The focal point of town center in Lexington, Mass., this Minuteman Statue that presides over the main street in town, with the Lexington Battle Green laid out behind it.
The life-size bronze figure depicts a colonial farmer with a musket: Captain John Parker, who led the Lexington militia on April 19, 1775 in the Battle of Lexington, a precursor to the Revolutionary War. It was sculpted by Henry Hudson Kitson, who is known for his sculptures of military heroes in various states.
Captain Parker said to his men before the battle, saying, ““Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” The quote is etched into a plaque at the Battle Green, which was one of our first posts on this site.
The statue was revealed on April 19, 1900 — the 125th anniversary of the battle. It was originally a drinking fountain, too.
“Although called the “Minuteman”, it is meant to represent a member of the Lexington militia, local colonists who had volunteered to be first responders to military and other threats,” says the Visit Lexington website. “The actual Minutemen were an elite subset of this group, young and fit and able to respond quickly.”
The Freedom’s Way website explains how it came to be:
“A bequest of $10,000, received from Francis Brown Hayes’s son (also named Frances Brown Hayes) in 1898, funded the construction of the Minuteman statue. Hayes, the first, was “among Lexington’s most prosperous 19th century residents” according to the Lexington Comprehensive Cultural Resources Survey, having been a lawyer, railroad executive, State Senator, U.S. Congressman and, at the time of his death in 1884, President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
Hayes’ son, died ten years later in 1895, bequeathing the funds for the statue. The final cost of the statue exceeded the bequest by $853 and was paid by the Town of Lexington.”