Outside the Senate Wing of the Oregon State Capitol stands a statue of Dr. John McLoughlin, the Father of Oregon. The statue is a replica of the one on display in the National Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The statue was dedicated on February 2, 1953, in a Joint Assembly attended by the Oregon State Senate, the Oregon State House of Representatives, the Oregon Supreme Court, the Governor, and other elected officials. The statue was sculpted by Gifford McGregor Proctor and his father Alexander Phimister Proctor and was unveiled on the Capitol grounds by Emily Winch, the Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter of Dr. McLoughlin.
In a news report at the time, Dr. McLoughlin's statue was praised for its accuracy and detail:
"It shows him striding along, hair flying and cape billowing, and it is accurate even to small details, such as the sword cane which now reposes in the Oregon Historical Society museum....His commanding spirit is clearly shown by this delineation."
Fred M. White, "Men Who Made Oregon," The Sunday Oregonian Magazine, February 1, 1953 (p. 2-3).
At some point and by some unknown cause, however, the statue of the Father of Oregon lost his cane. Without the cane, the statue was deprived of this important historical detail, and the likeness of the Father of Oregon was left to awkwardly thrust his arm forward without his cane in hand.
Upon discovering the cane's absence, the Oregon State Capitol Foundation was determined to preserve this piece of history at the Oregon State Capitol and return his cane to the Father of Oregon.
In celebration of the Oregon State Capitol's 75th Birthday, the Capitol Foundation commissioned sculptor Diana Lee Jackson to create a replica of Dr. McLoughlin's cane. The new cane was attached to the statue in the fall of 2013.
The new cane was presented by the Oregon State Capitol Foundation at the Capitol's 75th Birthday Celebration on October 1, 2013. As part of the ceremony, the Oregon Historical Society also exhibited Dr. McLoughlin's original sword cane used by the Father of Oregon in the 1800's. Today, the restored and complete statue stands on the grounds of the Oregon State Capitol.
To learn more about Dr. John McLoughlin, his statue, and the Oregon State Capitol, please visit:
Oregon Historical Society: Biography of Dr. John McLoughlin
House Journal: Recording the Statue's Dedication Ceremony on February 2, 1953
Video: Capitol Fire of April 25, 1935
Video: Oregon State Capitol's 75th Birthday Celebration on October 1, 2013
Plan a Visit to the Oregon State Capitol