Ernest Moore “Dick” Viquesney


Ernest Moore “Dick” Viquesney

Spencer, Owen County, Indiana, USA
Death 4 Oct 1946 (aged 70)
Spencer, Owen County, Indiana, USA
Burial Spencer, Owen County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 68246118 View Source
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Ernest Moore "Dick" Viquesney, sculptor of the WWI memorial statue, "The Spirit of the American Doughboy" found in about 140 locations throughout the U.S., was born in Spencer, Indiana, spent much time in Americus, Georgia from 1905 - 1922 (where his famous statue was created), then moved back to Spencer permanently. For the next two decades he created a prolific array of sculptural items, and was well-respected as a businessman.

After the death of his first wife Cora Barnes of diphtheria in 1933, Viquesney married again to Elizabeth "Betty" Sadler in 1936. But Betty's death ten years later was an unbearable loss; Viquesney committed suicide in his garage, one day after the 13th anniversary of Cora's death.

Viquesney's life and work were researched by another Spencer resident, T. Perry Wesley (memorial #18138121), Editor Emeritus of the Spencer Evening World newspaper, from about 1948 until almost the time of the latter's death in 2001.

Although Viquesney produced many works, he is most remembered for his WWI Doughboy statue. He tried for a "comeback" of sorts with his WWII "Spirit of the Fighting Yank", but it sold poorly. Still, it was enough to allow the words "Sculptor of Two World Wars" to appear on his headstone.

The family burial plot where Viquesney lies includes his mother, Jane Lehman; his father, Alfred Paul Viquesney (although his headstone reads Paul Alfred); his first wife, Cora and second wife, Betty. Overlooking them all is Viquesney's own creation, "The Unveiling", which originally was created in 1934 as a memorial to Cora.

Riverside Cemetery is also home to the Viquesney Pavilion, created by the artist in 1939.

During his heyday in the late 1920s, Viquesney built the Tivoli Theatre in Spencer, a once-reknowned landmark that drew moviegoers from miles around. He also had a large office/apartment building complex in downtown Spencer, where he produced a good-luck piece called the "Imp-O-Luck" that sold in the hundreds of thousands. An 11-foot model of it stood on the rooftop.

Although once a famous, nationally-known sculptor, upon his death, E.M. Viquesney and his creations faded into near-obscurity until research by T. Perry Wesley published in 1991 began to revive interest.

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1876 1946

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