The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

February 7, 2014

Chief Wapello waits …

OTTUMWA — The statue of Chief Wapello will stay indoors a little longer.

Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker has been looking after the chief since the statue was brought down by a wind storm in 2012. Winds estimated around 90 mph knocked the chief from a perch atop the Wapello County Courthouse. Though the statue did not plummet to the ground, the damage from hitting the next roof down was bad enough.

"We’ve contracted with Wingers to put him up," Parker said after a county board meeting this week. "They need two warm days and very little wind."

Safety is paramount, not just for "The Chief" but for workers and pedestrians. He said the statue weighs 450 pounds and may have gained weight since the installation of steel bracing inside the sculpture.

That's not too heavy, added Supervisor Steve Siegel, when you consider the Native American figure is 11.5 feet tall and 14 feet tall to the top of the war lance.

"Winger’s is going to try to give us as much notice as possible as they watch the weather," Parker said. "If we can just hit two or three 30-degree days with no wind ..."

The notice ahead of time is not important for the supervisors directly, he said, but because the sculptor wants to be there. Parker said that the steel skeleton is strong, but the skin of the statue is thin, decorative metal. If workers put the hoist straps in the wrong place before lifting the sculpture nearly 100 feet up, the outside of the carefully restored statue will be crushed, bent or otherwise distorted.

There don't appear to be new "Chief Wapello Statues" on the market. This sculpture is one of several identical representations: During the research phase of the repair project, Supervisor Steve Siegel found an identical statue in a late 1800s architectural catalog.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wapello building remains county property OTTUMWA — An option to sell the Wapello building in downtown Ottumwa to River Hills Community Health Center was nixed by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening. On March 5, River Hills Community Health Center CEO Richard Johnson wrot

    March 12, 2014

AP National