Mr. Plankinton takes a Vacation
Check out the pictures from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as they move Mr. Plankinton to storage.
Plankinton! Come to the aid of history! The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Shops at Grand Avenue and everybody else (including the Milwaukee County Historical Society) seem to think this statue is 144 years old. No way! I note that the American Bronze Foundry of Chicago did not come into existence until the mid 1880’s, and that the sculpture sure seems to date to then, from what I can tell. I’m combing through references to R. H. Park, and there is nothing to make me think that this is an 1868 sculpture. Let’s find the source, and correct what I feel to be a big error. Also, I appreciate your interest in your hometown. I study E. D. Holton (Plankinton’s first landlord) who has a city named after him in Kansas, albeit not a railway stop, despite his closeness to Mitchell.
I’m finding hints that it was installed in 1892, just after Mr. Plankinton’s death. See other comments and blog posts for more on this.
I have found one reference to its creation of 1886 on Wikipedia, but have not been able to confirm that or find it again . It would be 126 years old.
The sculptor, Parks, was in Milwaukee about 1886. He created the Washington Monument (by the library) and was engaged to Elizabeth Plankinton. Her father built her a mansion as a wedding gift in 1886, but they did not marry. He also created the Juneau monument, unveiled in 1887. He is sometimes known as Richard Henry Park and sometimes Richard Hamilton Park. This makes me believe the 1886 date is more accurate. I think I’m going to have to take a trip to the Milwaukee Public Library and check out some newspapers from 1885-1886!
What created your interest in E.D. Holton?
With a little more research, I’m becoming convinced that Elizabeth was not engaged to the sculptor Park. Will explore that topic later.
This is interesting. I found my printed copy of the source dating the Plankinton statue to 1886. It was “List of public art in Milwaukee” on Wikipedia and it has since been removed from that site!
Also, Park created the Washington statue in 1885.
I found another source that dates it to 1883. I am posting that link in a new post.
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