Chapter on Carl Schurz
Addendum to Carl Schurz,
1914 Oshkosh: The Carl Schurz Monument
July 4 Among the chief works of art in the City of Oshkosh is the monument to the memory of Carl Schurz, Wisconsin statesman, who represented one of the, truest types of American patriots, with the highest ideals as to democracy and loyalty. This beautiful statue is located at the foot of Washington Street, with the waters of Lake Winnebago and the hazy east shore as a background. Upon one side of it is an imposing city recreation center, formerly the clubhouse of the Oshkosh Yacht Club, and upon the other the municipal water plant.
The donor of the monument, Col. John Hicks, went to the studio of Karl Theodore Francis Bitter, of New York, for the statue of the great apostle of democracy. It was on the date of Saturday, July 4, 1914, that this magnificent work in bronze, upon marble, was dedicated, and the event marked a new epoch in the history of Fourth of July celebrations here. A parade was held, led by the Arion Band, in which there were automobiles carrying those having active part in the unveiling, and the members of Companies B and F of the Wisconsin National Guard, the Oshkosh Kriegerverein and the Oshkosh Maennerchor marched. A huge crowd of citizens gathered about the monument, and those taking part were seated on and spoke from a raised platform decorated in the patriotic colors. The Arions played “Star Spangled Banner,” and Rev. Theodore Irion, of St. Paul’s Evangelical church, delivered the invocation.
The Maennerchor rendered a song in German, and the monument was disclosed to view, Miss Marianne Schurz, one of the daughters of Carl Schurz, performing the ceremony.
Gen. C. R. Boardman presented the gift in behalf of the donor, stating that Carl Schurz was the greatest American of German birth this country had ever known. The response of acceptance for the city was made by Mayor John Mulva, who emphasized the “wise and generous philanthropy of that distinguished fellow citizen, who has done so much to beautify our public places.” Judge Emil Baensch, of Manitowoc, was the principal speaker, his address being an eloquent tribute to Schurz, whom he termed a type of active American citizenship, the immigrant, and whose character and career he sketched in detail. Oshkosh Public Library Digital Collections