A week of rain and gloomy weather moved aside allowing the sun to shine on the statue dedication ceremony of a Muncie individual as attendees reflected on his long life of civil service on his 92nd birthday.
Hurley C. Goodall, former state representative in the Indiana General Assembly, former board member of Muncie Community Schools, one of the first African American firemen of Muncie Fire Department, co-author of two books on the history of the African-American community and veteran, was honored 6 p.m. Thursday at Cornerstone Park with the installation of a life-size statue of himself.
Friends, family and members of the community celebrated his achievements as the statue sculpted by Hoosier artist Bill Wolfe was revealed to the public. Wolfe has been working on the statue for over a year.
“A lot of times what ends up happening to people who have made significant contributions — their legacy is not always remembered equally and they become footnotes,” said Chris Flook, telecommunications lecturer and president of Delaware County Historical Society.
Despite disagreements over months of discussions about Goodall’s statue, Flook, who lead the Historical Society’s steering committee over Goodall’s statue, said it was “all as a part of a good discussion as to what was the best way to have the statue interpreted.”
“I think we were worried that’s what would happen 25, 50, 100 years from now … the statue helps keep Hurley fixed into the landscape” Flook said.
Flook thanked the contributors that helped raise approximately $107,000 in six months money for the commission of the statue. Additional funds were raised through selling busts of the civic leader and will continue to go towards maintenance and upkeep of the statue for the future, he said.
Les Smith, vice president of Community Enhancement Projects Incorporated shared remarks on the opportunity to support Goodall.
“We are ... deeply honored to have been invited to assist with this project, because it’s the heart of the community, the heart of Muncie and Delaware County,” Smith said.
He said he knew Goodall as someone who has achieved “important and necessary change.”
“Hurley’s always been there for me, when I was quite young,” said Robert Olden, Goodall’s nephew, sharing a story of how Goodall was like a father to him since Olden’s own father died before he met him.
While happy to see his family there, Hurley Goodall Jr., Goodall’s son, said he wished his mother, Fredine Goodall, and his brother Fred Goodall could have also attended the ceremony.
“They were truly a big part of the journey—and they would have been extremely proud,” Goodall Jr. said.
He also recognized John Blair who started with his father at Muncie Fire Station One.
“There's a misnomer that [my dad] was the first black fireman,” Goodall Jr. said. “There were two firsts. I’d just like to recognize Mr. Blair who is no longer with us.”
Muncie Fire Department Chief Eddie Bell along with other firefighters and civil servants were also in attendance.
Goodall, with the help of his nephew Olden and nephew-in-law Councilman Julius Anderson, stood and unveiled the bronze statue depicting Goodall smiling with the right foot positioned on top of a cubical stone with his accomplishments written on all four sides.
Anitra Davis, district six city council elect, said at times opportunities to celebrate civic leaders happen too late.
“I’m happy for him because he’s alive,” Davis said. “He’s getting his flowers while he’s alive, you know, his recognition now.”
Contact Britney Kendrick with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.