|Best in Show: Corey Barger, 11
Van Buren, Arkansas
Artist: Mann, George R., architect
Dedicated in 1929, the pair of Egyptian sphinxes flank the entrance stairs to Fort Smith Masonic Hall. Each sphinx has a lions body with a human face topped by an Egyptian headpiece that hangs down on each side. The eyes are closed and there is an aura of serenity to each sphinx. Each sphinx is mounted on a short base decorated with a geometric design on each side.
|Ist Runner Up: Maxwell Bedwell, 11
Van Buren, Arkansas
This marble sculpture sits on a granite base, is 67 x 40 x 18 inches high. On the front of the base is incised: Lest We Forget.
A wounded Confederate soldier is sported on each side by a female figure. The soldiers head is bowed and his arms are draped around the shoulders of each of the females. He has a case for binoculars and a satchel strapped across his body. Each female is wearing a plain dress and high, lace-up boots. The woman to the soldiers proper left holds his hat in her proper left hand.
|Her proper right arm reaches around his back and rests on the other womans shoulder. The other woman holds her proper left hand around the soldiers back. She holds his proper right hand with her proper right hand as it rests on her shoulder. The sculpture is mounted on a rectangular gravestone base that marks the burial site of Captain James E. Reynolds, and is placed directly behind two above-ground crypts.
Capt. James E. Reynolds commissioned the sculpture in tribute to the women of the Confederacy. It rests about his grave. Capt. Reynolds was born July 17, 1837 at Granada, Mississippi. He enlisted in the Consecrate Army in 1861, and participated in the Battle of Bull Run under Stonewall Jackson. He enlisted in the Army of Tennessee in 1862, and fought in the battle of Perryville on Sept.14th. He fought in the battle of Murfreesboro, and was promoted to Second Lt. for meritorious conduct on the battle field. He fought in the battle of Lookout Mountain, making Captain for his action in this battle. At the battle of New Hope Church Station, while trying to stop Sherman on his march of destruction through Georgia to Atlanta, he was wounded in the leg, preventing him form further military action.
He and his wife, Felicity Long Turnbull, a member of the Choctaw Tribe, came to the Choctaw nation and settled near Skulleyville in 1867. He acquired large holdings in the Braden Bottoms of the Poteau River. He was called the first capitalist to develop coal mining in Pittsburg County. He established his home at Cameron in 1887, building the palatial residence now called Old Castle or Captains Castle, in Cameron in 1890. He established a fruit industry in the area with a shipment of peaches to Liverpool, England in 1903. He laid out and established the Arkoma townsite in 1911 with street car service to Fort Smith. He died in July of 1920, and his wife died in October of 1920. They are buried at Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith, where the tomb is marked with statuary carved in Italy, portraying a wounded soldier supported by two young ladies. That had been his personal experience after receiving wounds at New Hope, Georgia in 1864. He had been left on the battle field thought to be fatally injured and was discoverer by the two daughters of his commanding officer.
From The Proud Heritage of Le Flore County, by Henry Peck.