Editorial: A statue in Topeka

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The city of Topeka, Kansas, decided to memorialize notable figures in its history. That’s how it came to be earlier this month that a lifesize bronze statue of a Worcester industrialist was unveiled on the 700 block of South Kansas Avenue.

It speaks to the lasting legacy of Ichabod Washburn that the inaugural statue in the series is of a man who never set foot in Topeka.

Jerry Farley Ichabod statue

Peggy Clark, Washburn University / Photo courtesy of Washburn University

Washburn University President Dr. Jerry Farley at the unveiling of the Ichabod Washburn statue in downtown Topeka, Kansas, on Dec. 1.

Washburn, who died 147 years ago next week, is known in Worcester as the creator of Washburn and Moen Manufacturing Co., at one point the world’s largest wire mill, and one of the founders of the Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science, now known as WPI.

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