Katie Hargrave / Urbana: Monument
In Urbana, Ohio, a town of around 10,000 people, the main road has a traffic circle with a big monument in the middle surrounded with manicured flowers and shrubs that have grown up around the statue. Driving through, signs on the traffic lights explain the journey, left past monument only. The monument is the center of the town; all business is carried out on the periphery. The Urbana Cinema on one side, the Urbana Post Office, the bank, the county courthouse.
A group of old, hunched over men in shorts, dego tees and plaid button downs congregated on benches on Scioto Drive, opposite Main Street and opposite the monument. Their body language was sharp and fast, moving like drones as they discussed an unknown topic. When asked about the monument, they say only, it's the monument. We don't really think about who it is. Its just the Urbana monument.
Pictured on the monument in bronze is an everyman. A man standing with his hat tipped low over his face so that he is no one; from across the street, no recognition can be made. Perhaps that's why the signs only say the monument rather than explain who is being honored. Its not some local saint or hero, it is a faceless man.Urbana, Illinois founder too is faceless. In 1833 the town was organized under Champaign County, Urbana being the county seat. John W. Vance of Champaign County, Ohio is responsible for the naming.
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