Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


R. G. LeTourneau Memorial Park

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Institution Name: LeTourneau University
Original/Historic Place Name: R. G. LeTourneau Memorial Park
Location on Campus: 2100 S. Mobberly Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1989dedication November 30, 1989 Unknown
Type of Place: Landscape site
Type of landscape–
Small-scale features:
park highlights the work of inventor/entrepreneur R. G. LeTourneau in the field of engineering; features large earth-moving equipment, a bronze statue, park benches, and gravesite of R.G. and Evelyn LeTourneau
Other characteristics:
Materials: brick and iron fencing; LeTourneau's early scrapers; bronze statue of LeTourneau sculpted by Keith Knoblock of Heyworth, IL sits on a pedestal that depicts in bas relief some of LeTourneau's inventions; wood and steel benches; slate gravesite
1989-present (2007)outdoor space
1989-present (2007)memorial site

Significance: engineering, history, landscape
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The R. G. LeTourneau Memorial Park includes a statue, a historical marker, three earth-moving scrapers, and the gravesites of R. G. LeTourneau and his wife Evelyn. The park is meaningful because it honors and is the final resting place of these two founders of the University. Their graves are in a raised bricked area covered with slate, bearing their names and life verses: Matthew 6:33 (R.G.), John 15:5 (Evelyn). He died in 1969, she in 1987.

The park also features three large scrapers, examples of the early earth moving equipment for which LeTourneau was awarded more than 300 patents during his lifetime. The eight-foot tall bronze statue of R. G. LeTourneau stands on a 4.5-foot high base adorned with three-dimensional bas reliefs of his inventions, including the self-propelled Tourneaupull/Carryall, the dozer blade, the sheetsfoot roller, offshore drilling rig, and log stacker.

The historical marker states that LeTourneau's company was the largest manufacturer of earth moving equipment and during World War II, supplied 70 percent of the equipment used by the Allies in building roads and airstrips during the war.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Annual report of LeTourneau University. 1969-1991. Archives, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.

Durham, Kenneth R. Jr. LeTourneau University's First 50 Years. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company, 1995.

LeTourneau, R. G. Mover of Men and Mountains: the Autobiography of R. G. LeTourneau. Chicago: Moody Press, 1967.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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Last update: November 2006