Sister of Liberty in need of restoration

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The Sister of Liberty is missing the points from her crown and has tarnished since she was installed in 1951. The mini-replica of the Statue of Liberty is a celebration of the Boy Scouts program and more than 200 were placed nationwide in the 1940s and 1950s.

It was placed by the Boy Scout program in 1951 and, since that time, has welcomed visitors to Indian Foothills Park.

At what was once known as the Boy Scout Entrance, the Sister of Liberty Statue is beginning to show her age. During the Marshall Parks and Recreation board meeting Wednesday, Nov. 3, Director Jeff Stubblefield said he'd like to "restore the statue to its former glory."

In a previous meeting, Stubblefield announced the base of the statue needed repair, but after a more detailed examination determined the entire piece is in need of attention.

Discussions with a restorer led to an estimate of $15-25,000 because the Wichita-based restorer has yet to see the statue. The higher end of the estimate was generally applied to statues with missing pieces.

In other news, the department finished 2010 at $13,000 in the black -- board members taking this as a sign that the park is being used and enjoyed on a regular basis.

There were good revenues in all the departments, according to Stubblefield, and the Parks Department ended this fiscal year with approximately $200,000 more than 2009 in revenue.

Because this year brought more visitors and revenue, officials were able to make many changes throughout the park, including working with Missouri Valley College to redo Osage Field. Workers are also constructing a greenhouse near the bow range in order for the park to keep plants through the winter. Plans for a walking path are currently underway.

The railroad bed that lies north of the park is not an option for a walking path, according to Stubblefield. He stated that he and City Administrator Connie Latimer spoke with railroad officials when the tracks were being removed, but the railroad would not sell or lease the property.

Instead, Marshall Parks and Recreation plans to construct a path possibly running from Vest Street to Eastwood, and then add to it over time.

In addition to construction, the park has had a problem beneath its feet.

"We've got some erosion control problems," Stubblefield said.

The south end of the creek and the hill at the Battle of Marshall shelter are two areas that the park will be working to correct.

In other news, the golf course will be going into winter hours. Golfers can play between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends. Further into the season, hours the course will be open will be weather dependent.

Board members Sam Untiedt, John Angelhow, Ronnie Hill, Nancy Kleinschmidt, Olive Malter, Scott Fann, Vice President Wayne Crawford, President Mike Lamberson, Director Jeff Stubblefield, Recreation Supervisor Lori Godsey and Administrative Assistant Mary Perkins were present.

The next board meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Contact Sarah Reed at

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  • I'm as much a fan of history as the next person, but considering the present condition of the statue and the importance of "Liberty" to America in the wake of 9/11, would anyone consider installing a newer, more brightly lit statue in place of the present one? The real Statue of Liberty in New York has taken on added significance since 9/11, IMHO. What kind of new, brightly lit, statue could be obtained for the $15-25,000 restoration cost of the present one? There's also a Liberty statue (about the same size) on the east side of the school yard in Slater, between the high school and the elementary school. Can't Marshall come up with a more prominent replica than Slater, given its greater population?

    -- Posted by Ray on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 2:32 AM
  • When can we expect the walking trails? Or is the money slated to go to the upkeep of the golf course? Why not look into using the old railroad bed where the tracks have been removed? The grade should be easy walking. Hasn't it been 3 years since the tax increase? Again, where and when can we expect the walking trails?

    -- Posted by Red Witch on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 9:02 AM
    Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
    I believe the park dept. has been tackling one major project each year since the tax extension was approved. First year was new playgrounds. This year was new basketball courts. Sounds like next year might be the year for trails.

    The railroad bed is not something the parks can just grab. The railroad has to be convinced to sell or grant permission to use that land. So far, I haven't heard whether the railroad has been approached about that idea. We'll check.

  • There were only 200 of these Little Sisters of Liberty statues produced. Restoring the one that we have is certainly the right way to go. If it makes you feel any better Ray Sedalia has one the same size too. - An interesting story on the subject.

    -- Posted by broke-n-busted on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 9:08 AM
  • Keep the statue and fix her. This was placed by the Boy Scouts. How did they come up with the money to get this statue? Are there any Boy Scouts who remember this from 1951? We don't need a bigger and better statue than Slater. It should be about liberty and freedom and in my opinion, 9/11 shouldn't be the catalyst for honoring or admiring your country. If you had to wait for 9/11, to be proud of your country, you don't have much going for you. If a bunch of kids worked to obtain the money for this "Lady,"then don't slap them in the face and say we need a new one. Some of the older things aren't necessarily useless.

    -- Posted by Tontonnii on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 9:14 AM
  • The Boy Scouts collected pennies after WW2 to raise money for these Statues.

    -- Posted by mu-grad on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 10:48 AM
  • Eric you might check with Jeff Stubblefield, but I believe the park is getting bids on the walking trails this winter for the work to be done during 2011. There is still some decisions to be made as far as the path, but it is going to happen.

    -- Posted by mtownresident on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 11:04 AM
  • I vote to keep the statue and fix it up. She is a part of Marshall history!!

    -- Posted by OldOwl on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 11:28 AM
  • I certainly wasn't waiting for 9/11, to be proud of my country, but as long as you bring up patriotic pride, I think I'll also mention that it speaks poorly of a U.S. community's pride in its country to let a replica of the Statue of Liberty deteriorate into such a shoddy condition as that which is the present condition of the replica of the Statue of Liberty at the north entrance to Indian Foothills park.

    Shame on Marshall. It's a sad statement on the City of Marsahll, when a statue of a dog is in better shape than the a replica of the Statue of Liberty, IMHO.

    Slater appears to show a significantly greater respect for their statuary symbol of Liberty,

    Money is taken out of circulation when it gets in bad condition and American flags in a deteriorated condition are destroyed in a dignified way. US Flag Code. TITLE 4 > CHAPTER 1 > Sec. 8(k). It states: "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning"

    As far as questioning the most efficacious way to expend taxpayers' resources, I thought the question was very appropriate, or does Marshall now have so much taxpayers' money it need not consider "cost effectiveness" in budgetary decision making?

    -- Posted by Ray on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 8:54 PM
  • And yes, IMHO, the Statue of Liberty has taken on added significance since 9/11. Everyone should recall the close proximity of "Liberty" to those events?

    -- Posted by Ray on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 9:37 PM
  • I wonder if the local boy scouts would take it upon their selves to raise the money to restore this statue since they were the ones that were the originaters of this project?

    Why not collect pennies (Spare Change)again, jars in stores and businesses and at schools and hospitals and the like would be a good start.

    This would be a good community activity for the scouts I would think

    As for the whole patriotic comments.. Is this really the forum for determining who is patriotic and who is not or who is less patriotic than someone else?

    -- Posted by mrxray on Sun, Nov 7, 2010, at 10:46 AM
  • Pertinent comment Xray. Good idea.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 9, 2010, at 2:07 PM
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