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Ft. McPherson statute gets straight faceTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Kaycee Anderson
Photo by Kaycee Anderson
Bill Dean
Photo by Kaycee Anderson
Members of the Fox family

Taps sounded and a Cavalry charge was remembered Oct. 6 when more than 50 people gathered for the rededication of the Ft. McPherson soldier statue.

The statue, which was erected in 1928 and dedicated through the efforts of four Civil War veterans at that time, has been refurbished.

Last year, Eagle Scout Logan Mull gave the area around the statue a new look. Mull organized the creation a turnout, so cars or even buses do not have to park on the narrow shoulder of the road. A bench was also installed next to the statue.

The statue’s face was damaged years ago by a shotgun blast. With support of the Lincoln County Historical Society, North Platte sculptor Mary Tanner rebuilt the face as well as the top of the gun that the soldier holds. Tanner used Bedford stone that was salvaged from the demolition of the old St. Patrick’s McDaid Elementary School on East Fourth St. in North Platte.

Cyrus Fox, who died in 1942 at age 97, was the last Civil War Veteran to die in Lincoln County and he was instrumental in getting the statue built in the first place. He was also instrumental in the "Sioux Lookout" statue that formerly stood above the Platte Valley atop a hill southeast of North Platte. The statue is now at the Lincoln County Courthouse.

Fox was represented Sunday by many family members.

During the rededication, the history of Fort McPherson was briefly recounted, and Lincoln County Historical Museum curator Jim Griffin introduced Mull and Tanner to the crowd.

An American Legion Color Guard and Honor Guard of the Veterans of Foreign Wars presented the colors.

Bill Dean of Talmage was on hand, representing the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Dean, a senior vice commander of the organization, travels around the state for all dedications concerning the Civil War.

He said he has only missed six dedications in 11 years.

Ben Fox from Arnold, the grandson of Cyrus, came from Arnold, along with great grandsons Kevin, Jim, Byron and Roger. Great granddaughters Carolyn Sue Foran of North Platte, Karen Main of Stapleton and Kathy Fox of North Platte also were there.

Great-great-grandchildren Kelly and John Main were there too, representing three generations of the Fox family.

The family shared memories of their famous ancestor.

He was a hardworking, honest man who told good stories, Ben Fox said.

And, Cyrus also enjoyed life.

“I think the reason Granddad lived so long was because of the cigars and pipes he smoked and all that whiskey he drank,” Ben said with a grin.

This report was first published in the Oct. 9 print edition of the Bulletin.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/29/2013
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