One of two thumbprints on the Truman statue is Sue Gentry's.
Truman Statue In Place By Gary A Membei L. Kimsey Member of the Staff A 9-foot bronze statue of the late Harry S. Truman was set in place on the Independence Square yesterday yesterday after a 5-hour effort in which workers and spectators stood in a cold drizzle. The 1-ton statue, which will be officially officially unveiled May 8 by President President Gerald R. Ford, was erected with only minor difficulties. The placement was delayed in the morning because workers had to find a more durable crane to lift the statue and its 6-ton rock base into place. In the afternoon a delay was caused when a metal rod which would be fitted from the statue into the base needed to be trimmed. At 2:15 p.m. a crane lifted the statue statue from a flatbed truck and easily swung it onto the base, which is on the east side of the square. About 50 spectators applauded when the statue was set onto the base. The sculptor, Gilbert Franklin, Providence, R.I., was relieved. *‘That*s (placing a statue on its base) always the toughest part,” he said. Franklin supervised the placement placement and removal of the statue from a wooden crate in which it was shipped from Rome, where it was cast in bronze. He said his greatest fear was that the statue would be damaged as it was removed from the crate. “That’s when I was really worried,” he said. During the wait for the statue to be set in place, the number of spectators spectators fluctuated. Some were businessmen businessmen from shops on the square. Most of the time employees lined the windows of the municipal building, building, which is immediately east of the statue. Students from the Schoolhouse, a private elementary school in Independence, Independence, wore pioneer clothing such as long calico dresses to attend attend the placement. Many spectators photographed the work. One man who was inebriated inebriated was frustrated when photographers photographers could not get a clear shot of the statue because workers were around it. He gestured toward Franklin, who was wearing a black beret and was standing next to the statue, and said to no one in particular: “Get that man in the black hat out of there so we can get pictures of the statue.” An Independence police officer officer escorted the inebriated man from the site. Independence police will guard the statue so it will not be unveiled by vandals before the official unveiling ceremony May 8, Mr. Truman’s birthday anniversary. Franklin left Independence yesterday yesterday afternoon to return to Providence, Providence, but will return to Independence Independence for the ceremony. Gilbert Franklin, a Providence, R.I., sculptor sculptor who created a 9-foot bronze statue of Harry S. Truman, supervised its placement yesterday on the square in Independence. The official unveiling is May 8. (Staff photo by Ginzy Schaefer) Women Leave Mark on Project Easy Does It Someday a standard question for trivia buffs will be whose thumb prints are imbedded in the statue of Harry S. Truman in Independence. The answer is Miss Sue Gentry and Mrs. Mary Dowell, residents of Independence, Mr. Truman’s hometown. Both women are members of the Truman Statue Committee which was organized to raise $70,000 in donations to make the statue. In October they visited the sculptor, sculptor, Gilbert Franklin, to view a clay model of the statue he had made at his studio in Boston. That model later later was cast in bronze to make the final product that was erected yesterday. yesterday. During the visit Franklin said if they ^^anted to put their thumb prints on the statue since they had worked hard on the committee. Their prints are in a layer of bronze on which the statue stands. Both prints are on the statue’s right side. Miss Gentry, 722 W. Waldo, is a retired reporter for the Independence Independence Examiner. She covered many assignments involving Mr. Truman. Her print is on the rear corner. Mrs. Dowell, 19119 E. Truman, who has been active in Independence Independence civic affairs, has her print on the front corner.