Joe Naper Comes Home

The statue of Naperville’s founder, Joe Naper has arrived home.
Traveling the same route as Naper himself 150 years ago, the 1,500 pound bronze statue went down Ogden Avenue to Washington Street, up Jefferson Street, and arrived at the Naper homestead.

Local cartoonist Dick Locher, famous for drawing Dick Tracy comics, was the artist for the statue, while Jeff Adams, owner of InBronze, brought the statue to life.

The homestead, at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Mill Street, displays the first, second, and third home Joseph and Almeda Naper built on the site, with low stonewalls outlining the location of their foundations.

The space also includes a hand water pump, benches and signs explaining the site’s past uses and significance.

‘It’s something you dream about,” said Locher. “You think about it. You picture it in your mind, just how it should be. [You think about] where the buttons should be, where the coat should be and if it isn’t you get upset and worry about it all night. Now we can just enjoy, I hope they get just as much of a kick out of it that I do.”

The statue, which will become part of the Naperville Century Walk, will be officially dedicated in a public ceremony on Aug 23.

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