18 June 2013 by Published in: General News 3 comments

Violet-20130618-00070Some of you may recall that in May 2010, I found a headless statue of William T. Sherman in nearby Pickerington, Ohio, and set about trying to solve the mystery. A few weeks later, I spoke to Headless Billy’s owner, who assured me that a fix was in the works. I am pleased to say that Headless Billy is headless no more! Sadly, though, he remains handless Billy. Hopefully that will also be rectified soon.

Thanks to my friend Mike Peters for the photo of No Longer Headless Billy that graces this post. All’s well that ends well. Click on the image to see a larger version of it.

The following article appeared in last Friday’s edition of Columbus Dispatch:

Sherman statue headed for completion

By Ken Gordon

The Columbus Dispatch Friday June 7, 2013 6:43 AM

William T. Sherman has waited 45 years to get a good head on his shoulders — so what’s a few more days?

Rain yesterday kept sculptor Oro Ray King from securing a 60-pound sandstone head to the statue of the Civil War general, which was decapitated by vandals in 1968.

King and a friend, Mike Ancona, positioned the head to check the fit, but the rain kept King from applying the epoxy that will lock it in place.

He plans to finish the job on Tuesday.

King was hired by Columbus real-estate developer Walter Reiner, who purchased the vandalized statue at a 2008 auction in Muskingum County and moved it to a vacant grassy lot in a Pickerington shopping center that he owns.

Reiner wanted the statue of Sherman, a Lancaster native, to stand in Fairfield County.

The 7-foot statue, carved in 1918, originally stood among dozens of other statues of prominent historical figures on the Frazeysburg property of sculptor Daniel Brice Baughman.

Reiner bought it for $2,800 and paid $5,000 to move the 8½-ton rock to the shopping center.

He then began a long search for a sculptor.

A November story in The Dispatch about the headless statue, Reiner said, “brought people out of the woodwork.”

He settled on King, a Buckeye Lake resident who has been sculpting for 45 years and has done a lot of work for museums and historical sites.

Reiner would not disclose how much he paid King, except to say that it was more than the $4,000 he had originally hoped to spend but less than a $20,000 estimate he received.

King, 75, said he first made a clay bust after looking at various photos of Sherman, then obtained a 400-pound block of sandstone from Dresden, Ohio.

In April, he started carving the sandstone to the final, 16-inch-tall head.

“It feels pretty good to get it over with,” King said. “I have arthritis pretty bad, and sometimes I have to stop and let my hands rest a little bit.”

After fitting the head yesterday, King and Ancona removed it for safekeeping until King finishes the job.

“I think it looks better than the original,” Reiner said. “This will honor Gen. Sherman properly.

“I certainly meant no disrespect; it just took a little while to do the job right.”

kgordon@dispatch.com

@kgdispatch

Well done, Mr. Reiner. And well done Mr. King.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Richard K. MacDonald, Jr.
    Tue 18th Jun 2013 at 7:14 pm

    As much as I detested Sherman for what he did, it was indeed wartime, and I am highly against vandalizing ANY statue or memorial. Even cemetery vandalism there is a special place in hell for those who commit this crime. I am very happy to hear he will be all complete. This is fantastic.

  2. Lawrence Sceurman
    Wed 19th Jun 2013 at 9:57 am

    My Great Great Grandfather and his Brother fought with Sherman’s Army From before Atlanta clear through the march to the sea and Bentonville till muster out after marching in the Grand Review after the war was over. Thank you for completing this statue! My Grandparents were friends with the Baughman family, and attended many family reunions under the statues at Baughman Park. Too bad the park could not be preserved, but at least the statues were saved!

  3. Matt McKeon
    Mon 15th Jul 2013 at 7:11 pm

    “Look, Ma, no hand.”

    That had to be posted. It had to be.

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