Frederic Remington, St. Lawrence County's famed sculptor and illustrator, born 150 years ago today in Canton
Famed sculptor and artist Frederic Remington, who is remembered by a museum in Ogdensburg, was born 150 years ago today in Canton.
Remington is perhaps best known for his “Bronco Buster” cast in bronze, which was one of 22 sculptures he created. He also made a name for himself as an illustrator, mostly of western and military subjects, for such magazines as “Harper’s Weekly,” Collier’s’ Boy’s Life” and “Cosmopolitan” in the 1880s and 1890s. In addition, wrote magazine articles, specializing in tales of adventure in the west. His magazine articles were collected into books, and he published works of fiction as well, for a total of eight books.His grandfather, Seth W. Remington, came to Canton in 1854 as minister of the Universalist Church, according to Remington chronology published in 2003 as part of a Remington’s Canton Historic Tour. Information in the chronology was compiled with help from Laura Foster, curator at the Remington Art Museum, and Linda Casserly, Canton historian, as well as information from “Observing Frederic Remington,” developed by Atwood Manley in 1961 for the observance of Remington’s 100th birthday.
According to the chronology, Seth left the ministry in 1856 to solicit funds for St. Lawrence University and the Universalist Theological School. In the same year, Frederic’s father, Seth P., founded the St. Lawrence Plaindealer.
Frederic was born on Oct. 4, 1861 in the Canton home of his grandparents at 55 Court St. Frederic’s family moved to Ogdensburg in 1873, where his father was a U.S. Collector for the Port of Ogdensburg.
Frederic entered the Episcopal Boys School in Burlington, Vt., in 1876, Highland Military Academy in Massachusetts in 1876 and Yale Art School in 1878.
He quit Yale after three semesters in 1880, the same year his father died. He also met his future wife, Eva Adele Caten of Gloversville, at the county fair in 1880.
In 1881, he vacationed in Montana and in 1883, he received an inheritance and moved to Kansas to buy a small sheep farm. He sold the ranch in 1884 and returned to the North Country and married Eva Caten.
His artistic career started to take off in 1886 when he began creating illustrations for “Harper’s Weekly.” In 1889, he won a silver medal for the oil painting, “The Last Stand,” at the Paris Art Exposition.
In 1893, he received honors for works exhibited at the World’s Fair in Chicago. He created the “Broncho Buster,” his first bronze, in 1895.
In 1898, Frederic traveled to Cuba and Florida to record the Spanish-American War in sketches, the chronology notes.
Then, he returned to the North Country in 1900 and purchased Ingleneuk, an island summer home at Chippewa Bay on the St. Lawrence River.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased four of his bronze sculptures in 1907 and in 1908 he sold Ingleneuk and began building a home in Ridgefield, Conn.
However, he died Dec. 26, 1909 following an operation for appendicitis. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Canton, following services at the Universalist Church.
His wife, Eva, then moved to Ogdensburg to live with her sister, Emma in the home which is the current site of the Frederic Remington Art Museum at 303 Washington St. When Eva died in 1918 in Ogdensburg, she left Remington’s art and collections to the people and city of Ogdensburg. The museum opened in 1923.