Quirky Attraction: Mrs. Butterworth (Julia Grant) statue

Mrs Butterworth First Lady Julia Grant

“Mrs. Butterworth” (First Lady Julia Grant) statue
Location: Galena, Illinois
When to visit: Any time during daylight hours
Cost: Free
Time needed to enjoy: 5-10 minutes
Website: www.granthome.com

In 1860, General Ulysses S. Grant moved to the town of Galena, Illinois, on the western side of the state, near Iowa. He left to participate in the Civil War and returned a hero.

Galena created a tribute to his wife Julia with a 9.5-foot tall statue, erected in 2006 outside the Grant Home, a historic museum. Unfortunately, many locals feel the statue looks more like Mrs. Butterworth, and have taken to referring to it as such. Some mock the fact that the statue didn’t try to beautify Julia’s less-than-attractive face.

But site superintendent Terry Miller, who had the idea for the statue, said those concerns are overblown and pointed out that very few women have been honored with statues. Which is a great point. So few women have their own statues… should we really be nitpicking about the statue’s appearance?

For fans of Ulysses, he has his own statue in Galena as well, just a couple blocks from Julia.

ulysses grant statue


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About the Author

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who seeks out offbeat attractions and awesome destinations around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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  1. This is real cool!!..Mrs. Butterworth looks like she churned alot of butter in her days. I like the fact that it takes only 5-10 minutes to enjoy the statue…great blog and great information!

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