Fast start to fundraising drive for Jefferson County Veterans Memorial

FAIRBURY, NE — Jefferson County is one step closer to having its own veterans memorial.

Project planners kicked off the fundraising drive for the memorial on Friday evening at the Fairbury VFW. Co-Sponsor Mick Suey says it’s off to a good start.

“We already have donations coming in like crazy. The first phase is pretty much already paid for, which is pouring the cement, getting the base ready.”

Suey is a high school history teacher and president of the Fairbury City Museum board. He started working with local artist Thom Hunt of RATT Studios on the memorial idea about two years ago.

“With my, I’ll say history knowledge, and his artistic skill and knowledge, we just started tweaking as we went along and this is what we came up with.”

The memorial will be installed in Fairbury City Park near the baseball field. It will include a 30-foot diameter cement pad, a five-foot tall red base, a six-foot soldier statue, six granite pedestals, benches, lights and a commemorative brick wall. Suey says the soldier statue is a special touch.

“(He was) one of the first, maybe the first, soldier from Steele City in 1860. D.B. Topman was his name. He was in Company B First Calvary Regimen.”

The $10,000 raised so far will pay for the cement pad, which will be installed in the spring. The whole project will cost between $50,000 and $100,000 and is scheduled to be finished by Memorial Day 2023.

People can buy bricks to honor specific Jefferson County veterans or have their name or company name engraved. Monetary contributions can be donated through the Fairbury Civic Foundation.