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The Poor Little Dog without a Face

If you’ve lived in Muncie for a while, you’ve probably followed the trail of the Native American and his dog from atop the third Delaware County courthouse to the Stradling farm to Wysor Park and finally to the fourth Delaware County courthouse. Sometime during his travels, the dog was damaged and lost his face. The damage will soon be fixed, though. Delaware County Historical Society, which owns this statue and the other two that originally graced the third courthouse, has received a grant from the Community Foundation to make repairs.

Why am I telling you about artifacts that belong to another historical collection? Because you’ll find one of the tools used to create these statues in the Minnetrista Heritage Collection. John “Jack” Ward was hired in the mid-1880s to Muncie by the firm contracted to build the court house. Ward, a native of Ireland, was a skilled sculptor who carved the statues and other ornamentation used on the courthouse. He remained a resident of Delaware County after completing his work on the courthouse, purchasing a farm near Yorktown. Following his days of farming and working as an itinerant sculptor, Ward worked for Busch, Russell and Geltz Monument Works, now the Wearly Monument Works.

Jack Ward’s stonecarver’s mallet was donated to Minnetrista by his granddaughter, Esther Ebrite Ball. I think that Jack would be happy to know that his work is remembered and that one of his well-used tools is being preserved. He’d be even happier, I bet, to know that his little dog will soon be whole again.

minnetrista heritage collection

minnetrista collects the objects and archival material that document the people, places, events, organisations, businesses and industry of the region – in other words, the history of east central indiana.

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