Record: 7.60 m
Johnny Kaw is a mythical Kansas settler and the subject of a number of Paul Bunyan-esque tall tales about the settling of the territory.
The legend of Johnny Kaw was created in 1955 by George Filinger, a professor of horticulture at Kansas State University, to celebrate the centennial of Manhattan, Kansas. The stories were initially printed in the city newspaper, The Manhattan Mercury, during the centennial and later collected into a self-published book by Filinger, who created Kaw to be Kansas' answer to other heroes like Bunyan and Pecos Bill. Elmer Tomasch of the Kansas State University Art Department provided ink drawings to illustrate the stories and the book.
A 25-foot-tall (7.6 m) statue of Johnny Kaw holding a scythe stands in the city park in Manhattan, Kansas (39.1802°N 96.5736°W). It was constructed in 1966 at a cost of $7,000. All materials and labor were donated, and contributions were made by local citizens who hoped that the statue would establish Johnny Kaw as a local legend and would prove to be a roadside attraction. The statue is constructed of concrete over a steel beam framework. The design was intended to withstand wind and weather and be easy to maintain.
The statue was featured in a Zippy the Pinhead comic strip on September 17, 2005.