Colonel Richard Owen (bust)

Colonel Richard Owen (bust)
Colonel Richard Owen
Artist Belle Kinney Scholz
Year 1913
Type Bronze on limestone base
Dimensions 180 cm × 100 cm (70 in × 40 in)
Location Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis, IN

39°46′07″N 86°09′46″W / 39.768651°N 86.162664°W / 39.768651; -86.162664Coordinates: 39°46′07″N 86°09′46″W / 39.768651°N 86.162664°W / 39.768651; -86.162664
Owner State of Indiana

The bust of Colonel Richard Owen is a public artwork by American artist Belle Kinney Scholz, located inside the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The bronze bust was created in 1913 as a memorial to Owen from Confederate veteran associations in recognition of his courtesy to Confederate prisoners of war while he was commandant of Camp Morton during the American Civil War.[1]

It is approximately 70 inches tall (including base), 40 inches wide, and 21 inches deep.



The Colonel Richard Owen bust is a bronze work on a three-part limestone base. The bust depicts Owen in a Union military uniform, including a cape-like overcoat. It portrays Owen from the waist up with his arms crossed in front of him as he gazes down to the proper right. The upper base has a wave motif carved into a border. The center base contains an inscription written with affixed bronze letters that reads "Colonel Richard Owen/Commandant/Camp Morton Prison 1862/Tribute by Confederate Prisoners/of War and Their Friends/for his Courtesy and Kindness."[2] Beneath the inscription, 13 bronze stars (each approximately 3/4 inches wide) are arranged in a single horizontal line. The bottom base is bordered by a row of leaves carved into the stone. On the top proper left side of the center base is the inscription, "Belle Kinney, Sc". On the bottom, proper left side of the bust is another inscription that reads, "Belle Kinney/NY". The Indiana State Museum currently lists the piece in excellent condition.[3]

Historical information

S.A. Cunningham commissioned the memorial to Owen for the Indiana Statehouse in 1911. Cunningham was a longtime editor of the Confederate Veteran magazine[1] and had been imprisoned at Camp Morton while it was under Owen's supervision. Initially, Cunningham only planned to commission for a tablet honoring Owen. He asked for donations for the memorial in the Confederate Veteran from anyone who had been under Owen's command at Camp Morton.[4] He received such a strong response that he had Kinney Scholz, who herself had family members who fought for the Confederacy, create a bronze bust instead. It was dedicated at the Indiana Statehouse in 1913, with Civil War veterans from both sides in attendance. The sculpture was called, "a bond between North and South."[5] A duplicate of the Owen bust can be found in Owen Hall at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

The honorable William W. Spencer, a member of the House of Representatives at the time put forth a bill to approve the creation of the memorial. It read, "Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein, that the Governor of this State be authorized to permit the surviving Confederate prisoners who were confined in Camp Morton during the War between the States to erect a tablet to the memory of Col. Richard Owen for the kindness shown said Confederate prisoners, and that the Governor be authorized to designate the spot where said tablet shall be placed, either in the Statehouse, on the grounds of the Statehouse, or on the soldiers' monument in the city of Indianapolis." The bill was approved unanimously by both houses.[6]


Regarding the Owen bust, Kinney Scholz said, "It was my aim to portray such a man as he might look while pondering over the meaning of the great struggle in which he was then taking part - his sympathetic heart touched by the suffering it caused, yet realizing its necessity . . . no work I have ever done gave me as much pleasure as the Owen bust."[7]

See also

  • Benjamin Harrison (Peglow)
  • Frank O'Bannon (Ryden)
  • Henry F. Schricker (Rubins)
  • Matthew E. Welsh (Edwards)
  • Otis Bowen (Lanagan)
  • Robert D. Orr (Ingle)
  • Sherman Minton (Gage)
  • Stephen Neal (Leonard)


  1. ^ a b Winslow, Hattie Lou and Moore, Joseph R. (1995) "Camp Morton, 1861-1865, Indianapolis, IN." Indiana Historical Society Press (Indianapolis).
  2. ^ Coulter 1950, p. 478
  3. ^ Indiana State Museum. Bust of Colonel Richard Owen, ID 99.2006.020.0072. 11 April 2006. Retrieved from Indiana State Museum Mimsy Database 4 December 2010.
  4. ^ The Confederate Veteran, April, 1911, Nashville, TN
  5. ^ N. H. Winchell, "A Sketch of Richard Owen," The American Geologist, 6 (1890) 134-145.
  6. ^ The Confederate Veteran, May 1911, Nashville, TN
  7. ^ Elise L. Smith, "Belle Kinney and the Confederate Women's Monument," The Southern Quarterly 32 (1994) 2-27

Further reading

  • Coulter, Ellis Merton (1950). The Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 (1950 ed.). LSU Press. ISBN 9780807100073.  - Total pages: 644

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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