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James Harlan statue unveiled at Iowa college

August 29, 2014

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — A statue of former U.S. Sen. James Harlan was unveiled Thursday in southeast Iowa after more than a century in the U.S. Capitol.

Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were among the guests as the statue was revealed at Iowa Wesleyan College, the Burlington Hawk Eye reported (http://bit.ly/YYYiCS ). It now stands on the University Chapel’s lawn.

“Today is truly a historic day for our state,” Branstad said. “It is the first time Iowa has had a statue of this significance come back from the U.S. Capitol to the appropriate home.”

The statue was recently replaced in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall by one of Norman Borlaug, who received the Nobel Prize in 1970 for boosting agricultural production and who founded the World Food Prize.

The Iowa Legislature voted to put the Harlan statue on permanent loan from the state to the school, where Harlan was president for a short period in the mid-1800s. He would later be elected to the U.S. Senate.

“The Harlan statue will be a daily reminder to students, faculty, staff and visitors about his legacy with the Iowa Wesleyan College, Iowa and the United States,” Reynolds said. “We are honored to pay tribute today to Sen. Harlan and the artist that created his statue.”

Illinois sculptor Nellie V. Walker made the statue, which is more than eight feet tall and weighs nearly 8,000 pounds with its base. It was installed in the Capitol in 1910.

Harlan, who died in Mount Pleasant in 1899, also served as Secretary of the Interior. He was considered a close friend to President Abraham Lincoln.

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Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com

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