Nellie Verne Walker was an Iowa sculptor who gained fame for her monumental works such as the statue she created of Chief Keokuk, the Lanning Fountain, and The Lincoln Trail State Memorial. The Lincoln Trail State Memorial was designed in 1937 and installed in 1938, to commemorate the first time Abraham Lincoln trekked into Illinois. Lincoln was 21 years old at the time on hard times when he and his family moved from Indiana to settle in Illinois.
The Freeport Journal Standard, Freeport, Illinois, Tuesday, June 14, 1938, edition of the page wrote about the dedication of the monument on its front page, “Lincoln Monument Presented to State by Illinois D. A. R. Lawrenceville, Ill., June 14, (AP)—The Illinois Daughters of the American Revolution presented the Lincoln Monument at Lincoln Trail Monument State Park to the State of Illinois in a dedication ceremony today.
The monument in the 32-acre park on the Illinois side of the Lincoln Memorial bridge of U. S. 50 narks the spot where Abraham Lincoln and his family first touched foot on Illinois soil.
Formal presentation was made by Mrs. Jacob Friedrich Zimmerman, state regent of the D. A. R. with Director F. Lynden Smith of public works representing Governor Horner.
A limestone panel of the monument depicts the Lincoln family entering the state. Lincoln at 21 is represented in bronze walking with his family. Nellie Walker of Chicago designed and executed the monument.”
In addition to her public works, Walker, like most sculptors at the time, took private commissions which were often funerary monuments like the shrouded figure bronze statue she created for Milton T. Barlow of Omaha, Nebraska.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Lincoln, Nebraska, Wednesday, July 2, 1930, edition, reported, “MILTON T. BARLOW DIES: Aged Omaha Banker Was Chairman Board U. S. National Bank. OMAHA—(UP)—Milton T. Barlow, eighty-six, who had been in the banking business here for sixty-seven years, died at his home late Tuesday. He had been in a semi-conscious state for several days.
Barlow was, until he resigned a month ago, because of ill health, chairman of the board of the U. S. National bank. He retained a position as a member of the board until the end.
Born in Greencastle, Ind., in 1844, Barlow came here in 1863 and entered the private banking firm of Barrows and Millard as a clerk. A few months later he enlisted in the Civil war and marched with Sherman to the sea without seeing active fighting.
At the close of the war, he returned here and rejoined the banking firm, being admitted as a partner in 1868. The institution became the U. S. National bank in 1883 and Barlow was made cashier. In 1897 he was made president, becoming chairman of the board in 1920. Funeral services are to be held Thursday.”