Can't Is Dead

Here Lies "It Can’t Be Done"
He was buried in Canton, Ohio in 1919.




APRIL 30, 1919






Here is an excerpt from:

Canton: A Journey Through Time by  Curator Kim Kenney:

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 The following year [1919] on the Fourth of July, more grand patriotic festivities took place. A highlight of the day was the burial of “It Can’t Be Done.”

 ...It was said that “Can’t” was killed by the Liberty Loan Organization, murdered by a city who out sold its quota in war bonds. A mock funeral service was held in Public Square. Attorney George H. Clark delivered the eulogy, saying:

"We are met to pay our last tribute to the local member of the great family of It Can’t Be Done. The departed was of ancient and historic lineage. The family has existed and flourished in our midst since the settlement of this city, and it came to the fullness of its career in April 1917.

With the declaration of war, It Can’t Be Done saw the opportunity to justify for all time the existence of the doctrine of failure. We had to raise an army. It Can’t Be Done snarled at our heels. We had to raise money for national defense. It Can’t Be Done yelped discord and growled failure.

But, the people grew in thought, in spirit, in resolve, in spirituality. They wearied not of well doing. They joined shoulder to shoulder in mighty effort. They kicked out of the way the snappers and the yelpers. They chastised the big growlers and they interred the vicious and the malicious.

And so undeterred, unafraid and determined, they marched forward to glorious victory, and starved to death for lack of friends It Can’t Be Done in this community. It died, and we are met to bury it deep for all time.

Peace to its ashes."

A four foot square bronze plaque was lowered onto the sidewalk at the southeast corner of the Stark County Courthouse. At the top it read, “Here Lies It Can’t Be Done.” The message ended with the phrase, “May He Long Be Dead.” Over the years, many local residents brought their children downtown to teach them a lesson in perseverance. The plaque was later moved from its downtown location to its current home outside the McKinley Museum.


Also in Canton, Ohio:

McKinley Presidential Library & Museum -- Canton, Ohio

Locating Canton’s lesser (in size) landmarks

Oct 29th, 2008 @ 7:36 pm by Gary Brown

Someone recently told me he recalled seeing a landmark that once had been placed in downtown Canton. The square plaque recognized, decades ago, the city’s successful sale of war bonds. “Here’s Lies ‘It Can’t Be Done,’” the memorial said. The successful war bond campaign was a matter of community pride, and the city boasted of it in a downtown location that was filled with people at the time the plaque was placed there. It was seen by many during the years that it remained at the feet of shoppers and businessmen.
The gentleman asked what happened to the plaque and I told him that it was placed, years ago, to the right of the entrance to the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum. He said he planned to go and see it.
But, his query started me thinking. What other landmarks from our past — small and large things that once dotted our community’s landscape — still remain, either in their original positions or in places to which they have been moved?

The hulking piece of the battleship Maine’s conning tower, for example, was moved from Waterworks Park and now stands near the Veterans memorial in Westbrook Park between 12th and 13th Streets NW. The bell — once used as the fire bell in Canton — was moved from Waterworks during by Canton Bicentennial Commission during the city’s bicentennial in 2005, and now is displayed at the base of City Hall.