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Ft. McPherson statute renovated, donations requestedTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
New improved turnout at the monument south of Maxwell.
Courtesy Photo­Image
Logan Mull at work

A 1928 statue honoring the original historic Ft. McPherson is getting a new look this year, thanks to the efforts of an Eagle Scout applicant and his contributors.

Scout Logan Mull, who lives a quarter-mile down the road, has arranged to fill and grade the road ditch in front of the monument so visiting motorists have a good place to park.

With that much done, Mull is arranging to anchor a new bench in concrete for people who want to rest a little and ponder our history.

The statue stands on East Ft. McPherson Road, about a half-mile northeast of Ft. McPherson National Cemetery. It marks the site of the original Ft. McPherson, established in 1866 and commonly known as Cottonwood Springs.

The statue is a Union soldier. It is well anchored and protected by an iron fence, but was overshadowed by a nearby cedar tree. Cars could hardly park on the shoulder of the road so motorists could take a good look at it.

The turnout has been lengthened to 85 feet, enough room to accomodate a tour bus.

The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District donated dirt to create the turnout, and the Lincoln County Department of Roads covered it in crushed concrete.

Western Engineering will donate concrete and new aggregate to put near the statute and Bloedorn Lumber will donate form lumber, Mull said.

Mull needs about $600 more to complete the project with a bench and fencing along the neighbor’s property line, plus signs and a couple ornamental trees.

An account is established at Equitable Bank in North Platte – the Logan Mull Eagle Scout Project. The bank will match contributions up to $300, so a $50-$100 donation would be huge, he said.

When the project is complete, historic marker signs will stand along the road in each direction, advising motorists of the point of interest ahead, according to Mull’s plans.

The statue is the same size as the Sioux Lookout that once overlooked the Platte Valley. It is a significant part of Lincoln County, Mull’s father Jerry said, because Ft. McPherson protected pioneers, settlers, railroad crews and telegraph lines.

“Who’s to say what would have happened without them?” he said. “Who’s to say what those veterans did for us?”

The face of statue has been damaged by a shotgun blast, similar to the damage once done to the Sioux Lookout. The Sioux statue was restored in 2001 by artist Mary Tanner of Lincoln County and the Mulls hope the Ft. McPherson soldier might be reconstructed the same way. Otherwise, it is in good shape, Logan said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 9/20/2012
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