In Apr. 10-16 issue By Derek Aaron Times Journal Reporter
JAMESTOWN - It has been nearly two months since the iconic Jamestown "Doughboy" monument was brought down by a truck that was being operated by an alleged drunk driver.
The process to erect a new bronze statue is slowly progressing, according to Jamestown City Attorney Kevin Shearer.
Jamestown Public Works Director Ottis Skaggs said the cost to repair the monument was estimated at more than $40,000.
"That includes a new bronze Doughboy, flag pole and fixing the concrete steps (around the monument)," Skaggs said.
In those two months, Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates has said on numerous occasions that he has been contacted more about what to do with the remains of the fractured statue than he could have ever imagined.
Back in February, the rifle and left hand of the statue was broken off and the rifle was broken into two pieces.
The base was shattered and the statue's ankles were cracked, as was the elbow of the left arm when it was struck by the truck operated by Danny Wilson, 49, of Somerset. The right arm was broken off near the elbow as well.
The large flag pole behind the monument was also seriously damaged three to four feet up and will be replaced by a shorter pole in the coming weeks, Bates said.
Nothing has been done with the monument as of yet, because Progressive, Wilson's insurance agency, must still settle with the American Legion Post #133 on a specific dollar amount.
The local American Legion post is the monument's overseer, according to Shearer.
"I'm still working on getting them all the quotes and things that we think it will take to get it (replaced)," he said.
Shearer said he was also working with the American Legion and would be speaking with them in the coming days as to what the next move will be and whether the insurance company will cooperate and cover the repairs of the monument and replacement of the statue.
The mayor said American Legion Commander Jeff Reeder was spearheading the effort, along with Shearer, to get the monument replaced by a bronze replica, depending upon the amount of money that will be received from the insurance company.
Reeder said the insurance company was being cooperative, but acknowledged that the process was taking some time.
Bates said the city was handling the "Doughboy account" and all money toward rebuilding the monument. The money, though, will be spent at the discretion of the American Legion.
Reeder said he has already been in contact with some out-of-state companies and individuals that have expertise in sculpting "Doughboy" replicas.
He said that another town had purchased a full replacement statue for a cost of $18,000.
Judge-Executive Mickey Garner has stated that a $25,000 figure was more likely.
Reeder said the American Legion would work with the city and county leaders to make the "Doughboy" monument presentable again.
As of press time, there is no word on when a new "Doughboy" will be erected or when repair to the monument and flag pole will begin.
One thing is clear: entities are coming together and combining efforts to make this a much smoother ride than previously thought.
Officially known as "The Spirit of the American Doughboy," the sculpture was designed in the 1920s by E. M. Viquesney and was originally designed to honor the veterans and casualties of World War I.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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