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The Statue of Major General Henry W. Lawton

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In 1907 the statue of Major General Henry W. Lawton (sculpted by Andrew O’Conner) was dedicated to the city of Indianapolis and was first erected by an act of Congress in what was known, at that time, as The Courthouse Square. The statue itself was completed in 1906 and in the same year won a prize for heroic statuary at the Paris Salon competition. A first for an American entry.

The dedication ceremony in the Square was presided over by President Theodore Roosevelt and Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks, a well-known Indianapolis attorney. The Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, composed and presented a poem to commemorate the event. This was one of the last events for our beloved poet as he suffered complications from a stroke in his last years. In 1917 the monument was rededicated and erected in our Park. It stands proud here today.

Major General Henry W. Lawton:  A Difference-maker (1843 – 1899)

Henry grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and forever called Indiana home. His mother died when he was young; it was his father who taught him by example. He learned hard work is a part of life and to be expected. And a partner to that was accountability. These lessons served him well.

Henry Lawton was 18 years old when the Civil War broke out in 1861. President Lincoln called for volunteers. Henry enlisted. This was the beginning of many years of service to his country.

He was a born warrior. It wasn’t long before he faced the true meaning of: strength, courage, and fortitude.

General Lawton was relied on as a fierce, just, and able leader. He was commissioned to capture the elusive Apache Chief—Geronimo. And he did. He never asked of his men more than he would do himself. General Lawton was known for standing with his men—not behind them.

Lawton was known for his work as a military governor, after the fighting had stopped and the treaty was signed. He showed great compassion for the people of the Cuba and the Philippines after the Spanish-American War. He actively helped them put their governing policies back together, help them understand how to grow their economy, and care for their people. Build new lives.

Major General Henry W. Lawton was a Difference-maker.

Comments 1

  1. My great great grandfather served under general Lawton and passed down the name Lawton to several men in our family. My father Lawton Link laid a wreath at the statue when he was young.

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