Page 26 - SCENE 4409
P. 26

Scene In TimeBY ELIZABETH NEUMEYERof the local Potawatomi. The actual name in the Mott Iron Works catalogue of Mount Kisco, New York was “Indian Chief.” Later when the city of Mount Kisco adopted the symbol, it became “Chief Kisco.” Few are likely to know that the first BC nickname for the statue was “Hobb’s Folly.”the differences between the nations. The statue in Battle Creek was putas too much heat would just melt it. He had to start and stop till he was done. In earlier articles it is erroneously described as a bronze or copper statue. City em- ployees Gary Kesan and Mike Edwards added steel plates and fiberglass and Rick Green repainted it.Levant D. Hobbs (1872-1947) wasa 3rd ward alderman in 1909 and head of the Parks Committee. He wanted a statue to beautify McCamly Park and commemorate the friendship between McCamly and the local Indians. Appar- ently because of the cost, critics dubbed the statue “Hobb’s Folly.” This wasa precast commercial statue and withthe masonry base cost $331.75 (about $8,000 to 9,000 in today’s dollar). Itwas not an individually commissioned statue like our Underground Railroad or Sojourner Truth statues. Most Civil War Soldier statues you see around Michigan cemeteries and towns were from the same type of commercial casting. There are actually at least 20 of these same In- dian Chief statues east of the Mississippi from the Mott Iron Works. There is an identical one in Ishpeming, Michigan.If you are curious about all the statues east of the Mississippi, historian Oliver Knapp Jr. wrote a pamphlet called Chief Kisco and His Brothers, published by the Mount Kisco Historical Committee in 1980. Thanks to local historian Fran-How did Hobbs connect with the company? I don’t know but the statue was displayed at the 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia and at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He was born in Illinois and had relatives in Chicago so maybe he saw it there. Perhaps the com- pany sent catalogues out to municipali- ties. For a brief biography of Hobbs, see the 2nd Edition of Beyond These a time when so much negativity was aimed at them.I am worried about the statue, not to mention the survival of the oldest tree in Battle Creek, because of the talk about a proposed roundabout at the intersection of North Avenue and Emmett, Besides, if any of you have seen or experienced the roundabout in Okemos, I am not convinced it would be safer for hospital workers and other pedestrians to cross.At least the statue represents a positive connection. Are the regalia accurate? I doubt it since the artist is believed to be someone who did all sorts of “Cigar Store Indians.” Likely it is his conglomeration of what he thought an Algonquian warrior looked like and a stereotype of any Indian, not recognizingThe statue has been repainted and repaired any number of times due to both age and vandalism. In 1977 at Irving Park, Sandi Byrd, a summer park employee and KCC alum, repainted the statue. In 1989 and 1990 the statue was reinforced and repainted again. Norman Johnson, who taught welding at the Cal- houn Area Vo Ed Center, repaired it. He said it was made of a more inexpensive white metal alloy that was tricky to weld26 SCENE 4409 I HEALTH ISSUEIf you have been in Battle Creek long enough, you know the Indian statue in Irving Park is nicknamed “Old Sandy” after Sands McCamly who was a friendWHAT’S IN A NAME: “Old Sandy”up with a fountain below it. Why Idon’t know but the same thing is trueof the one in Mount Kisco. So “Old Sandy” was on his perch staring downat goldfish. Originally there was a lamp installed on top of his head. This no longer exists nor does the bow and arrow in his hand (or spear, stories differ). The master mason who did the base was Os- car W. McDonald (1862-1949) who also did work at Olivet College and the stone fence around Oak Hill Cemetery.The statue stood in McCamly Park from 1909 or 1910 to 1965. It was moved to make room for the Soldiers and Sailors Monument which neededa new home due to the expansion of Division and the incoming I-194 (aka “Penetrator.”) Personally I think they should have left the Chief there because he represents a warrior and it would have been fitting with all the military plaques and commemorative items at McCamly. Some of my students who were Vietnam Veterans regularly attended powwows because they were honored as warriorsces Thornton, the Historical Society of Battle Creek has copies in the Archives. There have been at least 16 articles writ- ten about the statue from 1922 to 2009 but people still ask about its history. Given the publicity about the city seal recently, I decided to write yet another article about the statue in the hopes that more people will learn about it.CORRECTION: In my 4407 Scene article about Goguac Street, I mistakenly said that Adams Street buildings and street were razed to make more room for the BCCHS sports field. It was to make room for an outdoor educational park for W.K.Kellogg Junior High as well as for more parking spaces. Thanks to local realtor and history affectionado Bruce Phillips for this information.

   24   25   26   27   28