A Tale of Two Statues

"Forward" and Hans Christian Heg Statues Toppled

June 24, 2020
Hans Christian Heg statue in Madison

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We've all seen the statues of "Forward" and Hans Christian Heg at the State Capitol. But do you know anything about them?

Both statues were toppled during protests early Tuesday.

Hans Christian Heg was an anti-slavery activist, journalist and soldier who was best known for leading the Scandinavian 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment in the American Civil War. He died of the wounds he received at the Battle of Chickamauga.

He was also commissioner of the state prison in Waupun, and served there for two years. Heg spearheaded many reforms to the prison, believing that prisons should be used to "reclaim the wandering and save the lost."

Find out more about this war hero here.

The Forward statue was created by a female sculptor from Madison, Wisconsin, Miss Jean Miner, for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and women raised funds to have the statue placed at the state capitol. The statue that was toppled was actually a replica, after the actual statue became too damaged by the elements to be repaired. The State Historical Society has compiled information about the statue here.