Statue in Courthouse Park will be revived

Monday, June 23, 2003

It was a shock to look across the Common Pleas Courthouse lawn in downtown Cape Girardeau on May 12 and find the familiar Civil War soldier in pieces around the fountain he once graced.

He was the victim of a wayward tree limb broken off by a gust of wind. At the time, many individuals who saw the statue's remaining pieces said there's no way he could be reassembled.

Think again, said one energetic artist.

Dexter sculptor Alan Gibson has reassembled the cast iron statue. Unfortunately, that one will never return to its post in the park. Instead, Gibson will use it to cast another statue.

The soldier has an interesting history. First erected in 1911 by the Women's Relief Corps, he stood until 1971, when it was vandalized and later repaired. By 1982, he was in such disrepair that Cape Girardeau firefighters stepped in and did a restoration project.

Now this. The Cape Girardeau County Commission will spend $13,200 restoring the piece.

As long as commissioners are addressing one piece of historical art in Courthouse Park, why not look at the Confederate memorial? It has been placed in front of the fountain near the sidewalk. It seems somewhere else would make the park's memorials more balanced.

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