Confederate statue will be replaced

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
By KEN BRADLEY – Staff Writer

A statue of a Confederate soldier, which graced the front lawn of the Franklin County Courthouse from 1910 until it was destroyed by a pickup truck last spring, is going to be replaced.

The Franklin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to have the statue replaced at a cost of $162,949. The funding will come from the truck driver’s insurance company, which will pay $100,000, and the county’s insurance will pay $61,949 toward the project. Former State Sen. Charles Hawkins also said he will make a $500 donation to the making of another Confederate statue.

Mike Thurman, director of general properties for the county, said a company in Vermont will replace the statue at the cost of $162,949.

The S-10 Chevrolet pickup truck, which crashed into the statue on June 6, 2007, was driven by John Clifton Ozmore of Rocky Mount.

Eyewitnesses to the crash said the truck was traveling down South Main Street and was unable to make a left turn onto East Court Street. The truck became airbound and struck the statue.

Pieces of the statue covered the courthouse lawn and East Court Street. After hitting the statue, the pickup truck ran into the large column on the right side of the courthouse entrance.

The statue was decapitated. The head was found in the grass at the edge of East Court Street.

After the destruction of the statue, county officials learned that it could not be repaired.

Records in the Franklin County Clerk of Court’s Office reveal in accounts by The Roanoke Times that the monument’s foundation was laid on Sept. 10, 1910.

The monument was unveiled in a special ceremony on Dec. 1, 1910, at the courthouse. Congressman E.W. Saunders and Samuel W. Williams, Virginia’s attorney general, were guest speakers at the ceremony.

Copyright © 2008 – Franklin County Newspapers, Inc.

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