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Usually, naive sculptural monuments, or follies, are created on a personal level, and although they are almost always meant to be on view, their location and stance are not public. Here in Hospers, a small town on the Floyd River in northwestern Iowa, one will come across a group of follies produced by a single individual, Frederickus Reinders, and sited to be public monuments. Located right in the middle of the intersection of Main Street and Second Avenue, south of Iowa 60, is a 20-foot-high World War I memorial statue (1921) fashioned in concrete. The piece consists of the figure of a soldier placed on a high base; at the base is a nude female figure. Moving on to the northeast corner of Main Street and Third Avenue, one will be able to experience the World War II Memorial Park ( MW058).

The creator of these public monuments, Frederickus Reinders (1874–1959), was born in Groningen, the Netherlands, and came to the United States in 1893. He settled in Hospers around 1900. There he practiced as a mortician and also ran a furniture store. Folk follies are not generally crafted for a long life, and this is true of Reinders's work in Hospers. Fortunately, both of the memorials were restored as a United States bicentennial project in 1976.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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