VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — A southwestern Indiana group has raised more than $60,000 for a statue honoring the founder of the historic city of Vincennes.

The Friends of Vincennes' Heritage says its four-year campaign has collected nearly $62,000 for the statute of Francois Marie Bissot.

The Vincennes Sun-Commercial reports the fundraiser's success cleared the way for a clay likeness of Bissot created by sculptor Bill Wolfe to be sent to an Indianapolis foundry for a bronze casting.

The completed statue is expected to be unveiled in Vincennes next May, during Memorial Day weekend.

Bissot, who's also known as the Sieur de Vincennes, was born in Montreal. He rose through the ranks of the French marines and is credited with founding a fort along the Wabash River in 1732 called the Poste de Vincennes.

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Information from: Vincennes Sun-Commercial, http://www.vincennes.com