Charles A. Ransom Library
Red Brick Place Cards
Size 21" x 30"
Size 31" x 44"
Size 35" x 35"
Lincoln paintings to be displayed at
the early 1930’s the Chicago, Ill. Midland Railroad Company, which
served the area known as “Lincoln Country,” conceived the idea for a
series of Lincoln pictures for use on its calendars.
company commissioned Fletcher Ransom (brother of Fanny Ransom Scott and
nephew of Charles A. Ransom for whom the Plainwell District Public Library
was named) to paint a series of pictures depicting different phases in the
life of Lincoln.
was born in Alamo, educated in Kalamazoo Public Schools, the Art Institute
of Chicago, and the Academy of Fine Arts in New York City.
he worked as an illustrator for Colliers and Youths Companion, he painted
about one picture a year of the Lincoln series, which totaled 14, until
his death in 1944.
Lincoln series is in the offices of the CIM Railway Co. in Springfield,
Ill. In an article in the
Bloomington, III. Pantograph in 1950 the writer commented on the beautiful
oil paintings relating to the life of Lincoln.
journalist said, “Ransom’s bold and vigorous strokes are seen in the
paintings. It was when New Salem became a dominant scene that the artist
to failing health, Ransom spent his last years living with the Scotts on
Allegan Street in Plainwell. He used the barn in back of the house as his
studio. For the painting of “Lincoln the Lawyer” he used Jim Ranwick
(now living in Parchment) and Robert Ploff (deceased) as his models.
workmanship showed a fastidiousness even to his custom-made coveralls in
which he worked.
his death Fanny and Frank Scott (a grant from estate made possible the
establishment of the Senior Citizens’ Home in Plainwell) gave
some of Ransom’s paintings to friends and institutions in Plainwell.
These were paintings done mostly while he lived Plainwell.
paintings will be on exhibit at the Plainwell District Public Library for
the week of July 12-19. In addition to the paintings, the library has examples
of the calendars used by the Railway Company and several prints of the
Union Enterprise, July 10, 1986
The Woodland Scene