SIDNEY — Early Tuesday morning, workmen from Coopermill Bronzeworks and Delphos Granite Works joined the maintenance crew from Shelby County and began moving the pre-fabricated granite base and the bronze statue of General Isaac Shelby to the grounds of the Shelby County Courthouse. Both the base and the statue had been delivered to Shelby County in 2020 in time for the original ceremony. Both have been in storage since.
The original ceremony, which was scheduled to take place on July 18, 2020, was postponed due to the pandemic. That original ceremony would have included Kentucky Gove. Andy Beshear and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine present and helping unveil the statue of General Shelby. Shelby was the first governor of Kentucky, and at the urging of citizens, was returned to office in 1812 to help lead Kentucky through the War of 1812.
The statue will be officially dedicated Saturday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m. Speaking during the revised ceremony will be Commissioners Julie Ehemann, Tony Bornhorst and Bob Guillozet, who served as co-chair of the Sidney-Shelby County Bicentennial Committee. Mike Barhorst, who also served as co-chair of the Bicentennial Committee, will serve as master of ceremonies.
The Rev. Aaron Hess, parochial vicar of Holy Angels, Sidney; St. Michael, Fort Loramie; Sacred Heart, McCartyville; and Sts. Peter and Paul, Newport, will offer the invocation. The Rev. Carol Pierson, who serves as pastor of The First Presbyterian Church, Sidney, will offer the benediction.
The First Presbyterian Church was the first church located in Sidney, and will celebrate its bicentennial in 2025. It is also the only one of the early churches still at its original location.
The Sidney High School Band, under the direction of Director Chris Adams, will perform during the ceremonies. Sidney Police Officer Kiarra Ibarra will sing the National Anthem, and the Sidney Veterans Honor Guard will post the colors.
“The ceremony will be far different than originally envisioned,” Barhorst said. “Trying to reassemble all of those who intended to participate in the original ceremony would have been equivalent to trying to put the pieces of Humpty Dumpty back together again – it just wasn’t going to happen.”
“One of the things that we were able to do was to put a time capsule in the base,” Guillozet stated. “We asked Mike Lochard if he would fabricate a capsule that will hopefully withstand the weather over the course of the next hundred years, and his team created a capsule that will hopefully stand the test of time.”
“The Commissioners were in session,” Guillozet said, “so I entrusted Mike (Barhorst) with responsibility for making certain that the items selected for the time capsule were put inside. Chris (Roediger) then sealed the time capsule and carried it across the street and placed it in the base of the statue.
“By the time the Commissioner’s morning session was over,” Guillozet said, “we walked across the street and the statue installation was finished,” Guillozet said. “We posed for a quick photo before the statue was covered in preparation for Saturday’s ceremony. “