Audio: “Anthony Wayne’s Statue” featuring Tom Castaldi. Courtesy of WBNI-Fort Wayne.
Anthony Wayne was born in Waynesboro, Pa., on January 1, 1745. In 1775, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Wayne joined the American Army and was named Colonel by the Continental Congress. With the command of a Pennsylvania Regiment, he led the invasion of Canada in 1776. After Valley Forge in 1778, Anthony Wayne played a significant role at the Battle of Monmouth. He continued to participate in the last years of the Revolutionary War and was present at the British surrender at Yorktown. When the war ended, Wayne retired to his home in Pennsylvania, where he helped draft the state’s first constitution. President Washington called him back into duty to lead a campaign against the Native Americans of the Ohio Country in 1792 in the wake of the horrible losses suffered by General Harmar.
George E. Ganiere of Chicago sculpted the equestrian statue of General Wayne Anthony, which was dedicated in 1918 and placed in Hayden Park at Maumee and Harmar streets, facing the Lincoln Highway. In 1973, it was moved downtown to Freimann Square. Hayden Park was renamed in 1986 to Nuckols Memorial Park in honor of John Nuckols, the first African American city councilman in Fort Wayne. Originally, Ganiere had inscribed the base of the Anthony Wayne statue with the General’s name; but it was removed when the base was replaced. Ganiere also had two plaques constructed for the statue of Miami war Chief Little Turtle, Shawnee leader Tecumseh and Fort Wayne. These also did not make the move to Freimann Square. However, in 2008, the pieces were donated to the Allen County Public Library and have been displayed in the lobby of the genealogical department ever since.
Photos courtesy of Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society and Google.com
- Stockman, Dan. “A General Predicament: Wayne statue might move”. The Journal-Gazette. Jan.13, 2013.
- The Bicentennial Heritage Trail Group, ARCH Inc., Essex Group, Inc., On The Heritage Trial, Fort Wayne, Indiana: A Walking Guide Book (1994) pp.5-8.