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Sandra Swanson Weichert's
Historic Mount Oread

Campus Building Directory

This Week in
KU History

The University
of Kansas

Pioneer Statue
"The Corn Planter"

Simeon Bell, a New Jersey doctor who moved to Kansas in the late 1850s, donated the land for the original KU Medical Center pioneer cemetary in Kansas City, Kansas; Bell Memorial Hospital is named for him. He commissioned an artist friend, apparently F.C. Hibbard, to sculpt "The Corn Planter." In 1905 Dr. Bell gave the work to KU to remind succeeding generations of students of the difficulties and hardships of early pioneers. The 1856 date at the statue's base is a mystery; it may be the year Bell came to Kansas.

The statue was stored in Dyche Hall until around 1920 when it was placed in the area of Chi Omega circle. Critics said the statue had been placed facing east, but a pioneer should face west, so it was moved to the east side of old Fraser Hall. Since 1966 it has been in the present location near new Fraser Hall--facing west.

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pioneer statue
Location: West of Lilac Lane, south of Fraser Hall

Sculptor: "F.C. Hibbard, Sc." is engraved on the base; KU stories attribute it to "Cato the Younger"

Deeded to KU Endowment Association: May 26, 1953

Foundry: American Bronze Foundry Co., Chicago, IL

Height: Approximately 8 feet