Henry Lawton Monument
Sculpted by Andrew O’Connor in 1906 and first installed in 1915, the Henry Ware Lawton Monument stands overlooking Garfield Park’s Sunken Gardens at the northern entrance to the conservatory.
Henry Ware Lawton (1843-1899) was a highly respected U.S. Army officer who grew up in Indiana and fought in the 9th and 30th Indiana Infantries during the Civil War, lying about his age in order to fight. Lawton went on to serve in the Apache Wars, the Spanish-American War, and was the only U.S. general officer to be killed during the Philippine-American War. Lawton also served briefly and well as the military governor of Santiago, Cuba from August to October of 1898. However, a tropical illness in October forced him to return to the United States to recuperate before the Philippine campaign, where he died in battle in December 1899. Nine years after his death, this statue was commissioned by Indianapolis city leaders and erected on the grounds of the Marion County Courthouse. The dedication ceremony was presided over by President Theodore Roosevelt and Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks, a fellow Hoosier. The Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, composed a poem to commemorate the event, which was one of few appearances he made in the last years of his life.
Since automobiles were becoming more commonplace and the monument was located close to the busy corner of Delaware and Washington Streets, Indianapolis leaders feared that drivers may lose control of their vehicles and crash while looking at the sculpture. For this reason, the monument was moved in 1917 to Garfield Park, which was still under construction at the time.
The statue itself was created by Andrew O’Connor (1874-1941), an American-Irish sculptor whose work is represented in museums in America, Ireland, Britain and France. In 1906, O’Connor won the Second Class medal for the monument at the Paris Salon competition, a first for an American entry into that competition.
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Click here for more information on Andrew O’Connor.