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