Jim Hinckley’s America: Windows On The Past 

By Jim Hinckley
via the Jim Hinckley’s America web site

Historic photos are fractions of time frozen forever. They are windows on the past. And they are puzzle pieces that when put with together with newspaper articles from that period, old letters, diaries and similar materials bring the picture into focus.

CourthouseThis photo of the Mohave County Courthouse in Kingman, Arizona from an event in 1928 is just one piece of the puzzle.As an example consider this photo of the Mohave County Courthouse and dedication of a WWI memorial in 1928. Before working on development of the narrated, historic district walking tour being spearheaded by Kingman Main Street, I knew that the monument with plaque that read, “IN MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF MOHAVE COUNTY WHO SERVED IN THE WORLD WAR 1917 – 1918” was erected in front of the courthouse that year.

But that understanding was as one dimensional as the photo. As it turns out this is a very rare WWI memorial. The “Spirit of the American Doughboy” was created by sculptor Earnest Moore Viquesney. It is one of the most popular WWI statues produced for monuments. It is estimated that a full ten percent of WWI memorials used this distinctive sculpture.

But what makes this statue unique is that it is one of three that were dedicated to a Native American. The dedication ceremony for the monument honored Sam Swaskegame of the Hualapai tribe who was killed in action in the Marne campaign battle of Blanc Mont, France on October 7, 1918. This simple photo with the word patriot was published to promote the ceremony.

The second statue on the monument is also a rarity. Created by the same sculptor, “The SPIRIT OF THE AMERICAN NAVY” was not as popular as the doughboy. Only seven of these statues are known to exist.

Local volunteers started construction of the stone base for the WWI monument and the pond that would surround at the end of April 1928. Ora Gruninger, a Kingman contractor, supervised the work and spearheaded the collection of donations. The base cost $150. The $2,650 for the monument included $1,000 apiece for the statues with the remainder being used for the machine gun, and bronze plaque.

The statues were shipped from Chicago on May 1, 1928. The dedication ceremony on May 30, 1928, started at 9:30 a.m. with a parade from the firehouse near Fifth and Beale Streets. The parade made its way to the Mohave County Courthouse by 9:45. The parade was led by Ed Wishon, the commander of the local American Legion No. 14, Swaskegame Post. At 10 a.m., Mr. Wishon performed as master of ceremonies for the dedication. Judge Ross H. Blakely invoked the dedication.

Read the entire article on the Jim Hinckley’s America web site here:

 

External Web Site Notice: This page contains information directly presented from an external source. The terms and conditions of this page may not be the same as those of this website. Click here to read the full disclaimer notice for external web sites. Thank you.