Muncie's Tribute to the Ball Brothers
With the incredible actions of the Ball brothers in mind, members of the Muncie Chamber of Commerce decided that these men should be honored formally and perpetually in 1927. Without long, arduous deliberation on the subject, a committee formed to oversee the project chose Daniel Chester French as their first choice as sculptor for the monument. In November of 1928, French was contacted, and he accepted the undertaking. Well known for his past works, which included his statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, his Minuteman at Concord, and his George Washington in Paris, the seventy-eight year old intently studied the Ball brothers with the objective of attaining a concept for a sculpture that would accurately embody these great men. Within a year and a half, French completed the sculpture, which he named Beneficence, at his New York studio, and he entrusted the architect Richard Henry Dana to go to Muncie, find a spot for the statue, and design the surrounding promenade. Dana contemplated six possible spots until he ultimately decided on Beneficence's current resting place facing University Avenue at the end of Talley Avenue.
Beneficence Sculptor Daniel Chester French.