Bland County Historical Society

Backward Glance

Mary Jane Hays Kegley

 Mary Jane Hays Kegley (1872-1958), wife of Judge Fulton Kegley of Bland



The Arrival of the Confederate Statue

Part One

 The Bland County Historical Society has just recently received copies of letters addressed to Mrs. Fulton Kegley (Mary Jane Hayes Kegley, 1872-1958) containing information of the delivery of the Confederate Statue from Italy to the Court House lawn in Bland. Mrs. Kegley, who was married to Judge Fulton Kegley (1865-1927), was president of the Bland Chapter of the of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and was instrumental in acquiring this statue for our county. Our thanks to Robert “Bob” Kegley, grandson of Judge Fulton and Mary Jane Kegley, for donating copies of these letters to the Bogle Library. We are pleased to share these letters, typed exactly as they were written, with our readers.

To Mrs. Fulton Kegley from Roanoke Marble & Granite Works Inc, October 9, 1911: “Replying to your favor of the 6th addressed to Mr. Muire will say the Statue has left Italy or was at Leghorn awaiting boat but we are unable to say at this writing if the war between Italy and Turkey will cause any delay. If not it should reach N. Y. in about ten days as the boat it is to be loaded on was due to sail on the 6th. As to the granite part we was about ready with this but had the misfortune to break a corner off but are rushing this and will give you definite information toward the later part of the week we should be ready by the latter part of the month, but will know in the next few days. Very Respect, J. E. B.”

To Mrs. Fulton Kegley from Roanoke Marble & Granite Works Inc, October 25, 1911: “We are pleased to advise you the Statue left Leghorn, on the S/S ‘Italia” sailing October 13 and should be in N. Y. now. Will let you hear definite the next few days just when you can expect the work to be completed. Very Respect, J. E. B.”

To Mrs.. Fulton Kegley from C. R. Williams, Attorney at Law, Roanoke, January 6, 1912: “I have just seen the monument people and we have perfected arrangements by which the monument will be unloaded at Wytheville and kept there until we can see our way clear to send the teams over and have it hauled to Bland. The railroad people have acted very nice about it and we can now feel satisfied that we will have no further trouble on account of the delay. I promised the gentlemen here who are furnishing the monument that you would have a check sent them. I think it is perfectly safe to do so; the monument being at the depot is ample security and besides these parties are reliable. Please have check sent payable to the Roanoke Marble and Granite Works. I enclose their card. I would suggest that the Daughters of the Confederacy send them at least four or five hundred dollars, if you have that much on hand, at all events, send them as near that amount as possible. I am very glad to be able to report matters in this satisfactory shape. I examined the monument at Wytheville and, as far as I could see, after having talked the matter over with the people here, I think it is all right. I am with very kindest regards, Yours very truly, Samuel Williams.”

To Mrs. Fulton Kegley from Roanoke Marble & Granite Works Inc., January 10, 1912: “We have your favor of the 8th and in reply will say we have made arrangements with the R. R. Co to use a lot of cross ties and build up a pen like and unload it on this, which we are sending a man today to do. Judge Williams told us Saturday he would request you to make us a payment on this and we would more than appreciate it if you can let us have six or seven hundred dollars on this, we examined the statue and can guarantee the work to be all ok, as we have mention before we will come out possible fifty to seventy five dollars losers on this and have now about seven hundred dollars paid out on it and as this is a time in the year that most firms find it hard to collect on their accounts, the amount we ask for would come in nicely. If you can get us a check by Saturday as we will need a considerable amount of funds on Monday, we will appreciate it. We remain, very respect, J. E. B.”

To be continued next week.