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Some Parker County residents were worried when construction crews could be seen working around a Confederate monument in Downtown Weatherford.
Some people were worried it was being removed without a chance of public discussion. But county officials say the monument is not coming down and they are nowhere near even considering it.
"It's not going anywhere,” said Parker County Judge Mark Riley. “We're just going to protect it."
The judge says his phone has been ringing with worried residents.
“They were concerned and wanted to make sure that we didn't change what is this courthouse square,” he said.
Riley said people seemed to panic, thinking the county was taking it down. The monument has stood in front of the courthouse for 88 years. It is now encased in plywood so it won't be damaged by construction. A banner in the front of it says "protecting our heritage during construction."
The roof, bell tower and the clock of the courthouse will undergo a makeover for the next nine months.
"We talked to the contractor about coming up with a system to protect the monument in the event that something fell off the roof and damaged the statue,” Riley explained.
But while other cities are removing monuments and statues and changing park and street names linked to the Confederacy, Parker County is doubling down on its position that its monument, bearing the inscription "In honor of the United Confederate Veterans of Parker County,” will stay right where it is.
"I think we have the pulse of this community. And this community supports this monument being here,” Riley said. “So we are going to do what we believe is right for our community."
Longtime residents like Fred Chapman felt the same way.
"Kids are not going to know anything about where they come from and the mistakes that we did make and not to go there again,” Chapman said. “I think it's part of history like a lot of people do. It's what everybody has known for years, and it's been this way. Why change it now?
Riley says if a county resident wants to have an adult conversation about it he'll talk about it.