(KCCR) — South Dakota’s 5th Governor is finally a permanent fixture along Pierre’s Trail of Governors. Samuel H Elrod along with 22nd Governor Archie Gubbrud and 32nd Governor Dennis Daugaard were added to the Trail June 14th. Gubbrud and Daugaard were fastened into place that day, but Rick Jenson, President of the Trail of Governors Foundation says Elrod had to wait…
“We installed the other two on the day of the unveiling, but the base for this, they forgot to send it from the foundry, so we had to have it sent and it came a couple weeks later.”
The Elrod Statue is placed in a gap in the Trail in front of the St. Charles Hotel at the intersection of Capitol and Euclid Avenues. Elrod fills a gap in the Trail between 1st Governor Arthur Mellette to the west and 29th Governor Walter Dale Miller one block to the east….
“We’ve had a pretty good gap. There really isn’t any governors between Mellette and Miller so it’s kind of filling in some holes on the Trail. I think it looks good next to the building and I think it will get a lot of…the drive by here is very busy at the intersections at Capitol and Euclid.”
The Elrod statue is one of three on the Trail with a base that brings a unique opportunity for those involved in the statue installation…
“Anytime there is a base that, that you can sign on the bottom; I think, I know we’ve done it with George T. Mickelson and his daughter, Pat Mickelson Adams on our board and she was the first one to sign it and I think that kind of started, you know the practice where we do that where we can. If they have a base that’s upside down that we can…can sign it, you know, maybe a 100 years somebody will tip it over and we sign and date it and say…Wow, who are these guys.”
The statues are funded through private donation to the cost of 72-thousand dollars apiece. The City of Pierre accepts ownership and maintenance of the statues along the Trail including installation. The 2020 class of former Governors to add include 6th Governor Coe Crawford, 2nd Governor Charles Sheldon and 11th Governor Carl Gunderson.