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Annual cleaning of Doughboy

Statue in Columbus getting cleaned and inspected

COLUMBUS—Scaffolding is around Polk County’s Doughboy statue in downtown Columbus to prepare for the annual inspection and cleaning.

The county contracted with Kara Warren, Preventive Conservation Specialist at the Biltmore House in Asheville in 2018 to inspect and clean the statue.

The doughboy statue was dedicated in 1925 by the school children and the patriotic citizens of Polk County to recognize Polk residents killed in World War I. It lists names of all soldiers from Polk County who died in Word War I.

Polk County agreed to spend $1,800 per year for Warren to clean and maintain the Doughboy.

Warren said following her 2018 assessment that the sculpture is in good shape considering its age.

The doughboy stands on a local stone base with beaded mortar, with two carved granite plaques at the base.

Polk County Commissioners decided in 2018 to research repairs to the Doughboy because of some damage, including chipping that has been done over the years. The Polk County Appearance Commission researched options and presented those to commissioners.

The doughboy’s current condition includes the surface actively sugaring, resulting in a compromised surface that requires consistent and general maintenance; breaks and/or missing areas of the sculpture, including chips along the brim of the hat, the tip of the nose, areas of the right ear and the muzzle of the rifle and staining.

Warren will provide any recommendations for restoration of the Doughboy to the county as she preserves and analyzes it annually.

Polk County’s Doughboy statue is located at the corner of Mills Street and Courthouse Street in downtown Columbus.