In 1926, Hannibal attorney George A. Mahan and his wife Ida and their son Dulany donated the sculpture of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn to the city of Hannibal, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Clemens, writing under the pseudonym of Mark Twain, had written the novels Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn which portrayed life in Hannibal in the first half of the 19th century.
The New York Times reported 1, at the statue's unveiling, that "the statue depicts Tom as leaving his boyhood paradise and Huck to engage in the more serious problems of life, while Huck, not so intelligent and ambitious, remains among his boyhood scenes."
At the time of the celebration, Mahan was the president of the State Historical Society of Missouri; in the dedicatatory speech, Mahan declared 2 "This monument was erected as a tribute to Mark Twain with the hope that it may be beneficial to the people of the world, and an especial inspiration to the girls and boys."
Mahan was, earlier in his career, also instrumental in bringing the cement industry to Hannibal in 1901, and, as a result, in the life and politics of the now-disbanded town of Ilasco, just a few miles south of Hannibal, near the Mississippi. See also The Lost City of Ilasco Cache. He and his wife are considered by some to have begun the tourism industry in Hannibal when they bought the Clemens boyhood home in 1911 3, refurbished it, and donated it to the city.
The statue was the work of noted Missouri sculptor Frederick C. Hibbard, who was born in 1881 in nearby Canton, Missouri, studied electrical engineering at the University of Missouri, and studied sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago 4. Hibbard had previously sculpted the Mark Twain statue that overlooks the Mississippi River in Riverview Park, as well as the statue of William Henry Hatch that presides over Central Park.
To log this cache, email me the following information from your observation of the statue:
- What object does Tom have in his shirt pocket?
- On the back of the statue, one city name is mentioned twice; what is the city?
- On the ground next to Huck's bare feet there is a tree stump; what is near Tom's bare feet?