corsicana bronze statue tour

B1 Oil field worker

The statue at the corner of 6th Avenue and Beaton Street in downtown Corsicana was the first in a series of bronze statues to come to the area, depicting a hardworking oil field worker making his way home after a long day of drilling. Oil was discovered by mistake in 1894 when city officials hired a contractor to drill for water. Corsicana became the birthplace of Texas oil and the first commercial refinery west of the Mississippi River. It was named Magnolia Oil and today, the world knows it as the Mobil Corporation.

Artist: Lisa Perry

B2 Jim acree

Coach Jim Acree’s name is synonymous with Texas football. He served as Head Coach of the Corsicana High School football program during a six-year span from 1960 – 1966 that included the historic 1963 season that brought a state championship to Corsicana and recorded an undefeated season in the record books. But victory on the field only tells part of the story. Those who played for Coach Acree say he not only taught them football, but helped shape their lives in the years that followed their high school days. One of those young men is Don Denbow, Mayor.

Artist: J. Payne Lara

B3 Collin Street Bakery

Corsicana is called the ‘fruitcake capital of the world’ for good reason. The Collin Street Bakery history dates back to 1896 when a German baker brought a fruit and nut cake recipe to town. The original “Deluxe Fruitcake” gained worldwide fame and an impressive list of customers, including celebrities, business and world leaders, and even royalty. The bakery moved its headquarters from this corner to Seventh Avenue and still operates today. The bronze statue is that of one of its longed tenured employees – Jerry Grimmett, who has served the bakery for more than 60 years.

Artist: J. Payne Lara

B4 WESLEY GREEN

This store, where Wesley and his wife Lucille operated a western wear store, was THE place to shop, from fitting a child with their first pair of shoes all the way to their first pair of work boots. Green’s impact on the community was far more than boots and jeans. He was an avid supporter of youth and served others all of his life. Green was a Purple Heart veteran and remained active in the U.S. Army reserves until 1987. The bronze likeness shows him in a familiar pose – repairing a boot.

Artist: Lisa Perry

B5 DR. KENT ROGERS

From his work in private practice and public health, to his decades of volunteer work on the sidelines of Corsicana Tiger football games, Dr. Rogers has been a constant in the changing face of medicine in Navarro County. He was affiliated with the Medical Arts Clinic in Corsicana for 29 years, and among other staff and board positions, was chief of staff at Navarro Regional Hospital and medical director of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. He served on the Corsicana ISD Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2010, and joined again in 2014. “Educating the children,” Rogers said, “makes us a better country, a better democracy…it makes life better in this community.” He has been called the Dr. Marcus Welby of Corsicana.

Artist: J. Payne Lara

B6 SOWER OF THE SEEDS

This statue of a farmer casting seeds into the soil is that of Lutzen Veldman, a farmer and dairyman in the Netherlands. His son Obe Veldman, after seeing the statue of the oil field worker here, thought about the importance farming played in Navarro County’s history and commissioned the statue. The bag of seeds Lutzen is holding is inscribed with the biblical passage “Parable of the Sower”, found in the Book of Luke, likening sowing seeds in good soil to the word of God, and the soil to the heart of those receiving the Gospel.

Artist: Lisa Perry

B7 WOLF BRAND CHILI

Wolf Brand Chili got its start in Corsicana in 1895 when 12-year-old Lyman Davis sold his bubbling recipe from the back of a wagon next to the Blue Front Saloon, exactly where the bronze tribute is located. In the 1920s, Davis began selling the chili in cans with “Wolf Brand Chili” on the label, which still exists today. Wolf Brand Chili remained locally owned until 1957. Conagra Brands now owns Wolf Brand Chili and produces several varieties of its “bowl of Texas.” The bronze and steel tribute is a likeness of Kaiser Bill, Lyman Davis’ pet wolf. Visitors who rub his paw will receive good luck.

Artist: Nancy Rebal

B8 RICHARD "Dick" ALDAMA AND KAND 

This statue represents to Corsicana institutions – KAND Radio and a longtime voice on that station, Richard “Dick” Aldama, and its location was the home of KAND’s studios for many years. KAND Radio first signed on the air in 1937, while Aldama’s radio career spanned over four decades. He may be best known as the voice of the Corsicana Tiger and Navarro County Bulldog sports broadcasts, and remains active in the community serving in a variety of volunteer capacities. The skimmer-style hat and striped vest that Aldama is shown wearing is a tribute to the ownership of Richard Parker, who operated under the corporate name of KAN-D LAND.

Artist: Tim Harmon

B10 JOSE ANTONIO NAVARRO

Since 1936, he has stood watch in front of the county courthouse that bears his name, and it was in honor of his father that the county seat came to be named. Jose Antonio Navarro was born near San Antonio in 1795. His place in Texas history includes a distinction of being one of the founding fathers of the Lone Star State. He was a rancher, a businessman and would go on to be a participant in the Texas revolution. Navarro was one of the signers of both the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico in 1836 and the Constitution of the State of Texas in 1845. The statue was erected by the State of Texas in 1936.

B11 CANDELARIO ‘SPIDER’ GARCIa

Born and raised in Corsicana, Candelario Garcia listed in the U.S. Army in 1963 and was sent to Vietnam in 1968, where he put his life on the line for his fellow soldiers with his heroic efforts. His Medal of Honor was presented posthumously by President Obama in 2014, along with 23 other recipients who had been overlooked, due to politics and prejudice of the times. After a mandate in 2002 to review records of soldiers awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, it took a decade to bring Garcia the honor he so rightly deserved. He died in 2013 and was buried with military honors in the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery.

Artist: Lisa Perry

B12 CORSICANA LIBRARY KIDS

The Corsicana Kiwanis Club gifted a small bronze bench with two young readers to the city as a way of encouraging young people to be avid readers. The Club is active in its support of many organizations, including the Salvation Army, Child Advocates, law enforcement and the Rainbow Reading Room. The statue is located right next to the doors of the Corsicana Library, which provides a variety of program for children, including special story times, holiday-themed events and summer reading programs to encourage reading for a lifetime.

B13 Lefty Frizzell

William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell’s singing style and song writing influenced many country stars and regularly landed songs on the Top Ten list in the 1940s – 1950s. His signature twang with his elongated vowels helped to form the singing style of George Jones, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, while his costume style of sparkles, fringe and colorful boots made him the original Rhinestone Cowboy. In 1950 he recorded his first big hit, “If You’ve Got the Money (I’ve Got the Time)”. A local group of country music enthusiasts joined together to honor Frizzell with a statue in his hometown of Corsicana. A museum with the history and artifacts from Frizzell’s career is nearby in Corsicana’s Pioneer Village, in Jester Park. In 2018, Lefty’s younger brother David produced the inaugural “LeftyFest” music celebration in the park.

Artists: Doug and Sandra McDonald

B14 STUART BEEBE

The Bronze statue of Stuart Beebe shows him doing what he loved most – watching a baseball game from behind home plate. Our “Mr. Baseball” was a businessman by day and a volunteer groundskeeper at night for the baseball fields that bore his name in Corsicana’s Community Park. Without exaggeration, the baseball fields were in perfect playing condition, often trimmed uniformly by several head of sheep. Mr. Beebe’s influence on little league baseball in Navarro County still touches lives today as the program continues to flourish, with practice fields and the new city-operated Beebe Field Athletic Complex. His booming voice on the loudspeaker calling the action or reminding ballplayers to “get off that fence” is a memory any player in town can still remember.

Artist: Lisa Perry

B15 NAVARRO COLLEGE-Native American Sculpture

This striking, 13-foot tall image of an American Indian on horseback offering the skull of an animal skyward is both an offering to the gods and a welcome to the Cook Education Center and the Pearce Museums on the campus of Navarro College. The Pearce Museums include the Civil War Museum and Western Art Museum, made possible by the generosity of local benefactors. Both feature traveling exhibits throughout the year. The bronze piece is the only in the collection with a name: The Invocation. Arizona artist Buck Main crafted the sculpture in 1990, one of seven such creations by the artist. He said the inspiration for this sculpture came to him in a dream.

B16 CADET MEMORIAL

Corsicana, Texas played a much bigger role in World War II than most suspect. This small town was the training ground of Air Activities of Texas between 1941-44. Under a contract with the U.S. Army, 8,000 young men enrolled in a program for both ground school and flight training. The Cadet Memorial at the airport was erected in 2009 by the Corsicana Field Aviation Heritage Foundation as a tribute to not only the Air Activities operation, but to over 90,000 airmen and women of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II combat operations. The statue shows a cadet in full flight suit and parachute preparing to take to the skies. The C. David Campbell Field is home base for the Coyote Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force and annual “AirSho” each year on the second Saturday in May.

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