On Friday, November 1 we heard the story behind the William Seward statue placed on the square in Seward from Jessica Kolterman.
There is a Seward, Alaska and a Seward, Nebraska – sister cities – connected by Rotarians.
William Seward was the Secretary of State during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. He was credited with writing the document for the purchase of Alaska and was instrumental in the freeing of the slaves.
The original Seward statue was crafted by Alaskan artist David Rubin. It was commissioned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the deal to buy Alaska from Russia, an anniversary that also coincided with the sesquicentennial of Nebraska and the founding of Seward, Nebraska. Wayne Jensen, the co-chair of the committee in Alaska to erect a statue of William Seward graduated from UNL. 
After the statue was completed, as it traveled across the states to its home, it made a stop in Seward, Nebraska. The community had a chance to view the statue during the stop. Many visitors talked about the significance of the statue and soon there was talk about getting a statue in Seward. Some of those visiting the statue were Mark and Suzanne Kolterman and Jon and Bonnie Kruse.
Knowing that many things needed to fall into place, Bonnie went to work. She worked with the County, who own the square, the City and the Economic Development Group of Seward.
There were varying opinions on all things including whether or not to erect the statue, where to place it, what type of pedestal, and also the idea of making a plaza that included seating for visitors to the square.
They learned from the artist that the price could be reduced greatly if they would use the same mold – but that meant it had to be done with a year. An anonymous donor came forward and things continued to move forward.
Suzanne Kolterman passed away from pancreatic cancer and was not able to see the statue in Seward, Nebraska. She was proud to be a resident of Seward and was very active in the community. We then learned that the Kolterman family was the anonymous donor who wanted to erect the statue in honor of Suzanne.