New Lincoln Memorial a Local Creation

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated May 23, 2008 at 12:55 PM EDT

George: Well we’re looking for a way to connect Lincoln’s boyhood in Indiana with the man he became as an adult.

THIS IS THE LIMESTONE AND BRONZE MEMORIAL THAT WILL BE BUILT OVER THE NEXT YEAR AT LINCOLN STATE PARK IN SOUTHERN INDIANA, A FEW YARDS FROM WHERE THE LINCOLN FAMILY LOG CABIN STOOD. IT’S A CIRCULAR PLAZA WITH A LARGE LIMESTONE CYLINDER AT THE CENTER BEARING A QUOTE FROM A WORDSWORTH POEM, ‘THE CHILD IS THE FATHER OF THE MAN’. DESIGNER GEORGE MORRISON SAYS THE QUOTE SIGNIFYS THE IMPORTANCE OF LINCOLN’S BOYHOOD IN INDIANA, FROM AGE 7 TO 21..FORMATIVE YEARS THAT HELPED SHAPE THE MAN LINCOLN WOULD BECOME.

George: The idea that this child in Indiana who was in a lot of ways no different from thousands of other barefoot kids in the woods of southern Indiana in those days, he became somebody extraordinary.

AT THE CENTER OF THE MEMORIAL WILL STAND AN IMMENSE BRONZE BUST OF LINCOLN. THAT WILL BE THE WORK OF FORT WAYNE SCULPTOR WILL CLARK. CLARK’S STORY IS REMARKABLE. HE TOOK UP SCULPTURE JUST TEN YEARS AGO AFTER RETIRING AS AN EXECUTIVE WITH CENTRAL SOYA. HE’S NOW RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF INDIANA’S FOREMOST ARTISTS. HE CREATED THIS BUST OF LINCOLN FOR THE FORT WAYNE LINCOLN MUSEUM. HE SAYS THE SCUPTURE HE’LL CREATE FOR THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL WILL REPRESENT LINCOLN AS HE WAS IN THE DAYS JUST BEFORE HIS ASSASSINATION, WHEN THE CIVIL WAR WAS WON AND THE NATION’S LONG ORDEAL FINALLY AT AN END.

Will: What do you want him to say when he’s done? What is it that you want to convey through him, through his features, through his image? That this is a man who’s comfortable with himself, that he’s been through a lot, he doesn’t mind telling people that ‘I’m through this, I’m happy with it and the United States of America will go forward..because of what we’ve done here.

A LEGACY FORMED IN NO SMALL PART, IN THE HILLS OF SOUTHERN INDIANA. THIS IS ERIC OLSON REPORTING.




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