WWI Dough Boy Soldier
History of "Tripp County's Soldier"
at the Tripp County Courthouse in Winner, South Dakota
At the front of Tripp County's Courthouse in Winner stands a bronze replica of a World War I infantryman of the U. S. Army. Positioned "at the ready", he appears to lead his comrades into the fray. This statue, and the granite base on which it stands, are dedicated to the Tripp County veterans of World War I and the plaque reads:
ERECTED IN HONOR OF THE FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MEN
OF TRIPP COUNTY WHO ANSWERED THEIR COUNTRY'S CALL
IN THE WORLD WAR AND IN MEMORY OF THE FOLLOWING
WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE
Thirty-nine names appear, names which include that of CLEMENT S. MORTENSEN for whom the Winner American Legion Post is named, and those of ARTHUR THAYER and LOWELL E. WATERS for whom the Colome American Legion Post is named.
In April of 1922, a committee called County Memorial Committee headed by Thomas Chivers as chairman was formed to raise money from among the citizens of Tripp County for a proper memorial. At its meeting of September 5, 1923, the Board of County Commissioners of Tripp County authorized the placement of the memorial in the front courthouse yard.
By January, 1924, the committee was still short $400.00 of its goal of $1,044.74. The money was soon raised and in July and August of that year the names of deceased soldiers were published with corrections requested, no official list having been established.
On Friday, September 12, 1924, the memorial was officially dedicated. That date had been declared National Defense Day by President Coolidge. Winner's mayor, John Speidel, made a similar proclamation and County Superintendent of schools, Jean G. Shaver, declared it an official school holiday.
On that day, a large crowd assembled at the school grounds and led by over 200 school children, paraded to the front of the Tripp County Courthouse where the unveiling and dedication took place. After the crowd sang "America", Rev. J. W. Zerbe, Colome gave a prayer and taps were played. Flowers were placed by school children. Talks were given by Thomas Chivers, Winner, Joseph Lyons, Howard, and by Mrs. M. W. Bauer, Colome, representing the American Legion Auxiliary. Rev. Charles H. Vernig gave the benediction.
Further events held in special observation of the day included a double-header-ball game between Carter and Dallas, band concerts, and a dance at the Winner skating rink.
The statue and the plaque were obtained from the American Bronze Foundry, Chicago.
Written by Judge Marvin S. Talbott local judge and presented to the Tripp County Auditor on August 27, 1984
Photo provided by Jack Williams - Submitted by RM, Tripp Co. Historical Society