Doctor John Wickham on Horseback and Plaque with Bull's Head
"Wickham celebrated the accomplishments of medical doctors in the 19th District of Montgomery County, Tennessee, with a plaque on which he mounted the concrete head of a long-horned bull and an equestrian statue of his physician-brother John William Wickham (1860-1915). Records indicate that the two objects were dedicated at the same ceremony and their related content makes this seem likely. They were constructed on the other side of the United Sportsman’s Club building from the World War II memorial. Once again celebrating the accomplishments of a family member, Wickham does so in the context of the community, including his brother in the listing of names of local doctors.
Wickham is said to have worked from a photograph of his brother to capture his likeness. The large moustache is a prominent feature in both photograph and sculpture. In case the viewer might not be familiar with his brother’s face, Wickham’s inscription makes his subject clear. This Is A Statue Of Dr. J. Wickham On Nick Finser His Tenth Stud The Best Fence Jumper In The County, wrote Wickham, indicating that more was important to this country boy than celebrating his brother’s honorable occupation.
The fact that the monument is less ambitious in its size and height than the WW II monument probably indicates that Wickham does not intend to equate the public service rendered by physicians with the ultimate sacrifice made by his son Ernest and others killed in battle. The choice of a bull’s head for the plaque seems a curious way to honor the medical profession. Perhaps Wickham’s selection can be explained by a coincidental visit from his oldest grandson who had been living in Texas since about 1952. William Clayton Wickham remembers telling Grandfather Tanner about longhorn cattle in Texas on visits back to Tennessee and giving his curious grandfather a picture of the animals. "- quoted text is from the 2001 Customs House Museum Online Wickham Exhibit.
1915 Clarksville Leaf Chronicle article on the mysterious death of Dr. John W. Wickham (from:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~nightshade/Keeping_the_Peace.html#75)
November 30,1915--Dr. John W. Wickham, who was shot Monday at Hackberry by Charles Baggett, died at 9:30 this morning in a Nashville hospital, where he was taken last evening in an effort to save his life. His body will be shipped to Palmyra this evening on the train which passed through Clarksville at 8:47, and taken to his home, where the funeral will be conducted by the Masons Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. John W. Wickham was born and reared in Montgomery County, was abut 55 years of age, educated in the common schools ofthe 19th District, and was a graduate of Vanderbilt University. He was the son of Robert Wickham.
Charles Baggett who shot Dr. Wickham at Hackberry Monday, came to Clarksville Monday afternoon and gave himself up to Sheriff Welker. Calmly he told Mr. Welker what had happened, stating that he considered the shooting a justifiable one; that Dr. Wickham had a Winchester rifle in his hand and that he ordered the doctor to drop it, and when he did not, fired three times, two shots taking effect in the mouth, the other in the hip. It was at first stated that only two shots took effect., but it was later discovered that instead of one, two took effect in the mouth.
The weapon used by Baggett was a 38 caliber Smith & Wesson six-shoot special, with a colt’s grip. When Baggett came to town last evening he brought with him the rifle which, it is said, Dr. Wickham was carrying when shot. Baggett claims to have lost his revolver in a chase through the hills immediately following the shooting. Those who are acquainted with the details are inclined to be nonconversant, and it is with difficulty that each additional fact is brought out.
Baggett had applied for bail this morning and seemed to be contented in the county jail. He states that he will defend himself and not employ counsel .
Note by the editor –February 19,1917--After nearly 68 hours of deliberation, the jury was discharged this morning by Judge Tyler without arriving at a verdict. The vote stood 8 for acquittal and 4 for conviction.
(Click on image for larger view)
THIS IS A STATUE OF
RECEIVED HIS MEDICAL DEGREE AT VANDERBILT U. IN 1885, HE SERVED IN THE 1901 SESSION OF THE TENNESSE HOUSE OF
WITH HIS FRIEND AUSTIN PEAY OF CLARKSVILLE WHO LATER BECAME GOVERNOR OFTENNESSEE, HE SERVED AS CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF SANITATION AND INTRODUCED THE BILL WHICH PROVIDED FOR THE LICENSINg OF
Inscriptions - Bull Head
Get a souvenir of this statue at the new online Wickham Stone Park Gift Shop