President Rutherford B. Hayes statue.
President Rutherford B. Hayes statue.

Rutherford B. Hayes Statue

Field review by the editors.

Delaware, Ohio

Rutherford B. Hayes was President of the United States from 1877 to 1881. Today he's known mostly as the President who looks like the Smith Brothers on the old-timey cough drops box. He was born in Delaware, Ohio, and in October 2019 the town erected a 700 pound bronze statue in his honor.

It's a long-overdue and unusual tribute. Hayes, sculpted by Alan Cottrill, stands on a granite base with the Presidential Seal -- Hayes was the first President to use it -- holding his top hat low in one hand, the other tucked inside his coat as if he has heartburn. Hayes's body faces toward his birthplace a half-block east, but his gaze is turned away, and mournful, perhaps because the town bulldozed his birthplace for a gas station in 1926.

Before it was unveiled, the statue was symbolically driven around town: to the gas station, to his boyhood home (also bulldozed long ago), and to the town's Hayes High School, believed to be the only school in the U.S. named for him.

The dedication ceremony drew a large crowd, and was attended by Paraguay's ambassador to the U.S. (Hayes arbitrated a territorial dispute between Argentina and Paraguay). A scroll was inserted into the hollow left leg of the statue, bearing the names of all the children in Delaware who contributed to the statue's "Pennies for the President" campaign.

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Rutherford B. Hayes Statue

Address:
2 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, OH
Directions:
Downtown, on the southwest corner of S. Sandusky St. and US-36/William St.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Gas Station Birthplace of Rutherford B. HayesGas Station Birthplace of Rutherford B. Hayes, Delaware, OH - < 1 mi.
Olentangy Indian CavernsOlentangy Indian Caverns, Delaware, OH - 7 mi.
Smiling Face BarnSmiling Face Barn, Delaware, OH - 8 mi.
In the region:
Napoleon's Horse: World's Longest Mane, Marion, OH - 20 mi.

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