518 W. Main Street
Henryetta, OK 74437
P:918-652-7377 F:918-652-2796
Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00am-6:00pm • Saturday 10:00am-1:00pm


History of the Doughboy

Click here for the origin of the word "Doughboy"

The local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, along with local veterans and enlisted personnel, joined together in 1923 to raise funds to purchase a "Spirit of the American Dougboy" statue as a memorial to local boys who died in World War I. More than $1,400 was raised and the bronze statue was ordered. Scheduled to arrive in Henryetta for the Armistice celebration on November 11, 1923, it did not arrive until November 26, 1923.

The decision was made to put the statue in the middle of the Fourth and Main intersection and plans began to build a suitable base on which to display the Doughboy. The bronze statue was finally in place and unveiled in a public celebration on Saturday, July 4, 1925. A large parade led the crowd to the Fourth and Main location. The Honorary Barclay Morgan and George Riley Hall made speeches. VFW Post Commander Harry Reingold supervised the unveiling of the statue by Mrs. George Cullen, whose son died in the war. The celebration was completed by a mock battle on the hill north of town.
The Doughboy proudly stood guard in the center of the Fourth and Main until 1970. In 1969 the City Council approved moving the statue to the corner of Sixth and Main Streets where it would stand on the corner of the Public Library property after a suitable base was constructed. A bronze plaque was added to the base of the statue in 1991 with the following inscription:

"The American Doughboy represents the American soldier of World War I. He is charging over the top toward the enemy line. Carrying full field equipment he was erected as a memorial to the war veterans, 'By the people.' He arrived in Henryetta on Monday, November 26, 1923."

The memorial plate bears inscription "To the memory of all in this area who paid the supreme sacrifice in all wars. Was cast, 'By the people, the year of 1991'." Click here to read the list of names on the plaque

The Doughboy gets Repaired

Recently many have noticed that our proud Doughboy's rifle was bent and he was becoming somewhat weather worn. In 1998 Jimmy Williams, owner of Jiffy Mart, received a $500 community service award from Wal-Mart and decided that this amount should be given to restore and repair the Doughboy. Other organizations and individuals also contributed throughout 1998-1999. The Bronze Horse in Pawhuska, owned and operated by Mr. John Free, visited and gave a quote of $850 to restore our proud sentinel. His son, Mr. John Free, Jr., took the Doughboy to Pawhuska in October 1999. We made arrangements with Mr. Free to return the Doughboy on November 10, 1999, one day before Veteran’s Day. Roger Holmes with the City Parks Department and his crew cleaned the bronze plaque.

The local VFW, American Legion, Chamber of Commerce and public library planned the celebration to welcome him home! Participants included the VFW Chaplain, Lois Rodriquez, Mickey Dombeck, Mayor of Henryetta, the VFW color guard and the VFW --- which performed a 21-gun salute.

The Doughboy again stands proudly honoring those from Henryetta who died in four wars.

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