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This statue was commissioned to celebrate Holdredge's centennial in 1983 and sculpted by Holdredge native George W. Lundeen. The work celebrates the pioneering spirit. In contrast to other pioneer family monuments, it depicts both the husband and wife gazing forward into the future. Because the father holds their young son, the statue emphasizes the father's nurturing role as well as his leadership. Rather than gripping books to prepare for the future, the young boy plays with his father's wide-brimmed hat. The boy is barefoot, which was typical for frontier children but is rarely seen in pioneer monuments.

The text of the monument

Font, Rectangle, Commemorative plaque, Wood

This statue was erected to celebrate the centennial of Holdredge, Nebraska, and was sculpted by Holdredge native George Wayne Lundeen. He is part of the Lundeen family of sculptors and artists, who are now based out of Loveland, Colorado. Copies of this sculpture stand in Westminster and Greeley, Colorado.

The sculpture depicts a pioneer family. Like other pioneer family monuments, it presents a nuclear family as a vision and hope for the future. And like other pioneer family sculptures, it features a father dressed in overalls, a mother wearing a prairie-style gown and apron, and their young son. But Promise of the Prairie strays from other pioneer family monuments in important ways. It emphasizes the married couple rather than the child, and gives the father a greater nurturing role. Most pioneer monuments place a school-aged son in front of his parents, preparing to lead them into the future. Mothers often gaze lovingly at a baby in their arms. In this work, in contrast, the father holds a preschool-aged boy. This emphasizes the father's nurturing role alongside his leadership. Both father and mother gaze into the distance, imagining their future.

George Lundeen--Biography, Lundeen Sculpture. Accessed September 4th 2019.

Promise of the Prairie--Holdredge, Nebraska. Accessed September 4th 2019.

Prescott, Cynthia Culver. Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory. University of Oklahoma Press, 2019.