Dedicated in 1941, this statue of West Hartford native Noah Webster honors the influential scholar who became America's greatest lexicographer. Webster was the author of A Grammatical Institute of the English Language and A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, inspiring future dictionaries that shaped the way Americans have communicated ever since.
Noah Webster was born in West Hartford on October 16, 1758. Webster attended Yale at the age of sixteen and graduated in 1778. Webster wanted to continue his education and study law, but lacked funds and found work as a teacher. Believing that the instructional resources at his disposition were inadequate, Webster began writing his own textbook in 1783. That book, A Grammatical Institute of the English Language, was used for over a century. Webster wrote two more books. A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1806 and offered short definitions of tens of thousands of words. Webster dedicated twenty-two years to writing his third book which offered 65,000 definitions. Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language was published when he was 70. He passed away in 1843.
Korczak Ziolkowski was inspired to dedicate funds to produce this statue of Noah Webster and raised funds from local residents with the help of a variety of fundraisers. On October 17, 1941, Webster’s 183rd birthday the statue was dedicated.