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Woodruff in Oneida County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

World’s Largest Penny

 
 
World’s Largest Penny Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Fitzie Heimdahl
1. World’s Largest Penny Marker
Inscription.  The World’s Largest Penny was dedicated on May 29, 1954 as a tribute to the staff and students of Arbor Vitae-Woodruff School. This monument reflects Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb‘s dream for a local hospital, as well as the community spirit of Woodruff and Arbor Vitae residents and civic groups who donated labor and materials and organized fundraising activities.

In the fall of 1952, Otto Burich and his geometry students led a district-wide campaign to collect one million pennies to raise funds for the hospital. Letters were mailed nationwide as part of the fundraising effort. Arbor Vitae-Woodruff grade school students even donated their allowances. In all, 1,700,000 pennies were collected in just 104 days from 48 states. On Memorial Day in 1953, 10,000 people attended the Million Penny Parade in Woodruff to celebrate the achievement.

The World’s Largest Penny is made of concrete block, and is 10 feet in diameter, 18 inches thick, and weighs 17,452 pounds. The students at Arbor Vitae-Woodruff School continued to collect millions of pennies to help fund the Dr. Kate Museum Memorial Scholarship. The enthusiastic students not only saved

World’s Largest Penny Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Fitzie Heimdahl, July 17, 2021
2. World’s Largest Penny Marker
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the hospital project, but they inspired the community and put the small town of Woodruff on the international map.
 
Erected 2021 by Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 595.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationScience & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 29, 1954.
 
Location. 45° 53.703′ N, 89° 42.002′ W. Marker is in Woodruff, Wisconsin, in Oneida County. Marker is at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Hemlock Street, on the right when traveling west on 3rd Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 820 3rd Ave, Woodruff WI 54568, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Million Penny Parade (a few steps from this marker); Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veterans Memorial (approx. Ľ mile away); Snowmobile (approx. 10.3 miles away); Forest Restoration (approx. 10.8 miles away); Government Boarding School Boys Dormitory (approx. 11.1 miles away); First Forest Patrol Flight (approx. 11.9 miles away).
 
The World’s Largest Penny. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Fitzie Heimdahl, July 17, 2021
3. The World’s Largest Penny.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2021, by Fitzie Heimdahl of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,100 times since then and 150 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 22, 2021, by Fitzie Heimdahl of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 23, 2023