On a Pedestal

Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana


BORN FEB. 9. 1836

DIED AUG. 15. 1876.


BORN JULY 25, 1860.

DIED SEPT. 3. 1860.


BORN OCT. 21, 1861.

DIED NOV. 9. 1861.



BORN NOV. 1, 1865.

DIED (illegible) 1866.

The Hildebrand monument in the Crown Hill Cemetery at Indianapolis, Indiana, is a tribute to Henry W. Hildebrand whose likeness was literally put on a pedestal. His life size statue tops the 18-foot tall white marble column. Even with the erosion of the white marble, it is clear that Hildebrand sports a mustache and is wearing a typical coat that was fashionable during his time. He is perched holding an anchor in one hand and his other raised upward.


In traditional cemetery symbolism, a figure that holds an anchor would be a representation of the Virtue of Hope, which is a fairly common symbol found in American cemeteries.  Hope is most often portrayed as a woman leaning against an anchor.  Here it is difficult to know if that is the meaning or if it might be tied to Hildebrand’s occupation.

Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa

Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa

Though extensively searched nothing could be found out about his biography or clues to why this man has this monument. The monument’s base lists the births and death dates of Henry W. Hildebrand and his three children, William, Louisa, and George.

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1 Response to On a Pedestal

  1. Jen says:

    Great photos, especially the closeup on Henry. It’s nice that it’s still in such good condition (considering some of the weather we get here in the Midwest). 🙂

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