Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Courthouse monument to be ready next year

Posted

Around this time next year, the Hood County Courthouse will feature a new monument, recognizing local veterans who were killed in action during war.

The 9-foot-tall monument was approved on Nov. 23, 2021, when Brent Quillin, a local Army veteran and pastor at Granbury Church of God, proposed his idea to the Hood County Commissioner’s Court.

The idea came to Quillin after reading about Cpl. William Williams in a Hood County News article that ran May 25, 2019.

“Just the fact that nobody knew who he was. He’s not really honored or remembered anywhere and that got me digging for other Hood County veterans who gave their life,” he said. “I realized there’s more than I thought and I've lived here for more than 30 years. I didn’t know any of these stories.”

The monument will feature a five-foot-square base of white rock like the statue of General Granbury, while the body of the monument will be gray granite.

Plaques that will surround the monument will be brass with a background almost black in color. The names of those honored will be in brass, with room to add additional names.

Quillin said he didn’t just want to have a monument with names written on it; he wanted local residents to get a complete picture of who these veterans were.

“When I started looking into the history of these guys, I realized that these are not just names; these were sons, husbands, children and they are all attached to people and families. When you start hearing their stories, you see how real they are, but there’s nowhere where you can see them or hear about them,” he said.

Quillin decided to incorporate a QR code attached to the memorial so attendees can see a name they recognize and click on the QR code using their mobile phone. The link will then take them to a website featuring complete stories on each veteran.

“I think it will just add to the square and add to tourism, so I think it’s a win/win for everybody, but I think the most important thing is to never forget,” he said.

The memorial will be placed on the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn, lining up directly with the General Granbury statue.

The project cost around $48,000, but Quillin said he has volunteers who are dividing into 10 teams who will work together to raise $4,000 each. He said he’s also thought about asking 1,000 local veterans to each donate $40 to the project.

“As of (April 8), we are a 100% nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization,” he said. “Everything that we raise will go to the memorial. I think we can get it done. Our target is Memorial Day 2023.”

All contributors to the memorial will be listed on the website (hoodcountyfallenveterans.com), and there will also be a page for donors. Laser Junky and Brazos Moon Antiques & Uniques have already donated to the project.

Quillin currently has a list of 41 names of veterans to add to the monument, but said he is still looking for more to add. To be eligible for the monument, veterans had to have either been born or raised in Hood County or had left from Hood County to join the service, where they had been killed in action.

“It’s just amazing what these guys did to give their life for their country,” he added. “I think it would be awesome to honor them. I just don’t want them to be forgotten.”

The complete list of veterans, provided by Quillen, to be added to the memorial is listed below:

Spanish-American War

PVT Benjamin M. Kerr

World War I

Arthur Elmer Joiner

PFC Lee Roy Edwards

PVT Elven Helms

Larkin C. Clifton

Charles H. Jones

Ollie P. Kelley

World War II

James Bills

Jim K. Bone

Dale P. Cleveland

William L. Clifton

Billie Joe Compton

Delano W. Cooper

Harry Pearston Curl

Rex A. Davis

Allen B.H. Davis

Herchel L. Elliott

Harney Estes Jr.

Orman Fitzhugh

R.G. Gillen

Ira E. Hatcher

William L. Jameson

Oliver Kincanon

Jerome H. Kendall

Elbert R. Marsden

Lowell H. Massey

Morris G. McCauley

Windell D. Neely

Clovis C. Newman

Perry M. Petty

Willie F. Pope

Bill A. Porter

Herbert E. Roberts

Curtis L. Spoon

Roy E. Thomason

William E. Williams

Vietnam War

William Leslie Brooks

Jack Camp

John Miller

Larry Wayne Rothel

Global War on Terrorism

Riley Stephens

To add a name to the list, email Quillin at bbq1968@yahoo.com.