8 historical figures with statues in the Dayton region (with a new Abraham Lincoln sculpture coming)

Work is continuing at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center to prepare the new home of a 1,700-pound Abraham Lincoln sculpture.

The lawn at the Dayton VA is being converted into a walking park that will have the Lincoln statue as its epicenter.

The new Dayton VA statue honors the promise Lincoln made to the country’s Civil War veterans. Just over a month before Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, he made a speech promising “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan,” according to American Veterans Heritage Center president Bill DeFries.

The work depicts Lincoln, pen in hand, with legislation he signed establishing the National Soldier’s and Sailor’s Asylum to care for Civil War veterans. The president is seated in a favorite wooden chair he traveled with that would accommodate his height.

Here are eight other statues of important historical figures in the region.

Private George Washington Fair

Main Street and Monument Avenue



Private George Washington Fair stands on top of the Soldiers’ Monument on Main Street. His likeness was not the first choice, according to Dayton historian Curt Dalton.

The original accepted design was of a figure representing the Goddess of Liberty. Ex-Civil War soldiers protested vehemently, however, and passed a resolution requesting the goddess be substituted by a Union private soldier. George Washington Fair, a 6-foot, 200-pound bricklayer and an ex-Union soldier, served as the model.

The Soldiers Monument was unveiled on July 31, 1884.

President William McKinley

Cooper Park

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

This statue, located in Cooper Park next to the Dayton Metro Library’s main branch, was dedicated to his memory Sept. 17, 1910.

McKinley was also the governor of Ohio, an Ohio representative in Congress and a soldier in the Union Army.

A plaque on the monument reads, “This monument is a tribute by the citizens of Dayton and the children of its schools.”

Wright Brothers

Deeds Point, North Broadway Street and Monument Avenue

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Sculptures of the Wright brothers can be found in multiple locations.

At Deeds Point, two life-sized statues of Orville and Wilbur Wright commemorate the beginnings of aircraft control. The statue captures Orville twisting a bicycle innertube box as Wilbur explains his scheme for warping wings.

A figure of Orville Wright holding a propeller stands near a representation of his workshop on North Broadway Street.

On Monument Avenue, the brothers are depicted with the Wright Flyer III. Wilbur is on his belly flying the plane and Orville is running below.

John Patterson Memorial

Hills and Dales Park, Kettering

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

John Patterson was the founder of National Cash Register Company.

The sculpture, done by artist Guiseppe Moretti, sits on top of a hill overlooking a Metro Park and is believed to have been dedicated June 9, 1918.

The monument is made up of three sculptures: John Patterson seated on a horse in the center; a woman with a book and a man standing on a gear at the left; and two men, one holding a cornucopia and globe and the other holding a torch, on the right.

President John F. Kennedy

University of Dayton

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

“Kennedy’s Eternal Flame” is located outside of the Kennedy Union on the University of Dayton campus.

The full-length portrait, which is abstract at the bottom but becomes detailed at the head, is over 8 feet tall.

The original sculpture was made of cement and marble by William Joseph Thompson in 1964 and was recast in bronze by John Leon in 1998.

Adam Schantz

Woodland Cemetery

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Schantz, who died in 1903, was a businessman and councilman in Dayton.

He and his brother George were partners in a successful brewery. He eventually bought out his brother and at one time was a partner in at least 10 Dayton breweries.

Schantz developed a way to purify water for use in his breweries and called the product Lily Water, according to Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum.

Marie Sturwold Aull

Carillon Historical Park

Surrounded by native Ohio plants, a sculpture of Aull stands at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton.

Aull, a conservationist and educator, founded Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm and played a major role in creating the Dayton-Montgomery County Park District, now known as Five Rivers MetroParks.

This sculpture, by artist Erik Blome, was a gift from the Garden Club of Dayton and dedicated on June 17, 2003.

Abraham Lincoln

Courthouse Square, Dayton

An 11-foot-tall Abraham Lincoln made of bronze looks over Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton.

It was the most recent statue added to the region to honor a historical figure.

Here is a look at some of the notable figures cast throughout the city.

The monument, created by Urbana artist Mike Major, was commissioned to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Dayton on Sept. 17, 1859. That day, Lincoln reportedly stood on a box on the curb facing the steps of the Old Courthouse and spoke to the crowd for close to two hours.