Governor Austin Blair Memorial

Due to its central location when viewing the Capitol, this monument by C. W. Hills holds important real estate on the Capitol grounds.

Austin Blair was governor of Michigan from 1861 to 1864, and is the only governor to have a statue at the Capitol. In 1895, the Michigan legislature appropriated $10,000 and directed that a statue honoring him be placed on the east side of the Capitol building.

The Commission chose Edward Clark Potter as the sculptor. Potter, of Enfield, Massachusetts, executed the bronze sculpture for $7,200. The statue of Blair was cast by the Bureau Brothers Founders in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The pedestal was designed by Detroit architect company Donaldson and Meier and is of Milford granite. The entire process was executed by C. W. Hills of Jackson, Michigan at a cost of $2,293.94 (over $60,000 today) and therefore, the monument is accredited to him.

Dedicated on October 12, 1898, this bronze statue commemorates Michigan’s Civil War Governor – a force that helped Michigan keep its direction with the rest of the northern states during a time of national unrest.

(Source: Michigan Senate)