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           In 1904, two large quadrigae were made by W. H. Mullins in Salem, Ohio for the Wayne County Building (then the Wayne County Courthouse) in Detroit, Michigan. Each statue features a man on either side of four horses. The horses are pulling a chariot that is carrying woman with a large staff, whom represents Progress. The statues were sculpted by a Scottish immigrant and New York resident, J. Massey Rhind.

            Though the quadrigae were verified to be a product of the Mullins Company, there are also four statues on the upper level that could not be pinned as a credit to Mullins. The four statues are female figures that stand for Law, Commerce, Mechanics, and Agriculture. With the help of Dan Austin at Historic Detroit and Joyce Middlebrooks, the librarian at The Burton Historical Collection located at the main branch of The Detroit Public Library; we have been able to verify these four statues as products of the W. H. Mullins Company. All six statues were commissioned in October 27, 1903 to be made by Mullins and sculpted by Rhind at a cost of almost $40,000 (which would be close to $2 million today).

            These statues still stand on The Wayne County Building today. The quadrigae were taken down in 2007 to be refurbished at a cost of around $600,000. They were put back on the building in 2009. 

Credit:  Niki Slaven, History Major Intern from Kent State University

The Salem Historical Society
Main Entry for Meeting Room and Gift Shop in the lower level of
Dale Shaffer Research Library

239 South Lundy
Salem, OH
(330) 337 - 8514

The Salem Historical Society

Detroit - Mullins Connection

A bit of investigative reporting

Posted 7/28/2015

Salem Historical Society is privileged to have interns show up on our doorstep from time to time to gain hands-on experience and accumulate hours as credit for their studies.  This summer, one of our interns, Niki Slaven, a history major at Kent State University, has delved into researching pictures from The S.H. Mullins Co of Salem.   The following is her report about some beautiful statues that still exist in Detroit, MI., followed by the photos that inspired her.


quadriga, noun,   plural quadrigae: 

a two-wheeled chariot drawn by four horses abreast, used in the ancient chariot races.

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