The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

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
Local News
  • It feels good to help others OTTUMWA — Volunteering helps the community in multiple ways. But don't ignore the good things this new RSVP program will do for the volunteer. "There are health and social benefits," said Desiree Johnson, president and CEO of the United Way of Wapell

    August 1, 2014

  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

Photo reprints