Trustees seek return of beloved bronze horse stolen from Wildwood Cemetery

  • This bronze horse monument was stolen from Wildwood Cemetery earlier this month. SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • The black granite pedestal upon which a bronze horse memorial stood in Wildwood Cemetery. The horse was stolen earlier this month. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 10/27/2021 11:19:34 AM

AMHERST — The theft of a large bronze horse affixed to a gravestone that honors a late Amherst poet and a late college president is prompting an appeal for its immediate return from members of the Wildwood Cemetery trustees board.

“Among all of the varied, personal, poignant, artful and poetic memorials at Wildwood placed since its founding over 130 years ago, this may be the most beloved of all,” Jonathan Klate, a trustee and past president, wrote in an email Tuesday.

Police took a report on the morning of Oct. 19 that the monument was stolen.

The horse, 4 feet tall and 5 feet long, stood on a black granite pedestal inscribed with the names of an Amherst couple, and their dates of birth and death.

The name on top is Franklin Martin Loew, who served as president of the former Becker College in Worcester, and prior to that was the second dean of the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, where a veterinary education center on the Grafton campus is named after him. He died from a rare form of cancer in 2003.

The name below is Deborah Sugarbaker Digges, a professor of English at Tufts who published four books of poetry. She took her own life at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the University of Massachusetts campus in 2009.

Trustees say that the horse statue has been admired by the numerous visitors to the park-like cemetery, as well as by the families of Digges and Loew.

“Surely it is its loveliness that attracted the attention of whoever removed it, and it is this that also makes its theft so distressing,” Klate wrote. “We can only hope that those responsible — for the size of the piece required more than one perpetrator — realize the anguish they have caused and return it. They will be forgiven if it is received back undamaged or nearly so."

Trustees say no questions will be asked of anyone who participates in its return and anyone with information about its whereabouts or removal can call the cemetery director at 413-549-4649.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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