local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion,
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.
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
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."
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
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 Veterans Day.
Roger Holmes with the City Parks Department and his crew cleaned the
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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