William Allen statue leaving US Capitol, coming home to Ohio

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — Former Ohio Gov. William Allen is coming home to the city of Chillicothe (chihl-ih-KAHTH’-ee).

The Ross County Historical Society has agreed to take the statute of Ohio’s Democratic governor from 1874 to 1876, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2cqLGz5 ) reported.

Director Thomas Kuhn said details are still being worked out for the transfer of the statue from the state, which will assume ownership after the statue is removed from its spot in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol where it’s been since 1887.

The 12-foot-tall, 12,000-pound statue was sculpted by Cincinnati artist Charles Niehaus and is being displaced due to Allen’s support of Southern slave owners. But Kuhn said society officials aren’t deterred by the reasons behind Allen’s removal.

“Historical societies are in the business of preserving history, not hiding it,” he said.

Allen served in the U.S. House and Senate before becoming Ohio’s 31st governor in 1874. He retired to his home in Chillicothe, where he died in July 1879.

Each state can display two notable figures at Statuary Hall. State officials had decided to replace Allen in 2010 and held a statewide public vote to pick a successor. Inventor Thomas Edison— who’s from Milan, Ohio —won narrowly over aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.

The bronze statue of Edison holding a light bulb will join President James Garfield as Ohio’s entrants in Statuary Hall. Sculpted by Zanesville artist Alan Cottrill, the Edison statue will be dedicated Sept. 21 by House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Ohio officials.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com