Martin Van Buren
Eighth President of the United States
Location: Corner of Mt. Rushmore Rd. & Main St.
Van Buren's administration began with “The Panic of 1837”, a depression that lasted until 1845. Over 900 banks eventually closed and many people went unemployed. To combat this, Van Buren fought for an Independent Treasury to help ensure the safe deposit of funds. Texas applied for statehood after gaining independence in 1836. If admitted, it would have become another slave state which was opposed by the Northern states. Van Buren, wishing to help fight against sectional slavery issues, agreed with the North. Van Buren is sometimes credited with creating the word "OK." Van Buren was from Kinderhook, New York. During his campaign, Old Kinderhook (O.K.) clubs formed to support the president. Later, "OK" or "okay," came to mean "all right."
Sculptor: Edward Hlavka