This sculpture, honoring John William "Blind" Boone was commissioned by the Blind Boone Renovation Group & created in honor of Mr. Boone by artist Ai Qiu Hopen. It sits on a piece of locally quarried limestone. Volunteers raised the money for the sculpture, delivered & placed the stone and set the sculpture in place.
Please feel free to touch this sculpture.
John William Boone (1864-1927), African-American concert pianist & composer was a beloved member of the community. He was known for bringing Ragtime music to the concert stage as well as for his work as a classical pianist & composer. His music was revolutionary & inspired many young people to enter music study. The motto of the Blind Boone Concert Company, with Manager John Lange: 'Merit, Not Sympathy Wins'.
The Warrensburg 'Star', in an article dated April 13, 1889 said of Boone, "...Warrensburg has a musical prodigy in the person of Blind Boone, who is already achieving a national reputation... His visits are hailed with delight by citizens, but his musical genius has lifted him out of the poverty in which his childhood was spent. He is 25 or 30 years of age and somewhat heavy set. He is afflicted not only with blindness, but with a nervous derangement which keeps his body constantly swaying backward and forward. This becomes more violent as the interest in the music increases, until it would seem a physical impossibility for him to strike the keys with such delicacy and perfect accuracy. With a machine made performer this would be impossible, but Boone's musical powers are seemingly miraculous." The Chillicothe Constitution, in an article dated Saturday, November 11, 1916 stated, "...Better than Blind Boone's music - and it is good - is his philosophy:
'Life is too short to sulk and please the devil for one moment.'"
A Resolution of Respect was written at the time of his death in Warrensburg: "We need not try to speak to you of his wonderful achievements in life's work as a musician; history will take care of that and your children's children shall read of his great work when we have gone from the earth. Brother Boone, who now lies upon the folding couch of death has fought his way through life, step by step, having reached the pinnacle of fame, wrote his name not in clay but on the hearts of men and women."