Bronze sculpture commemorates
Newton's pioneer history
Text and photo by Molly Farmer
April 14, 2006 | NEWTON -- For the founders of this
small agricultural community, "keep your feet in the
furrow" meant adhering to the precepts of faith, hard
work and love of family.
It's a message a group of Newton women want to preserve
and display for future generations through a historical
sculpture. Members of the Benson Camp of Newton's Daughters
of Utah Pioneers decided a piece of historical artwork
was needed as a tangible reminder of the founders of
"Our purpose is to preserve history," says DUP Captain
Last year the group called on the talents of local
artist Marion Haws to sculpt a statue depicting a scene
from the town's founding. They originally wanted a statue
with a farmer, a pioneer and a railroad worker, but
Haws already had a completed sculpture that "was just
perfect for our agricultural beginning," Berge said.
The 16-inch tall by 28-inch wide bronze statue depicts
a man teaching his young son to plow. Haws found a 150-year-old
plow at the Jensen Historical Farm in Wellsville and
fashioned the statue in perfect scale, Berge said. Haws
titled the piece "That's it, Keep Your Feet in the Furrow."
Upon finding the sculpture, "We just immediately went
into action," Berge said. In order to purchase the statue
from Haws, the DUP raised funds by collecting aluminum
cans, selling personalized Easter eggs and Valentines,
and raffling off a quilt made by Newton Postmaster Carol
Jensen. Some anonymous donors also came forward.
The DUP presented the statue to the town at the 24th
of July celebration in 2005. "There is love of family
and faith in knowing that when we plant we have hope
and a realization of the harvest," Berge told the crowd.
At the celebration, Berge read a brief life history
written by Haws. He began his first oil painting at
age 12 and attended Brigham Young University. He has
taught art lessons and has had several exhibits.
It wasn't until last week that the statue received
a permanent home at Town Hall. At the opening of the
council meeting, Berge directed audience members, which
included several members of the DUP and relatives of
Haws, into the hall where the statue was unveiled. It
was complete with a wood stand and glass case constructed
by members of the community.
Mayor Clair Christiansen said he considers the statue
a tribute to the community and thanked the DUP for their
efforts in obtaining it.
Haws was unable to attend the unveiling due to illness.
For their latest project, Newton DUP members are researching
homes in the community dating from the town's founding