US Senator William Boyd Allison Monument
About the Project
Designed by Evelyn B. Longman of New York, the monument’s central plaque picturing Allison is flanked by symbols of “Knowledge” on the left and “Peace” on the right. The former is followed by “Legislature” and “Financial Prosperity,” the latter by “Humanity” and “Agricultural Prosperity.” The topmost figure, “The Republic.”
About William B. Allison
In 1917, friends of Senator William B. Allison, citizens and school children of Iowa, and the state legislature raised this memorial. A pivotal figure in Iowa’s Republican party, Allison (1829-1908) represented Iowa in Congress for 43 years. He was twice a candidate for the presidential nomination of his party and was a close associate of every United States president from Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt.
Allison’s “influence dawned in the Civil war, and throughout the era following, with all its clash of interests, his was a masterful mind managing from equitable impulses and solely by peaceful means. That era, co-extensive with his life, bore fruits incomparable in gain to every American citizen from the very highest to the very humblest. Along the sky line of American accomplishment, with its hundred towers and spires of patriotic lives, none other is revealed in the Allison period holding to his steady level of high efficiency; none so much appears to be the bond uniting every element into one expanse of peace, prosperity and progress. If we are to know the big figures in American affairs by single words, one from Iowa should probably be known as the great harmonizer — Allison, the Harmonizer.”
At the suggestion of General Grenville M. Dodge there was begun in 1908 the collection of funds for the purpose of erecting at the Iowa State capital a fitting memorial of the life of William B. Allison. The 33rd General Assembly passed an Act which created a commission authorized to locate and erect a monument to the memory of the late William B. Allison. Funds were raised through a public-private effort.
In January, 1912, the committee charged in fundraising advised the Allison Memorial Commission that $50,000 was in-hand. The commission’s objectives were to: “set a standard in memorial expression to Iowa public men, pay respect to the most artistic tastes of cultured people, and erect to Allison a bronze or marble tribute equal in eloquence to those of him in literature.”
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