1866 MYRON LESLIE LEARNED 1928
1873 MARY POPPLETON LEARNED 1960
A MAN SHALL BE
AS AN HIDING PLACE FROM THE WIND
AND A COVERT FROM THE TEMPEST
AS RIVERS OF WATER IN A DRY PLACE
AS THE SHADOW OF A GREAT ROCK IN A WEARY LAND
The February 10, 1928, Evening State Journal and Lincoln Daily News, Lincoln Nebraska, front page, announced, “Myron Learned Dies: Myron L. Learned, sixty-one, prominent Omaha attorney and a former powerful figure in republican state and county politics, died here last evening following an emergency operation for appendicitis. Learned came to Nebraska from Vermont in 1888 and for twenty years was law partner of John L. Kennedy here. He served on state, county and city republican central committees and was delegate to several national conventions. He never ran for public office.”
Learner was married to Mary Poppleton Learned who was a member of a prominent pioneer Omaha family. Her father was A. J. Poppleton, a member of the First Nebraska Territorial Legislature and the second mayor of the city of Omaha.
After the death of Mr. Myron Learned in 1928, his family commissioned Nellie V. Walker to create the angel to mark his grave in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska. The art deco design, completely in 1929, is evident in the lettering on the base of the monument. The angel recedes into a plain unadorned granite surround. The oval behind the angels head gives the grieving angel a halo effect. The angle’s outstretched arms indicate a protective posture. The water stains from the angle’s eyes give the statue an appearance that she has been weeping.
Nellie Verne Walker, a diminutive woman standing only four foot eight inches tall, not only created commissions for individuals but also large public monuments, such as the one she created for the City of Keokuk, Iowa, and cast by J. Berchem of Chicago, Illinois.
The October 22, 1913, edition of the Decatur, Illinois, Daily Review posted a front page article about the dedication of the statue of Chief Keokuk, that read, in part, “Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution from all parts of Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa attended the dedication here today of the statue in memory of Chief Keokuk of Black Hawk fame for whom this city was named. With Mrs. William C. Story, of New York City, president-general of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in attendance…[other prominent people in attendance] include Lorado Taft, the sculptor, Dr. Frank Wyman of the Department of Indian Affairs, and Mrs. H. R. Howell, state regent, D. A. R., John Keokuk, of Oklahoma, the great-great-grandson of the Indian Chief, brought a message from the Sac and Fox Tribe, over which Chief Keokuk ruled while in his prime.”
The article went on to further state, “The statue of Chief Keokuk is of bronze ten feet in height, resting on a base fifteen feet high. It is the work of Miss Nellie V. Walker, an Iowa girl, now living in Chicago. Great care was taken in the reproduction of Chief Keokuk’s dress, and Miss Walker made frequent trips to the Smithsonian Institute and to numerous historical societies throughout the central states in order to give a correct picture of the Indian as he lived.” That last sentence in the article was a tribute to the thorough and meticulous nature of Walker to her work as a serious sculptor.