Statue of Castor Oyl and Bernice the Whiffle Hen.

Statue of Castor Oyl and Bernice the Whiffle Hen

Field review by the editors.

Chester, Illinois

This granite monument, one of 16 separate statues that the city of Chester is erecting around its downtown, is part of a decades-long plan honoring the Popeye characters created by hometown cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar.

Castor Oyl, brother of Olive Oyl, predated Popeye in the Sunday Funnies by almost a decade. It was Castor who introduced Popeye into the Thimble Theatre comic strip, only to find his own role subsequently diminished and ultimately eliminated.

The unbeatable good luck conferred by rubbing the head of Bernice the Whiffle Hen saved Popeye's life -- he had been shot multiple times -- at the end of his first appearance in Segar's comic strip. We guessed this was why the Castor and Bernice statue stands in front of Chester Memorial Hospital, as a treatment of last resort... though perhaps we were reading too much into it.

Bernice the Whiffle Hen.
Bernice the Whiffle Hen.

Statue of Castor Oyl and Bernice the Whiffle Hen

1900 State St., Chester, IL
On the north side of town, in front of Chester Memorial Hospital, which is on the east side of Hwy 150/State St.
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In the region:
Ten-Foot-Tall Pinocchio, St. Louis, MO - 53 mi.

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