to get only
through sacrifice, for the present day
educational opportunities were unknown in his day. Forced to travel miles
on foot by day to borr'ow a book which
he read by the light of the hearth fire after the day's work was done, he
appreciated the true value of education.
He sits at the throne of educational opportunity, only in likeness of course,
inspiring the youth of Wisconsin
to greater industry, application, perseverance, and accomplishment.-RoBERT
MCCORMICK, '30.
140
February, -927 -


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