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Fred Reinders Collection

Any newcomer into our town of Hospers will notice we have a unique identity.  While a city like St. Louise has an "arch", our town has it's memorial statues.  Turning into Main Street from Highway 60 one cannot miss the 20 foot high statue of the WWI "doughboy".   This statue was built by Frederick Reinders in the 1920's. 

Frederick Reinders



Fred Reinders - Painter Sculptor (Photo Taken in 1921)

Fred Reinder's sculptures can be found on Hospers Main Street, in the Memorial Park located on Main Street and in the Band Shell located in the Southside Park.  His paintings and other works can be seen in the Hospers Historical Room and at the Hospers Public Library.

The Hospers Memorial Statues were built by Frederickus (Fred)  Reinders.  Reinders was born in Groningen Netherlands on December 18, 1874.  Reinders was enrolled in an art school in the  Netherlands at the age of six.  He immigrated to the United States in 1893.  Reinders first made his home near Platte, South Dakota.  After a year or two of farming Reinders left the Platte Area   because of severe drought conditions and came to the Hospers area with his      newlywed wife Jantje Dolphin Reinders.  Fred Reinders went into business in Hospers as a house painter but soon     discontinued the work due to health     reasons. He then sold furniture and  obtained a license as a mortician.  In 1935, Reinders retired at the age of 61 and devoted his time to his hobby of   portrait and picture painting and sculpting.  Fred Reinders died on January 10, 1959 at the age of 84.


Memorial Statues

Reinder's created a series of statues that are considered to be the Hospers Memorial Statues.

WWI Memorial Monument

Main Street 

 Located on main street. This is the most famous of Fred Reinder's statues.  The memorial was created by Reinders to honor those who had served in the Military during World War I.  The monument stands twenty feet high and twelve freet wide, with the base being and octagon, and took three months to build.  It depicts an American soldier on a center pedestal standing amidist the battlements of war, with the goddess Columbia standing below him placing a laural wreath over a tablet on which were to have been inscribed the names of the town's dead soldiers. Over the plaque is a spread eagle representing the United States. The soldier was model after Bernie Webster and the young lady at the base of the was modeled after Miss Jennie Klein.  It was dedicated on September 5, 1921.

The September 5, dedication was an all day celebration.  The celebration began with a band  concert preformed by the Sheldon Municipal band at 9:30 a.m. This was followed by an address by Rev. George Douwstra, pastor of the local First Reformed Church.  At 1:30 the unveiling of the statue occurred followed by another band concert by the Sheldon Municipal band and an address by Frank F. Miles. After the unveiling ceremonies the rest of the afternoon was given to a full round of street sports and a base ball game between Sheldon and Alvord.  Following another band concert at 6:45 p.m. came the spectacular pageant, featuring a sham battle. The pageant and battle was written and directed by Fred Reinders.  A giant stage was set on the grounds across the tracks.  Since the pageant was performed in the evening, powerful spot lights were used during the pageant and sham battle.  The sham battle marked the dramatic finale of the pageant and was staged with some three hundred men dressed in battle array armed with rifles and black cartridges.  During the course of the battle one side seemed for a time to gain advantage and then came a retreat, finally amid great shouw the roar of rifle fire and cannon, the American flag was seen advancing to final victory.  During all of this action the air was filled with fireworks, rockets soaring in the air and loud bombs burning aloft.  The entire battlefield was lit up as if it were day, revealing the wounded being carried off by Red Cross Stretcher-bearers, amids the smoking ruins of the battle area. A cloud of smoke could be seen drifting lazily overhead.  Adding the realism of the battle was an airplane roaring low over the scene. 

(Hospers Centennial 1891-1991 by Nelson Nieuwenhuis)



Iwo Jima Monument


Depicts the flag raising of U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima.  It honors those who served in World War II. 



Goddess of Victory Statue


Represents the coming of Peace, and a cession from war.  The shield represents the protection anyone seeks in the time of distress.  The sign of the cross indicates the supreme trust and highest of ideals of the Christian dominations


Dragon Statue


The allegorical four-head dragon representing hate, greed, jealousy and envy, which are the causes of all wars.




The Statue of Liberty 


Holding a torch that was to have lit the north end of the park.  She clutches a book inscribed with the word LAW.  For without law, liberty cannot be upheld.





Was to have been a active fountain

 cascading water down the three tiers




The Hospers Memorial Park was established during the summer of  1945.   There was a formal

dedication  held on Saturday September 15, 1945.  Today, it contains all but one of the statues that were dedicated in 1945.  The missing statue and Fred Reinder’s other works can be viewed in the Hospers Historical Room.













This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.