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Statue of Lowden to grace lawn

OREGON – A marble statue of onetime Gov. Frank Lowden, one of Ogle County’s most prominent citizens, soon may stand on the downtown courthouse lawn.

The County Board voted Tuesday to allow a new nonprofit foundation to install the statue on the northeast side of the courthouse, facing state Route 2.

The statue will be funded by private donations, County Board Chairman Kim Gouker said. Chris Martin of Oregon presented the idea to the county’s Infrastructure Committee May 14; the committee agreed June 11 to recommend it to the board.

Lowden, governor from 1917-1921, sponsored picnics each July 4 for several years on the courthouse lawn, Gouker said.

He and his wife, Florence Pullman Lowden, bought land in Ogle County in 1899 that they developed into Sinnissippi Farms, where they lived for many years.

Lowden also served as a U.S. congressman and a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois National Guard. President Calvin Coolidge made him a member of the Memorial Commission for the Mount Rushmore National Park in South Dakota, and he was a law professor at Northwestern University in Evanston.

Several local areas are named for him, including Lowden State Park, Lowden-Miller State Forest, and Boy Scouts of America Camp Lowden.

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