ST CHARLES, ID – One of America’s greatest artists was born in St Charles, ID: Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who carved Mount Rushmore as a tribute to what he considered four great Americans.

The town of St. Charles has a memorial set up for the artist where people can come and find out about him. There are story boards with photographs of him and his work.

Borglum jackhammered and dynamited the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln into the granite of a South Dakota mountain.

Borglum felt the four the men epitomized the American spirit and ideals.

His works at Mount Rushmore attract over two million visitors a year. His monument located at 50 North Main Street in St. Charles, not so many.

Carrie Hemmert, the owner of Minnetonka Market & Café in St. Charles, said there is not much more than the monument.

“The one room log home where he was born (in 1867) has all but fallen down,” she said. “It is not far from the monument. There may be a couple of logs left but there is not much there.”

His father Jens was a Danish immigrant and a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who moved to St. Charles with two wives. The wives were sisters. Later, his father left the church and moved to Omaha, NE.

Jens divorced his wives and they moved to St. Lous, MO and what was left of the family never returned to the Gem state.

From St. Louis the sculptor went to San Francisco to study art. Then, he spent three years in Paris at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts.

St. Charles is located near the northwestern shore of Bear Lake with a population of 131 as of the 2010 census.

“I visited Mount Rushmore and picked up a book about Borglum,” Hemmert said. “It talks about him and gave a history of what he did. It was very interesting.”

She said there is a movie that talks about Mount Rushmore National Monument they play for people that visit the site. The movie talks about Borglum carving faces on the mountain.

“Borglum died before he finished carving President Lincoln in 1941,” she said. “His son Lincoln finished it.”

Besides his work in South Dakota, his sculptures can be found at Stone Mountain in Georgia, statues of Union General Philip Sheridan in Washington D.C. and Chicago. His carving of a bust of Abraham Lincoln was exhibited in the White House. These are some of his most prolific works, but there are others in places around the country.

Borglum died of a heart attack and is interred in a Glendale, California cemetery.

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