Public Art: Sadie M. Likens Memorial
Location: On the sidewalk on the southeast corner of East Colfax Avenue and Broadway, Denver, Colorado.
Commissioned By: the Grand Army of the Republic, Affiliated Orders, and friends.
Description: The 6.5 foot stone Sadie M. Likens Memorial and drinking fountain, features alternating polished and unpolished sides. The type of hard granitic type of stone is unknown.
History: Sarah Jane Morehouse was born on July 14th, 1840 in Trenton, Ohio. Sarah led quite a tragic life, losing her mother at the tender age of 4. Her first husband and infant child died whilst she was in her early 20’s. Her second husband, William Wallace Likens, was caught cheating and sentenced to hard labor (resulting in her leaving him) and her two brothers and four nephews died early on in the Civil War.
I assume due to all these tragic events Sadie became a nurse and devoted all of her energy into caring for the wounded on the battlefields. The Battle of Shiloh was one of note, where Sadie worked tirelessly.
When the Civil War ended she up and moved to Denver where she became the first police matron (policewoman) in the city. The town sure needed a woman like Sadie, as corruption and gambling flourished in the city following the war. Her major role was to help women and children incarcerated at the city jail. She also helped organise the Women’s Relief Corps which was an auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic. During her long commitment to public service, she became superintendent for the State Home and Industrial School for Girls, worked for Crittenton Social Agency, helped start the Farragut Relief Corps in 1881 and during World War I, she volunteered with the American Legion.
On July 30th, 1920, at the age of 80, Sadie died following a long illness. Denver veterans hailed her as “the one Coloradan who has given the most unselfish service to her country.”
In Memory of
Sadie M. Likens
Who devoted many
years of her life
aiding the survivors
of the Civil War and
Erected A.D. 1923
of the Republic,