Peoria County, Illinois  Genealogy Trails

Carole Martin ©2009

THE PIONEERS
LORADO TAFT, SCULPOR

 

 

 

 


 

The Works, Lorado Taft's heroic-sized bronze work.....a tribune to the pioneers... captures the essence of bravery, determination, and faith of the men and women who  "bridged the streams, subdued the soil and founded a state"

Taft created the sculpture as a gift to honor the place of his birth. 
The community launched an ambitious campaign to raise over S15.000 for casting and mounting. 
Donations included school children's dime collection rulers and contributions from townspeople and former residents.

On Sunday. May 27.1928. the 10' high statue weighing 3.500 pounds was unveiled before an enthusiastic throng of 10.000.

The statue serves as a reminder of  the past and as an inspiration to the pioneering spirit in those who view it.

The artist Lorado Taft. '•who has done most for the development of sculpture in the West"... was born in Elmwood at 207 East Cypress. April 29, 1860 to Don Carlos Taft, Headmaster of Elmwood Academy, and Mary Lucy Foster Taft.

When Lorado was 11, his father joined the faculty of the University of Illinois. 
Young Lorado enrolled at the university at the age of 15 and at 19 received his Masters Degree.

After years of study at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris, he opened a studio in Chicago.

Tart's works include the fountain of the Great Lakes and Fountain of Time in Chicago, Blackhawk of the Rock River near Oregon., Illinois and the Alma Mater and other at the University of Illinois in Urbana.

Lorado Taft died at his Chicago home October 30.1936.
 After cremation, the ashes were scattered in Elmwood Cemetery near family and friends.

 

 

Transcribed by Carole Martin from the plaque (below) erected by the statue in the Elmwood. Illinois city park.


 

 

 

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