WBEZ | Chicago statues http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-statues Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en George Washington's Spy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-03/george-washingtons-spy-105897 <p><p>How many times have you walked past the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue? You may want to stop and take a look at the statue in the little outdoor alcove. The young man standing stolidly there is Nathan Hale.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/25--Nathan%20Hale.JPG" style="width: 300px; height: 398px; float: right;" title="'Nathan Hale'--435 N. Michigan Ave." />Time was every American History book&nbsp;told the tale of Nathan Hale. In the early days of the Revolution he was a Connecticut school teacher and a lieutenant in the state militia. He volunteered to go on a mission behind&nbsp;British lines for General Washington, was caught, and was hanged as a spy on September 22, 1776. He was just 21 years old.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country&quot;&mdash;those were reported to be Hale&rsquo;s last words. Whether or not he actually said them is something historians debate. Still, all accounts agree that Hale died bravely. The young teacher has become enshrined in the pantheon of American heroes.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Hale was a Yale graduate. Around 1905 a group of Yale alumni began collecting funds to erect a statue of Hale on campus. Since they couldn&rsquo;t afford to hire Augustus Saint-Gaudens to do the design, they settled for his apprentice, Bela Pratt. The Pratt statue was&nbsp;completed in 1914.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Michigan Avenue Hale is a 1940 casting of the Yale Hale. The commission came from the <em>Tribune</em>&rsquo;s publisher, Col. Robert R. McCormick.&nbsp;A staunch supporter of the Reserve Officers&rsquo; Training Corps,&nbsp;the Colonel&nbsp;felt that Hale was a&nbsp;sterling model&nbsp;of youthful patriotism.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">No contemporary portrait of Hale has ever been found, so Pratt&rsquo;s&nbsp;rendering has become the accepted image. At&nbsp;least six copies of the Yale&nbsp;original have been erected at various sites. One of these statues&nbsp;of George Washington&#39;s spy stands in Langley, Virginia--at CIA Headquarters.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-03/george-washingtons-spy-105897 The Sheridan Statue http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-12/sheridan-statue-104405 <p><p>The statue on Sheridan Road near Belmont has always been one of my favorites. I often passed it when I was a child, in the days when the Addison bus went downtown. It reminded me of those Frederick Remington illustrations in books about the Old West.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/12-21--Philip%20Sheridan.jpg" style="width: 270px; height: 360px; float: right;" title="Sheridan the Statue" />The man on horseback is Philip Sheridan, Civil War general and namesake for Sheridan Road, Fort Sheridan, and the city of Sheridan, Wyoming. He&rsquo;s seen rallying his retreating Union troops at the Battle of Cedar Creek. The general is shouting, &ldquo;Back to the front, boys&mdash;you&rsquo;ll sleep in your tents tonight, or you&rsquo;ll sleep in Hell!&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Born in 1831, Sheridan&nbsp;grew up in small-town Ohio.&nbsp;As a teenager he clerked in a store, then won appointment to West Point. His graduation was delayed a year when he was suspended for fighting with another cadet.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">He was a lieutenant when&nbsp;Fort Sumter was attacked&nbsp;in 1861. During the&nbsp;war Sheridan proved to be an aggressive&nbsp;but effective commander, like his friend Grant. At the end of the war he was a general.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Sheridan&#39;s next assignments were in the West. Among his jobs was making sure the native tribes got onto reservations and stayed there. Today his ruthless actions are condemned by many historians. At the time, most Americans considered him a hero.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/12-21--General Sheridan (LofC).jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 329px; float: left;" title="Sheridan the Man (Library of Congress)" /></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">He was one of those celebrities whom reporters love to quote. One account has him remarking &ldquo;The only good Indian I ever knew was dead&rdquo;&mdash;something Sheridan always denied he&rsquo;d said. But he did confirm another famous quip: &ldquo;If I owned Texas and Hell, I&rsquo;d rent out Texas and live in Hell.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Sheridan&#39;s Chicago connection came during the Great Fire of 1871. With martial law declared, the general took charge of the situation, and kept the city reasonably peaceful. Some years later Sheridan was married in Chicago. When the couple resettled in Washington, a group of wealthy Chicagoans bought them a house there.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Like many Civil War generals, Sheridan had presidential ambitions. But he died of a heart attack in 1888, only 57 years old. He was then General-in-Chief of the U.S. Army.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Sheridan statue is the work of Gutzon Borglum, completed in 1923, a few years before the artist started carving the faces on Mount Rushmore. Borglum had earlier done a Sheridan statue in Washington.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Sheridan&#39;s local monument&nbsp;has recently endured a bizarre form of vandalism. From time to time the horse&rsquo;s private parts have been painted over in loud colors. Various culprits have been blamed, ranging from fraternity pledges to the San Francisco Giants baseball team. The Chicago police reportedly have the horse under surveillance, so consider yourself warned.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 21 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-12/sheridan-statue-104405 The Oglesby statue http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-10/oglesby-statue-103496 <p><p>Lincoln Park is Chicago&rsquo;s outdoor Statuary Hall. There are monuments all over the grounds. It&rsquo;s a good place to relearn your history, because some of the statues are dedicated to forgotten notables.</p><p>For instance, take a look at the man in the rumpled suit on a hill near 2700 North Cannon Drive: That&rsquo;s Richard Oglesby.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/11-08--Oglesby%20Statue_0.JPG" style="float: left; height: 345px; width: 275px;" title="Oglesby statue in Lincoln Park" /></div><p><em>Say, wasn&rsquo;t he governor back in the 1960s?</em></p><p>No, you&#39;re thinking of Richard <em>Ogilvie</em>. The metal man gazing out at Diversey Harbor was one of our governors, but many years earlier.</p><p>Richard James Oglesby was born in Kentucky in 1824. Orphaned as a young boy, he came to Illinois to live with an uncle in Decatur.</p><p>Oglesby worked at a variety of jobs, studied law, and moved into Republican politics. In 1860 he was elected to the Illinois Senate. When the Civil War broke out, he was appointed a colonel of infantry volunteers.</p><p>Oglesby rose in the ranks to larger commands, eventually becoming a major general. He was wounded in battle, and was a genuine war hero. In 1864 he resigned his commission to run for Governor of Illinois. He was easily elected.</p><p>As governor, Oglesby prodded the legislature to ratify the 13<sup>th</sup> Amendment &mdash; abolishing slavery &mdash; and supported the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. He returned to Decatur to practice law when his term ended. &nbsp;After a four year break, he was elected governor again in 1872.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/11-08--Oglesby%20as%20General%20%28LofC%29.jpg" style="float: right; height: 345px; width: 275px;" title="Oglesby as a Civil War general (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>This time he served only ten days. Having won the governorship for his party, Oglesby resigned so that the legislature could elect him United States Senator. He served a single six-year term, then retired.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Oglesby returned to politics in 1884. He was elected governor for a third time, the first three-peat in that office. During this final term he commuted the death sentences of two Haymarket defendants, but allowed the other executions to proceed.</p><p>Richard Oglesby died in 1899.</p><p>The Oglesby statue in Lincoln Park is the work of sculptor Leonard Crunelle. A gift to the city from five admirers, it was dedicated in 1919. Oglesby&rsquo;s Decatur home is a museum open to the public, and the town of Oglesby in La Salle County is name after him. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-10/oglesby-statue-103496