It seems like every public library has a pair of lions on its main steps, for example in New York City there is Lord Astor and Lady Lenox, but who are the lions on our steps? The two now green lions are slightly corroded and have stained the concrete blocks that they stand on watching over the library and all who pass by yet now most people don’t notice them. The lions are named Philetus Sawyer and Marshall Harris and they are somewhat imposing for some people with their mouths open in a never-ending snarl. The lions are perfect representatives for the two real-life counterparts that share the same name.
Philetus Sawyer has a large man both in height and weight anyone in his presence would surely notice him with a large beard that went to his chest it is easy to see how Philetus could’ve been compared to a lion. Marshall Harris (the other lion) also had an imposing presence, with large broad shoulders and a chest like a barrel he would presumably take command of a room especially if his voice had the same presence as his physique did, the same as the copper lions that stand watching over the library. The people the lions represent might not be around anymore yet the lions are a solemn reminder of who they were and how they alone were the lions of Oshkosh.
Written By: Ryan Kangas
Historic Location: Oshkosh Public Library