Confederate statue to remain at Harrison County Historic Courthouse

Confederate statue to remain at Harrison County Historic Courthouse
Harrison County Commissioners Court hears public comment Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, on whether to remove the Confederate statue from county property. (Source: Jamey Boyum/KLTV)

MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - The Confederate statue at the Historical Harrison County Courthouse will remain where it is.

A motion to request permission from the Texas Historical Commission to move the statue was made and then rescinded by one of the commissioners after the motion was not seconded. The motion was made after more than an hour of public comment from both sides of the issue.

Harrison County residents filled the commissioners courtroom in the historic courthouse, and many signed up for public comment about whether to move the monument.

“A statue or piece of stone is not harming anybody. I’ve had the opportunity for the last 30 years to look at that statue pretty much every day. I’ve seen tons of people from out of state, in the community come and read it, read the stories on it, look it over, take pictures with it, and I’ve never seen that statue disgrace or dishonor anybody,” Bill Elliot said

“This was started by outside forces from Austin, Texas who came into our community and stirred trouble up, and that bothers me. It bothers me also that, you know, some people might be offended by the statue. I can empathize, but how many are being told to be offended by the statue?” January Simpson said.

“And the statue could be relocated and celebrated in a museum of in the cemetery of the confederate soldiers off of 80 over there. I mean there’s a place for it but here is not the place because that represents the county. That should not represent the county,” Curtis Virgil said.

Since the old courthouse is an historic landmark the county must first get permission from the Texas Historical Commission to move it elsewhere. Pct. 2 Commissioner Zephaniah Timmons made the motion to approve a commission vote.

“Motion to approve,” Timmons said.

“Motion by Mr. Timmons. Is there a second?” asked County Judge Chad Sims.

“Withdraw motion,” Timmons said.

“Withdraw motion?” Judge Sims asked.

“Yes” Timmons said.

So there could not be a second or a vote.

During a break in the meeting, Harrison County Judge Chad Sims voiced his opinion on the controversy.

“A community that’s united and doing things together, you can get so much accomplished. I don’t have all the answers, but I think out of the 66,000 people we have here, somebody’s got some ideas of things that we can do to work together to do just that here and bring our voice together. And that’s what we need,” Judge Sims said.

Judge Sims says a commissioner can bring the item up again in the future as an action item, but for now the statue will remain where it is.

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