Harriet Collins Allen and her husband, Dr. Samuel Allen, befriended sculptor Solon Borglum while he was studying at the Cincinnati Art Academy in the mid-1890s.
Solon Hannibal Borglum was born December 22, 1868 in Ogden, Utah. He was the younger brother of noted sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Both brothers spent their early lives on a ranch near Omaha, Nebraska. From 1883 to 1884, Solon and Gutzon traveled to California where Gutzon studied art and both earned a living at ranching. After spending a short time at his brother's studio in Sierra Madre, and living as an artist in Santa Ana, Solon enrolled at the Cincinnati Art Academy, where he studied from 1895 to 1897 as a student of Louis Rebisso.
Solon traveled to Paris and met sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens who persuaded him to study at the Académie Julian. There he studied under Denys Puech and began winning awards for work exhibited in both France and the United States. In 1898, Solon married Emma Vignal in Paris. They spent four years living at the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota, an experience that influenced his art work. In 1901, Solon was elected to the National Sculpture Society, later becoming vice-president. He set up a studio in New York.
Borglum displayed several works at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon, and at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. Among his most noted commissions was the "Rough Rider Monument" commemorating Captain William Owen "Buckey" O'Neill in Prescott, Arizona. In 1906, Borglum moved to Silvermine, Connecticut, where his studio became the center of a colony called the Silvermine Group of Artists. It was also during this time that Paul Manship was employed as one of Borglum's assistants and lived with the family.
From 1916 to 1917 Solon taught at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York and worked on an art textbook. During World War I, he served as the Director of Sculpture for the American Expeditionary Forces Art Training Center. Following the war, Borglum returned to New York City and established a School of American Sculpture in New York City.
Solon Hannibal Borglum died suddenly after an appendectomy in January 1922 in New York City.