||1st Honorable Mention
Van Buren, Arkansas
Three in One
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
Three in One, sculpture
Artist: Bridges, Dixon E., sculpture
Date: ca. 1985. Dedicated 1986.
Location: University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
In front of Gardner Building, corner of Grand Avenue and Waldron Road
||The Spirit of the American Doughboy, sculpture
Artist: Viquesney, E.M., 1876-1946, sculptor
Date: ca. 1922. Copyrighted 1920, 1934.
Relocated ca. 1989-1990
Medium: Figure: pressed copper. Base: fieldstone
Located: American Legion,
Ellig-Stoufer Post No. 31,
4901 Midland Blvd. at North 50th Street, Fort Smith, AR.
Spirt of the American Doughboy
Ernest Moore "Dick" Viquesney, born in 1876 in Spencer, Indiana, to French immigrant parents who came to America for the father to ply his trade of stone and marble carver, created a statue which he first copyrighted in 1920, and later re-copyrighted in 1934, titled "The Spirit of the American Doughboy." It is a World War I infantryman advancing through "No Man's Land" through stumps and barbed wire entanglements, his rifle held in his left hand while his right hand is raised high, holding a grenade.
The Viquesney creation has two stumps, one front and one rear, a feature which seems unique to Viquesney creations, since it is not usually found on Doughboy statues (of which there are several) created by other sculptors. One other unique feature of this statue, after being set in place the base is filled with concrete.
The statue is known at the time of this report to have been placed in at least 136 locations in 35 states.
The inscription on the plaque reads:
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF OUR COMRADES
WHO ENTERED THE SERVICE
OF THEIR COUNTRY
FROM FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS
AND WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
IN THE WORLD WAR
VICTOR ELLIG POST NO. 31
THE AMERICAN LEGION
Originally dedicated July 4, 1930, the sculpture once stood at the entrance to Lewis Tilles Park on Grand Avenue, but it was placed in storage in 1979 after substantial vandalism. After refurbishment by Ralph Irwin of Van Buren, Arkansas, it was rededicated at its current location on Memorial Day 1998.
A picture of this Doughboy, on a pedestal at Lewis Tilles Park, was included in Viquesney promotional brochures. It is listed in the National Register of Historical Places.
A close look will detect a very substantial roll of coiled razor-wire placed around the feet to discourage attempts to climb the monument.