Jim Brothers’ Bronze Sculpture in Eudora

Frank) And we are back again. Hey question [laughs] when you were a kid, did you play a game called red light, green light? (Deb) Yes we did. (Frank) You know because you were supposed to run with somebody. (Deb) Yes. (Frank) Red light near brown and then you freeze. (Deb) Yes. (Frank) Into a statue. And the reason I did that is to be a Segway into statues. There are a lot of statutes now in Topeka and in Kansas. (Deb) That was brilliant Frank. (Frank) Wasn’t that cool? (Deb) Yes it was. (Frank) Red light, green light. (Deb) That was brilliant yes somebody should be put Frank in bronze, yes that’s [laughter] playing red light, green light. They could do a whole series if you. My friend Tom Ross does paintings; he did one of Willie Mays catching a ball. So it’s got four, so each one is in motion, you know like this, so yes. (Frank) Say, Hey Willie, caught the ball down here like a basket. (Deb) Yes. (Frank). Thanks, so cool. He came running and catch it down here. Say hey Willie. (Deb) We’ve got another subject for you. So yes, speaking of statuary, we’ve got them going up all over Topeka. They’re magnificent. We’ve already got the Ichabod Crane up and the others will be coming up, I just was visiting with Scott Gales this morning talking about sort of a timeline on getting the others up. So come see Topeka. It’s going to be gorgeous. But all over Kansas in all these little towns, like one of the first one that comes to mind is McPherson, you know with their magnificent equestrian statue of General McPherson that’s on the courthouse, it’s just beautiful. But the little town that we are going talk about right now, Eudora has a really beautiful and unique statue. Did you know Eudora was actually a little girl’s name? (Frank) No, I did not until you told me about that and it’s really interesting. (Deb) It’s a wonderful story and the statue just tells the story. And we are going to have a couple of segments today that feature the artist Jim Brothers who was a native Topekan but then he moved to Lawrence. And just a wonderful sculptor and a wonderful man. And this one in Eudora might be my favorite actually. He’s done some magnificent stuff. But this one in Eudora of that little girl and her dad is just, there’s just something. If that doesn’t grab your heartstrings, you’ve got no heart. It’s magnificent. Let’s take a look at how that little town got named for that little girl. The Kaw lived along the rivers in eastern Kansas, and what would become Douglas County was no exception. The Kaw were forcibly removed in order for the federal government to make room for the Shawnee Indian tribe. The Shawnees occupied this land until 1854 when, again, the government forcibly removed tribes to the Indian Nations or present day Oklahoma. A Shawnee Chief named Pascal Fish owned most of the land in the area and sold it to a German emigrant group in 1857. The Germans named their new community Eudora after Chief Fish’s daughter. The Oregon and Santa Fe Trails passed by just a few miles south of Eudora. Countless travelers to the Western United States passed through this region from the 1840s through the 1860s. Eudora witnessed significant conflict during Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War. Eudora strongly supported the Union, and many of its men enlisted in the Union Army. When William Quantrill led his Missouri guerrillas to destroy Lawrence in 1863, they stopped just south of Eudora. Quantrill enlisted the help of a young German boy to keep him on the main route of the California Road since in the dark it was difficult to tell if you were on the main road or one of the many detours carved by travelers. Eudora residents attempted to warn Lawrence of Quantrill’s proximity, but did not make it in time to warn the town. After the Civil War, relative stability finally arrived to the region. Eudora developed tremendously in the late 19th century and grew into a self-sustaining community and today is a picturesque, thriving town of just over six thousand residents. Eudora’s namesake and her father have been immortalized in a bronze statue in the middle of town. The child hugging her father was done by renowned sculptor, the late Jim Brothers, whose studio was in Lawrence.

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