As the crown jewel atop historic Bosque County Courthouse, Lady Justice finally returns to her throne after a seven-year absence due to hail damage
MERIDIAN – Through wind, rain, snow, hail, searing heat, Lady Justice – holding her sword and scales – stood tall on her perch atop of the Bosque County Courthouse. She had stood there since 2007, but after significant hail damage sustained in March 2014, she was taken down. The statue’s dismal state was found during the replacement of the courthouse roof because of hail damage sustained in March 2014. It looked like she had been hammered on. Numerous dents and deep cracks which compromised the statue’s integrity.
It was thanks to the efforts made by two women – Bosque County Judge Cindy Vanlandingham and Bosque County Maintenance Director Dianne Bernhardt – that the copper-colored 5 foot, 5 inch Lady Justice was once again placed on her mounting, eyes eastward, overseeing the county’s judiciary.
“As County Judge, I am honored to be an instrument in returning Lady Justice to her proper place, she has been missing for way too long,” Vanlandingham said.” I had received several inquiries about Lady Justice and when I began checking on her, I discovered that she was not damaged beyond repair.
"Dianne had been working on her for a few weeks when I received a message from former Bosque County Judge, Cole Word. He informed me that Stewart Parsons had volunteered the equipment to return her to her proper place.”
The timing was perfect for her to make her return on Memorial Day 2021, as we remember those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms, I am reminded that Our Flag does not fly because the wind blows it. It flies with the last breath of every Soldier who died defending it.”
Berhardt painstakingly repaired the statue’s fiberglass composite material frame, filling cracks and dents, modeling a new left pinky toe, and repainting her with “Hammered Copper” paint from the local Ace Hardware store. By repairing the statue instead of ordering an new one, the county saved thousands of dollars.
Prior to the placing of the statue, Commissioner Pct. 4 Ronny Liardon contacted a Bosque County resident Billy Knippers who flew his drone over the pedestal to assess the bolts. After Lady Justice was loaded in the back of the pick-up – for added security – James Liardon rode with her to the courthouse; Dave Hodgins and Kris Tolman donated hot dogs and chips for everyone present. Stuart Parsons with Parsons Roofing provided the equipment and manpower – Tad Sweeney and Pablo Madrigal had the honor to safely lift Lady Justice into place and secure her to her pedestal. Last minute adjustments were made to the washers.
With impending rain, the placing of the statue started 15 minutes early.
“The Lord Held the rain until after Lady Justice was returned to her pedestal atop the courthouse today,” Vanlandingham said. “Bosque County Lady Justice will stand tall atop our courthouse as a beautiful symbol of the preservation and protection of individual rights, freedoms, and liberties. God Bless America – and God Bless Bosque County!”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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