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Local sculptor Elmer Petersen dies at 91



One of the best-known visual artists in the La Crosse area has died. 

Sources tell us sculptor Elmer Petersen died Wednesday at Gundersen in La Crosse, less than a month before his 92nd birthday. 

Petersen lived in Galesville. 

Several of his metal works are displayed in La Crosse, including the Eagle sculpture in Riverside Park, the ‘lacrosse players’ seen both on 2nd Street downtown and on Rose Street, the Gideon Hixon statue near City Hall.

More recent works by Petersen included the George Poage sculpture in Poage Park, and the steel eagle outside the UW-La Crosse football stadium. 

Petersen also sculpted the ‘world’s largest buffalo,’ which stands in North Dakota.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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