"The Black Angel"statute at the Ruth Anne Dodge (wife of General Grenville Dodge, Chief Engineer and Surveyor of the Union Pacific Railroad) Memorial, Fairview Cemetary, Council Bluffs, IA
The angel sculpture at the Ruth Anne Dodge Memorial is said to be the translation of a dream experienced by Mrs. Dodge on the three nights preceding her death in 1916. According to the legend, Mrs. Dodge related to family members that she had a vision of being on a rocky shore and, through a mist, seeing a boat approach. In the prow was a beautiful young woman whom Mrs. Dodge thought to be an angel. The woman carried a small bowl under one arm and extended the other arm toward Mrs. Dodge in an invitation to partake of the water flowing from the vessel. Then, according to accounts later published by Mrs. Dodge's daughter, Anne, the angel spoke twice, saying: "Drink, I bring you both a promise and a blessing." The daughter wrote that the vision came three times to her mother and, on the third visit, Mrs. Dodge took the drink as offered and felt "transformed into a new and glorious spiritual being." Mrs. Dodge died immediately after her supposed third vision, on September 5, 1916. She had died in her sleep at her home in New York. Her body was brought back to Council Bluffs where she was buried in a mausoleum in Walnut Hill Cemetery.
The statue is made of bronze, but oxidation has turned the statue black. Leading people to call it "The Black Angel".
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