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Artist John Falter Dies

     Artist John Falter, a Midland Empire native known for his Lincoln paintings, died May 16 in Philadelphia, Pa.

     Falter suffered a stroke and had been hospitalized there since April 13. He was 72 years old.

     Falter produced six special paintings for Sheridan Logan's 1979 history, "Old St. Jo, Gateway to the West." Three of those originals are now in the American National Bank at Robidoux Center.

     Born in Falls City, Neb., Falter spent his early life in Atchison, Kan. His art career began when he sent drawings to the News-Press Boys' and Girls' Page. Editor Miss Ella Heininger encouraged him to further his art education.

     Falter attended the Kansas City Art Institute, and from there won a scholarship the Art Students League in New York City. At the age of 22, he launched a commercial venture in art.

     During the height of his career, he produced 185 cover paintings for the Saturday Evening Post. One was a sunset at Lewis and Clark State Park at Sugar Lake, across the river from his boyhood home of Atchison.

     In 1976, Falter produced six historical paintings for 3M Co., including the driving of the golden spike in Utah. His historical research brought him back to St. Joseph where he arranged to produce the paintings for Logan's limited-edition history.

     Among them are views of Abraham Lincoln getting his hair cut at the Edgar House Hotel at Main and Francis streets; and of Lincoln sitting on the river bank waiting for a ferry boat with Patee House in the background.

     Both paintings were based upon Lincoln's visit to St. Joseph before he became president. Other Falter paintings in the Logan book include a view of a Pony Express rider heading west out of St. Joseph; and a society wedding on the lawn of a Hall Street mansion.

     Falter last visited in St. Joseph July 14, 1979, when he was here to sign autographs for the Logan book. He also participated in ceremonies marking the start of a Pony Express rerun sponsored by the British Post Office.

    Sheridan Logan, who received word of the death in Philadelphia, said he was very sorry.

    "He was a good friend of mine, and a great artist," Logan said.

    Falter is survived his wife.

-from the St. Joseph Gazette, St. Joseph, Mo., Friday, May 21, 1982

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