Public Sculpture in Grand Rapids

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Charles E. Belknap



Artist: Horace F. Colby
Medium: Bronze
Location: Intersection of Coit Avenue and Hastings Street NE on southeast corner.
Notes:

Charles Belknap is depicted in his Boy Scout uniform because he was the first commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America. He was also mayor of Grand Rapids in 1884 and became a congressman in 1888. When dedicated in 1931, the statue stood in Baldwin Park on the corner of Lake Drive SE and East Fulton Street. It was moved to Belknap Park in 1975 and to its current location in September, 2017. A plaque at the base of the statue reads:

CHARLES EUGENE BELKNAP

DISTINGUISHED SOLDIER

WORTHY PUBLIC OFFICIAL

SELF SACRIFICING CITIZEN

FAITHFUL FRIEND

 

BORN AT MASSENA, ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 17, 1846

SETTLED IN GRAND RAPIDS 1854

SERVED FOUR YEARS IN CIVIL WAR

AS CAPTAIN OF COMPANY H, 21ST MICHIGAN INFANTRY

AND AIDE TO GENERAL PHIL SHERIDAN

CHAIRMAN OF CHICAMAUGA MEMORIAL COMMISSION

HISTORIAN OF ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND

FOUNDER OF BELKNAP WAGON WORKS

A FOUNDER OF GRAND RAPIDS FIRE DEPARTMENT

MEMBER OF BOARD OF EDUCATION SEVEN YEARS

ALDERMAN FROM THE OLD SEVENTH WARD

MAYOR OF THE CITY 1884

MEMBER OF CONGRESS 1889 – 1892

BOY SCOUT COMMISSIONER 1922 – 1929

PATRON OF CAMP FIRE GIRLS

RACOUNTEUR AND PUBLISHER OF PIONEER EXPERIENCES

 

DIED JANUARY 16, 1929

BURIED IN GREENWOOD CEMETYARY

 

THIS MEMORIAL ORIGINALLY INSPIRED BY THE BOY SCOUTS

AND CAMP FIRE GIRLS, HAS BEEN ERECTED BY FRIENDS WHO

ADMINRED CAPTAIN BELKNAP’S PATRIOTIC PUBLIC SERVICES

HIS WINSOME FRIENDLINESS AND SIMPLICITY AND THE

PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY OF HIS EXEMPLARY LIFE


 


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