By Denise DuBois
In celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial, the local bicentennial committee decided on a few projects to honor the East Alabama area. One of those projects is a statue of a man who was the catalyst to end the criminal history of Phenix City: Albert Patterson.
“Most historians believe that the assassination of Albert Paterson on the night that he won the runoff election for Attorney General, with the promise to clean up Phenix City, was the catalyst to actually clean up Phenix City,” said Dr. David White, Vice Chancellor of Troy’s Phenix City campus and chair of the local bicentennial committee. “The next year after that, the city was mostly under martial rule, all of the criminal elements were cleaned out and it was such a complete cleanup that in 1955, Phenix City was named an All-America city. It’s a symbol of overcoming the worst kind of adversity.”
Two donations, one made by Troy Bank and Trust, made it possible to commission local artist John Lumpkin to create two models of the statue. The models will be used to show potential donors what the final statue will look like.
“The next step will be to begin fund raising for the full-sized statue that will be placed in front of the Coulter Building. He will be sitting on a bench and people will be able to sit on the bench and have a conversation with him, and or have your picture taken with him,” White said. “This will be as he looked everyday in 1954. He took a sack lunch everyday and wore a fedora.”
The full-sized statue will cost approximately $35,000. Contact David White at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to donate.