William Volker Memorial Fountain

Firefighters Memorial Fountain, Photo by: Bradley Cramer

Location: 424 Volker Boulevard, Kansas City, MO

Owner: KCMO Parks & Recreation Department

Dates: Installed 1958; Rededicated April 12, 2016

Artist: Carl Milles

The City of Fountains Foundation holds an endowment for this fountain.


It was with an equestrian figure of St. Martin of Tours, a patron saint of France on which Swedish sculptor Carl Milles based his memorial to William Volker. Volker was a prominent citizen and philanthropist who had done so much to enrich Kansas City including donating the land on which to start the university now know as the University of Missouri - Kansas City.

The central sculpture is of St. Martin of Tours on horseback cutting his cloak in order to share with the beggar below. Nearby, a bewildered faun, a seated angel and a flying angel playing a flute watch the scene. To add a touch of humour, Milles has the flying angel playing the flute backwards and he added a wristwatch on the seated angel. Bruno Bearzi of Florence, Italy was founder for the equestrian figure and Herman Bergman of Stockholm, Sweden was the founder of the other figures.

The monumental fountain was originally in Theis Park, in the current amphitheatre location, but was moved in the 1990's across Brush Creek to this site on Volker Boulevard, just south of the Park. Looking north from the fountain gives a clear view of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

In the winter of 2015-2016, the sculptures were removed and cleaned and repaired. The fountain also underwent extensive repairs and renovations. Everything was back in place and put back into operation on Fountain Day 2016 for the rededication ceremony. The waterfall below was turned on for the first time in many years.

Click to enlarge

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