One of the more impressive sculptures in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It’s called The End of the Day’s Work
Henry Villard (born Ferdinand Heinrich Gustav Hilgard) grew up in a well-to-do family in Bavaria. He was a rebellious child, which his father tried to curb by sending him to military school. Then in 1853 and without his parents’ knowledge, he immigrated to the United States. To conceal his identity he changed his name to Villard. In the next few years he took a series of jobs at newspapers as he slowly made his way west. He got as far as Colorado and then took a job with a couple of New York papers following Abraham Lincoln’s campaign and eventual election. After the Civil War he took a series of correspondent jobs in Europe. Because he was fluent in German and English, he was hired as a negotiator of German interests in American railroad securities.
He acquired some German clients and traveled back to the United States. He went to Portland, Oregon, in 1874 and impressed with the natural wealth and transportation, he convinced his clients to invest in building a railroad. That railroad (with Henry Villard as president) eventually became the Northern Pacific Railway. Like many financiers, his interests changed and varied. He acquired the New York Evening Post and The Nation newspapers in 1881. He helped inventor, Thomas Edison merge his companies in the Edison General Electric Company, which became General Electric.
In later life, Villard became involved in philanthropic interests, giving large amounts of money to the University of Oregon, Harvard, Columbia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Villard’s monument was executed by Vienna-born sculptor Karl Bittner in 1904. Although trained in classical styles, Bittner began to drift toward more modern forms. The Villard Monument was sculpted in 1904, and it exhibits the beginnings of forms that, decades later, would evolve into Art Deco and Moderne. The monument depics a man with a sledgehammer (perhaps a reference to Villard’s position as president of the Northern Pacific Railway) looking towards the stars. (Stories in Stone New York. A field guide to New York City area Cemeteries and their residents by Douglas Keister).
The rear of the monument reads:
APRIL 10TH 1835
THORNWOOD DOBBS FERRY
NOVEMBER 12TH 1900
IN VIEW OF THIS SPOT
CIVIL WAR CORRESPONDENT
AMERICAN SOCIAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION
EARLY PROMOTER OF CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
COMPLETOR OF THE
NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
TO LEARNING SCIENCE AND THE ARTS
TO SUFFERING HUMANITY
HIS BOUNTY WAS BOUNDLESS
AS THE SEA
HIS LOVE AS DEEP
Taken with a Sony A6000 and Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM (I think).