DANSVILLE — In an effort to memorialize Dansville’s most prominent former resident, a second attempt to organize a Clara Barton statue is underway.
Clara Barton founded The American Red Cross, and had lived in Dansville for a decade. The nation’s first chapter of the American Red Cross was founded in Dansville in 1881, just months after the Red Cross was created at the national level.
The statue was originally an idea that sprang from local resident Chris Geiselman several years ago, and reinitiated recently by Dansville Mayor Peter Vogt.
“I always thought it was a great idea,” Vogt said of Geiselman’s effort. After some years had passed, and nothing materialized, Vogt approached the Clara Barton Days organizers with the idea of setting aside proceeds for a statue or monument. But the event withered away, and along with it, the chance to erect a statue.
But as the local Red Cross Chapter continued to develop its museum, the more the mayor thought that the village should find a way to honor Clara Barton. Although he asked the village board for permission to look into it, the project will not be tax-funded, but overseen by an independent committee that would raise its own funds.
Vogt asked Barry Haywood to be the committee’s chair. Haywood has been active in the Dansville community in a variety of ways, including presiding over the Clara Barton Chapter of the American Red Cross as well as the Dansville Area Chamber of Commerce and Dansville Dogwood Festival. Haywood had also served as mayor of Dansville and in other capacities within the community.
He and Vogt have been considering who to ask to be involved in the committee, based on who they feel are community-minded people. Details such as a time frame, cost and site location will be among the many things that the committee will need to determine.