The accompanying picture does not do justice to the beautiful bronze and granite statue in honor of General McPherson but it gives one a fair conception of one view as ken from the full-sized clay model in the sculptor's studio. The horse and rider are a trifle over life-size and are cast in standard government monumental bronze which will endure through the ages. The certificate of the assayist shows it to be even stronger in copper than required by the government of the United States for all statuary work done for the government, and the report of inspection by the association shows the castings to be twice as heavy as called for in the contract and of excellent texture and flawless in makeup. The statue was cast in the bronze foundry of Mr. Jules Bercham of Chicago, a French born American of exceptional artistic temperament and one who puts his soul into all his work. The finish of the statue proves this to even a casual observer, as every line of the sculptor is faithfully reproduced. All the other bronze work of the monument was done in this same foundry.
The horse and rider are mounted on a pedestal of the finest Barre granite from the quarries of the Giudici Brothers, at Barre, Vermont. It is of a beautiful bluegray color and in itself is a real work of art. The garlands are cut in granite by one of the most skillful Italian granite cutters in this country and his serious illness after he had started on the work caused considerable delay in getting the pedestal on the way to McPherson and for a time caused serious apprehension in the minds of the committee as to whether it would be finished in time for the unveiling. The pedestal is in two pieces, the base below the garlands and the die above them. The garlands are beautiful specimens of the granite cutter's art and are designed to symbolize the ideas of love and reverence for the patriot.
Bronze plates are fastened to the front and rear of the granite die. The one in front gives the name of General McPherson in dignified yet artistic form. The rear plate is an emblematic design in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic, showing the veterans' badge supported by palms of victory and the oak leaves of strength. Both are shown on the first page of this booklet.
At the curb of the grading upon which the monument is elevated and immediately at the park path in front of the statue is a large dedication tablet in bronze on a block of granite. The picture on page 23 was taken from Sculptor Paulding's clay model before the 752 names of veterans were affixed. This carries the biographical record of the General, a presentation line, and the roll of honor of 752 names of veterans who are or have been citizens of McPherson county. This tablet will give to every member of the community a personal and lasting interest in the monument.
The tablet is a beautiful work of art and an exceedingly well executed piece of very difficult work. As an embellishment at the top are the national emblems, the shield and eagle, supported by branches of laurel and oak, again denoting victory and strength. At the foot of the tablet and beneath the veterans' names is a wreath of bay leaves, supporting a ribbon on which is inscribed a portion of that memorable sentence from Lincoln's Gettysburg speech, "The world * * * never can forget what they did," while above this is the Day Star of glorification.
The monument complete weighs about twenty tons and is worth $15,000. It is entirely the work of Mr. Paulding, who even designed the granite.
Transcribed from Official Souvenir McPherson County, July 4, 1917 [n.p., 1917] 56p. illus.
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