Janet Gwendolyn Smith Art

samuel perry dinsmoor

Samuel Perry Dinsmoor Born: March 8, 1843 Died: July 21, 1932

Samuel Perry Dinsmoor was born 8th of March 1843 near Coolville, Athens County, Ohio. He married Francis A. Journey in 1871 on horseback. Dinsmoor was a civil war veteran, teacher, farmer, postmaster, mayor, city council member and Freemason who settled outside of Lucas, Russell County, Kansas.

He bought a corner lot in the city and according to the Lucas Independent of 20th of July 1906. "S.P. Dinsmoor is building a cement fence which will be the noblest fence in town when it is finished. He is doing the work himself and claims that it will not cost him much as his own time is not worth anything. He is quite a genius. He can do anything he tries and make anything he wants."

Dinsmoor was an architect, sculptor and American artist. First he built his "Cabin Home" which was completed in 1907. An architectural log cabin wonder made out of tree size limestone logs. No door inside the home is the same height or width by design and seven different types of wood are used throughout the home. Over the mantle inside the home is written:

"Home is what you make it."
"Home Sweet Home."
"There is no place like home."

Then at 64 he started creating his "Garden of Eden". The sculpture garden was never finished because of failing eyesight. The garden is filled with 50 cement sculptures and life size cement trees. The work in progress when he died in 1932 was "Crucifixion of Labor".

The "Garden of Eden" surrounding the "Cabin Home" was his interpretation of the Bible, politics, business and philosophy of life. He read the Bible two times before he was 15 years old. In his garden sculpture he compared the Old Testament teachings to the politics of the world in his day. The teachings of the Freemasons are through out the "Garden of Eden" with the symbolism used on many of the sculptures.

Dinsmoor sculpted life size cement trees, a mausoleum, and many statues depicting Biblical, political and philosophical ideas. He used a special technique to color the cement he sculpted. Today no one knows exactly how he got the rich colors in the concrete. It is estimated he used over 113 tons of concrete for the "Garden of Eden" and unknown tons of limestone for the "Cabin Home" and "Mausoleum". The concrete was reinforced as can be seen in the worn sidewalk in the front of the "Cabin Home".

Many sensational and untrue stories have been told and written about the artist who married his second wife in 1924. As a Freemason in good standing the "Code of Conduct" dispels the myths. The "All Seeing Eye" overlooks the garden and visitors.

Dinsmoor's sense of humor shows in his art. There is a red light bulb that lights the eyes of the "Devil". A long hollow pipe leads from the master bedroom to the front entrance. The pipe is part of the sculptured "Tree of Life." The pipe amplified his voice, so he could talk to anyone entering the "Garden of Eden". This was very effective and fun according to his youngest daughter Emily Jane.

The "Cabin Home" and "Garden of Eden", an American folk art wonder, is in Lucas, Kansas the heart of the United States. The BBC and others have filmed the historic home and sculptures for documentaries. The "Cabin Home" is listed in the National Register of Historical Places.

Samuel Perry Dinsmoor is the grandfather of Janet Gwendolyn Smith.

Biography Copyright 2004 Janet Gwendolyn Smith
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Janet Gwendolyn Smith Art