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This 9 foot monument was created by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson in 1906. "The hiker" is a representation of the American soldiers who fought in the Spanish- American War, the Philippine-American War and the Boxer Rebellion. The statue is named after the term the soldiers used calling themselves "hikers". "The hiker" was modeled after a photograph of Leonard Sefing, Jr., a veteran of the Spanish-American War was sent into a national contest. Many copies of this monument have been made but the original monument was unveiled on Memorial Day, 1906 at the University of Minnesota. It was placed here to honor the 218 University of Minnesota students who served in the Spanish-American War.


  • Inscription of "The Hiker" monument
In Memory of Those Who Served
Spanish American War 1898-1902
Cuba – Porto Rico – Philippines – China
Lest You Forget
  • The Hiker, The statue is 9 feet tall and stands on a 6-foot granite base, representing a soldier clad in a period uniform with a campaign hat and a Krag-Jørgensen rifle.
  • A photograph of the original statue of 1906 at the University of Minnesota.

Kitson's work had gained popularity due to her realistic historical accuracy. Gorham Manufacturing Company has made over 50 copies of "the Hiker" since purchasing the rights to it in 1921. The original statue located at the University of Minnesota is now missing the muzzle to the rifle and is known as "Iron Mike".

This monument is to honor the U.S. soldiers that fought to protect their nation in the Spanish-American War.

The Spanish-American War of 1898 was a war between the United States and Spain that ultimately ended with Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and resulted in U.S. acquisition of territories in the western Pacific and Latin America.

The war started with a struggle for Cuban independence from Spain in February 1895. There was a high demand for U.S. intervention became after the unexplained sinking in Havana harbour of the battleship USS Mainne, that was sent to serve as protection to U.S. citizens and property after there were anti-Spanish riots in Havana. Spain announced an armistice on April 9 and soon after the U.S. Congress sought resolutions that declared Cuba’s right to independence and demanding the withdrawal of Spain’s armed forces from Cuba. 

On April 24th, Spain declared war on the United States. Following suit the U.S. issued a declaration of war on the 25th, which was ratified to the date of April 21 1895. After many battles over the course of the war, Santiago surrendered on July 17, ending the war.

The Treaty of Paris was signed December 10, 1898, Spain renounced any and all claim to Cuba, granted Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States, and transferred sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States. The Spanish-American War was an important turning point in the history for many reasons. Spain’s defeat ultimately turned the nation’s attention away from overseas colonial adventures and inward upon domestic needs, a process that would be a cultural and a literary rebirth as well as a much-needed economic change in Spain. The United States gained themselves a place with the world powers with overseas possessions and new found interests in international politics. 

The Hiker (Kitson). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 07/03/2017. Accessed 09/21/2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hiker_(Kitson).

Kirchner, Bill. Spanish War Veterans Monument. The Historical Marker Database. 12/14/2010. Accessed 09/21/2017. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=38993.

The Spanish-American War. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Undefined undefined, 2017. Accessed 10/01/2017. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish–American_War