When Lady Justice Stood Watch Over Richland County

A hundred years ago it was not uncommon, while walking in cities and towns all across the United States, to encounter noble goddesses of ancient Rome.

The concept of embodying abstract ideals into divine personas is certainly nothing new to centuries of civilization, but it seemed to hit a high water mark in America during the 1800s.

Back then there were draped women everywhere—on public buildings and United States currency—whose presence and appearance was designed symbolically to remind us all of the divine nature of virtue.

Nearly any virtue, undertaking or value could have a robed woman in which to be embodied.  This goddess from an 1896 US Silver Certificate represents the discipline, heritage and art of History.

In the last decades of the 19th century the US Treasury Department of Engraving commissioned dozens of portraits for use on official currency and documents: all of them divine embodiments of discarnate concepts or qualities.  This is the goddess of America.  Check out her cool super powered wrist watch.

Of course the most familiar of all America’s symbolic 19th century celestial beings is Lady Liberty.

The Goddess of Loyalty

Our Local Guardian

One of the most prominently visible of these Americanized Roman goddesses, above the courthouses of the nation, was Lady Justice.

Here is the story of those years when she lived in Richland County.

The Lady Herself

So how big was she really?  Look closely at this photo from a postcard printed in 1913 to find two men standing on a ladder in front of Lady Justice.

Our courthouse guardian came from the Salem OH foundry of W. H. Mullins, who produced hundreds of public statues during the 1800s.  Our particular model from this Mullins catalog was the Justice With Sword at Rest, #6645: 12 feet high.

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