Tag Archives: Samuel Anderson Robb

Lewis Memorial Fountain

Location: Watertown, Wisconsin, USA

The drinking fountain located at the intersection of Main and Washington Streets was commissioned by the benevolent industrialist Robert E. Lewis and his wife Fanny in memory of their son, Clifton, who died age 44 from Bright’s disease, an inflammation of the kidneys.

Circa 1902. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1902. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Erected in 1896, the fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The structure was seated on an octagonal stone plinth. It consisted of a single pedestal with attic base and canted corners surmounted by a bronze statue of an Indian Chief.

Circa 1898.Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1898.Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

The fountain supplied water to horses, humans and dogs via dolphin mascarons. Eight arched cornices contained dolphin masks which are symbolic of guardians of water. Two of the mascarons spouted water into demi-lune fluted basins for human consumption. Drinking cups were suspended by chains.

Horses drank from two large demi-lune fluted troughs from which overflow water fed four smaller basins on each corner for the refreshment of smaller animals. A plaque between the dog troughs was inscribed with the maker’s name, The J.L. Mott/Iron Wks. N.Y.

An attic base supported a short column containing 4 inset panels bounded by pilasters. Within the panels, 3 cartouches contained bas-relief and a fourth cartouche was an engraved plaque.

Bas-relief on panels

Bas-relief on panels

The addition of a second concrete plinth raised the height of the horse troughs in 1908. Consoles bearing globe lamps were attached circa 1919.

Circa 1919. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1919. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

The capital supported the Indian figure. The statue of an Indian was originally a wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design and listed it in their catalog of statuary. In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balances the sculpture. He is dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

The fountain was removed in 1908 to lay street car rails, and upon completion, it was re-erected in an east/west direction to lessen the chance of an accident while horses were drinking.

Circa 1908. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Circa 1908. Used with permission. Source: http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

However, the fountain became an obstacle with the advent of the motor vehicle, and in 1925 the statue was toppled when a car hit the structure. Damaged beyond repair, a duplicate purchased from J. L. Mott Iron Works was erected in Union Park. It deteriorated there over several decades due to inclement weather and vandalism until it was relocated to the grounds of the Octagon House Museum in 1964 where it is in the custody of the Watertown Historical Society.

Many thanks to the Watertown Historical Society for permission to use the images. For a more in depth history please visit their site at http://www.watertownhistory.org/Articles/LewisFountain.htm

Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
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Wausaneta Drinking Fountain

Location: Kiwanis Park, Le Roy, Illinois, USA.

The statue of an Indian was originally a wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design, with dimensions of 5ft. 9ins. to the top of the head and 6ft. 6ins. to the top of the feathers, and listed it in their catalog of statuary. The statue was also offered atop a cast iron drinking fountain.

Simeon H. West, a local spiritualist, who claimed to have communicated with a Kickapoo Chief called Wausaneta (also referenced in documents as Osaketa) commissioned a drinking fountain surmounted by the statue of an Indian. The statue represented the Chief whose tribal lands covered almost half the state of Illinois until they were forced to surrender the property in 1819 and relocated to territory in Oklahoma. There is no symbolism attached to the fact that the statue faces north east towards an old fort and burial ground.

The statue and drinking fountain cast by J. L. Mott Iron Works was unveiled by Simeon West’s granddaughter on 1st January 1912 and accepted on behalf of the town by Hon. Leslie J. Owen. Mr. West dedicated a blessing, And now invoking the blessing of God and the holy angels on this beautiful fountain, I dedicate it to the use, benefit and pleasure of all who may come within the radius of its influence.

The square base offers four inlaid panels for memorialization. The legend beneath the front of statue is inscribed: Donated To The City Of Leroy / By / Simeon H West. The three remaining panels are inscribed with Mr. West’s principles.

  • Love and thank the supreme power. Control your temper. Try to keep cheerful. Do all the good you can. Be honest, truthful and temperate. Help the poor, needy and sick. Encourage the weak and timid, make specialty of trying to add to the happiness of someone today – and all other days.
  • Cultivate love, peace and harmony. Life is too short and time too valuable to waste in angry strife. Be slow to believe evil reports about your neighbors. Be diligent in searching for something good to say about others, and when you find it don’t wait until they are dead, but say it at once.
  • When you find a person on the down spiral or in the gutter, don’t kick him, but help him by kind words and acts to strive for better conditions. Try to scatter rays of sunshine and happiness along your pathway wherever you may be. Do good today – you may not be here tomorrow.”

A stone step which was originally placed to offer children assistance in reaching one of three demi-lune fluted basins is still in place today. Although the manufacturer’s casting offered lunettes with lion mascarons of spouting water on three sides, customization equipped this fountain with modern sanitary “bubblers.” The fourth lunette at the rear of the statue hosts a name plate, WAUSANETA.

A column with laurel decoration and guilloche extends above the fountain base. Two consoles originally supported electric globe lamps.

The capital supports the Indian figure. In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balances the sculpture. The original statue was dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins. The missing feathers may have been removed during restoration for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.

The fountain was restored again in 1998.

Glossary

  • Bubbler, a fountain with a tap which ejects a stream of water
  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, A decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Guilloche, Decorative engraving technique of two or more bands twisted over each other in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal

 


Sentinel Fountain

Location: Point Richmond, CA, USA

We have the Women’s West Side Improvement Club to thank for the Indian drinking fountain located at Park Place & Washington Avenue (once known as the Triangle, and more recently as Indian Statue Park.)

After researching options a design was selected from J. L. Mott’s catalog which would accommodate humans, horses and dogs: casting #53, Indian Chief.

The fountain was delivered in August and unveiled at a public ceremony on 4 September 1909. The merchants of Point Richmond closed business for 2 hours for the unveiling.

The statue fell to the ground in 1946 when a driver leaving a local bar crashed into the structure with his truck. The Indian was removed, and the metal was recycled to assist in the war effort.

In 1956 the WWIC lobbied the City to restore the fountain to its original state. The Public Works Department suggested that the horse trough was no longer required, and that only one basin should be retained as a water well, converting the remaining two basins into planters.

The fountain base was removed during the 1960s during renovation of the area known as the Triangle.

In 1982 plans to redesign this area raised the idea of replicating the Indian statue. Funding for a new statue was successful thanks to many local contributors. San Francisco Foundation and Skaggs foundation of Oakland were the major benefactors. The statue, sculpted by Kirk St. Maur, is not an exact replica of the original as can be seen in the attached photos. A comparison of the differences is detailed below. The statue was mounted on a granite base and rededicated on 20 October, 1984.

The water supply to the fountain was cut off in 2002 due to repeated vandalism. Funding to make repairs was organized two years later; however the cost was prohibitive, and the project cancelled.

Three bronze plaques relate the story of the Indian Statue Fountain.

  1. “THE SENTINEL” / KIRK ST. MAUR / SCULPTOR / DEDICATION / OCTOBER 20 1984 / MAYOR THOMAS J. CORCORAN / CITY OF RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA / HISTORY OF THE INDIAN STATUE / THE FIRST INDIAN STATUE WAS COMMISSIONED AND DEDICATED / AT THIS SITE IN 1909 BY THE WOMEN’S WEST SIDE IMPROVEMENT / CLUB. LOST TO THE RAVAGES OF TIME, THE STATUE FELL AND / BECAME SCRAP METAL FOR THE WORLD WAR II EFFORT. / MANY HAVE JOINED TOGETHER FOR TODAY’S DEDICATION. THE / HISTORICAL INTEREST IN THE CHOICE OF A NATIVE AMERICAN / REMAINS THE SAME: HIS FREEDOM LOST IN OUR PAST IS A / REMINDER OF HOW PRECIOUS FREEDOM IS AND HOW / PRECARIOUS SURVIVAL REMAINS.
  2. THE STATUE AND POINT RICHMOND TRIANGLE / RENOVATION HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE / THROUGH THE VISION OF ROD GARRETT AND / THE FOLLOWING CONTRIBUTORS: / THE SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION / CHEVRON RESEARCH COMPANY / THE ATCHISON TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY /A comprehensive list of donors…
  3. ….THE POINT RICHMOND / HISTORY ASSOCIATION AND THE POINT RICHMOND / BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, REQUIRED ENTHUSIASM / AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT, DONATIONS HAVE BEEN / GIVEN IN THE NAMES OF THE FOLLOWING: / A comprehensive list of donors follows… / INDIAN STATUE DAY – OCTOBER 18,1986

The statue of an Indian was originally a wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design and listed it in their catalog of statuary. The statue was also offered atop a cast iron drinking fountain.

The fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works with dimensions of 5ft. 9ins. to the top of the head and 6ft. 6ins. to the top of the feathers. A large square base contained two small wells for dogs, a trough for horses and three demi basins for humans. On four sides, there was a lunette containing a frieze with lion masks. A column extended above with laurel decoration, guilloche and two consoles bearing globe lamps. The capital supported the Indian figure.

The original statue: In his right hand the Indian Chief held an arrow, and in his left hand he held a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rested on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balanced the sculpture. He was dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

The current statue: In his left hand the Indian Chief holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. A feather protrudes from the back of his head. A strap is worn diagonally across his chest from the left shoulder to right hip. He wears a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), leggings and boots.

Glossary

  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, A decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Guilloche, Decorative engraving technique of two or more bands twisted over each other in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting

Indian Chief Fountain

In mid 19th century United States of America, a statue of an Indian Chief was carved in wood by Samuel Anderson Robb for William Demuth, a leading ‘Cigar Store Indian’ peddler. (Indians introduced European explorers to tobacco, and a statue of an Indian was used to guide the illiterate to the tobacco store.) The statue was cast in metal, copyrighted by Wm. Demuth & Co. in 1872, and the design sold to various vendors as #53 Indian Chief.

It was first listed in J. L. Mott’s 1873 catalog with dimensions of 5ft. 9ins. to the top of the head and 6ft. 6ins. to the top of the feathers. Once mounted on top of a drinking fountain the casting number changed to accommodate minor differences in the statue.

In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balances the sculpture. He is dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

In 1908 the Fargo North Dakota Humane Society purchased the statue to be erected atop a drinking trough for horses. It was placed in Broadway Square, south of the Northern Pacific railway tracks, Fargo, North Dakota. The fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works and sat on a circular plinth. A large square base contained two small wells for dogs and two fluted basins for horses. On four sides, there was a lunette containing a frieze with lion masks. A column extended above with laurel decoration, guilloche and two consoles bearing lamps. The capital supported the Indian figure.

The flow of water to the fountain was turned off due to objections from horse owners who were concerned with the risk of disease. In 1940 the fountain was damaged when a truck crashed into it, and the fountain and statue were removed to the city garage for storage. A local businessman showed interest in purchasing the statue, but the Pioneer Daughters of North Dakota protested the sale and it remained in storage. The statue of the Indian Chief was relocated in 1949 to Northern Pacific Park until the park was converted to a parking lot in 1958. It was once again warehoused until 1961 when it was restored by the Fargo Street Department Superintendent, bolted to a concrete base and stationed at 4th Street and 1st Avenue South.

The fountain ceased to exist in 1940, and the whereabouts of the Indian statue is unknown. However, the University of Arkansas Community Design Center has created the image of a public space to recombine art, history and landscape in the spirit of the City Beautiful Movement. Images of Fargo’s lost Indian statue are projected on a polycarbonate roof.

Glossary

  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, A decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Guilloche, Decorative engraving technique of two or more bands twisted over each other in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Data Sources
http://library.ndsu.edu/fargo-history/?q=content/indian-statue

http://www.software-images.net/bhsmagics64/*Barberton&Ohio/Barberton/ChiefHopocan/ChiefHopocan.html

http://www.saveourseminary.org/documents/SOSOnlineMarch2006.pdf

http://uacdc.uark.edu/project.php?project=33

GOOGLE BOOKS: ZINC SCULPTURE IN AMERICA 1850-1950