Fundraising underway for Sargent statue project in Nevada City |

Fundraising underway for Sargent statue project in Nevada City

Sarah Hunter
Staff Writer
U.S. Senator A.A. and Ellen Clark Sargent were memorialized in a maquette statue unveiled by Auburn sculptor Douglas Van Howd and the Constitution Day Parade Famous Marching Presidents on Thursday at the artists' studio.
Elias Funez/

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To make a donation to help build a statue of Aaron Sargent and his wife, Ellen, in Nevada City, go to All donations are tax deductible.

The Famous Marching Presidents paired with the artist Douglas Van Howd to construct a statue of U.S. Senator Aaron Augustus Sargent and his wife, Ellen, to honor the 19th amendment.

On June 14, a maquette — a sculptor’s smaller, preliminary model of a piece of work — was revealed to a private gathering.

Before the maquette was unveiled, Beth Ann Wilson, the executive director of the Famous Marching Presidents and the Sargent Project, gave the attendees a small history lesson.

“The 19th Amendment consists of 28 words: ‘The right of citizens of the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,’” Wilson said. “It was (U.S. Senator Aaron Augustus Sargent) who bravely stood before the 44th congress in 1878 and introduced the 19th amendment. It was not until 1919 — 41 years later, and well after Aaron and Ellen’s death — that the amendment, granting women the right to vote, was passed in the House, by 304 – 89 … and in the Senate, later, by just two votes.”

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The amendment was officially adopted on Aug. 18, 1920, though the last state to ratify it was Mississippi, in March of 1984.

Sargent and his wife settled in Nevada City in 1850, which is why the Sargent Project plans to put a full-sized statue on the top of Broad Street. The plan is to install the full statue in August of 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

The funds will come from donations from the public.

“For $500, we could simply install a bronze plaque in a Broad Street sidewalk,” said Sheila Stein, the closer for the night. “It would be a nice gesture. But we wanted to do more … and this project will take serious fundraising.”

Sarah Hunter is a University of Nevada journalism student and intern with The Union. Contact her at

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