The county seat of St. John, Kansas has a new mural. This week's blog is the first in a series about that mural. Most people in the area have a general idea about the founding of what became St. John, but over the years, details have faded. This series is intended to refresh our knowledge about the community's beginnings.
The idea of a mural began with St. John resident David Robinson, but he quickly involved others in making his idea happen, particularly in finding financial supporters for the project. With surprising speed, from Robinson's initial efforts in October 2019 to the first paint applied to the wall in late March of 2020, financing had been arranged, the brick wall had been prepared for the mural with an application of mortar, and scaffolding had been acquired.
Inga Ojala was selected to paint the mural. She wanted to include not only the Mormon settlers but also the wildlife the new settlers would have encountered upon their arrival. More about the Mormon settlers in subsequent blogs.
Ojala included the date of the Mormon settler's arrival, her signature as the muralist, and an Indian waving to the settlers. The choice of an Indian was particularly relevant because the motivation of the Mormon settlers' decision to come to Kansas was the desire to bring their faith to the Native American Indians, whom they called Lamanites.
As is apparent in the first photograph, landscaping is planned to enhance the mural. More history of St. John's founding will follow in upcoming blogs.