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Deputy License Commissioner Patsy Dougherty admires the newly restored statue.
Daily photo by Sheryl Marsh
Deputy License Commissioner Patsy Dougherty admires the newly restored statue.

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Lady Justice returns to Morgan courthouse after getting face lift

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

Justice is back at the Morgan County Courthouse.

That's Lady Justice.

After restoration for a broken hand and a cracked back, the statue is again nestled between two pecan trees in Cotaco Park, facing Decatur City Hall.

She was gone for two weeks.

"A tree limb fell and broke her hand and back," said Wayne Lindley, maintenance supervisor. "We sent her to a local business for repairs."

The statue also got her body bronzed. Scales in one hand and a sword in the other are matching accessories.

Erected in 1892, Lady Justice has seen the turn of two centuries and survived bouts with tornadic, sometimes deadly storms.

"We had it repaired about 10 years ago," said Lindley. "It started deteriorating from the weather. She stands up pretty good from bad weather."

Deputy License Commissioner Patsy Dougherty, who has worked at the courthouse more than 30 years, knows her well.

"She's been here ever since I can remember," Dougherty said. "It was left up when the old courthouse was torn down, where the pond is now. The statue was left standing where it is now. It was concrete. It's always been admired."

Lawyers who go to the courthouse seeking justice said the statue was noticeably missing and remember some of her past hardships.

"I remember when somebody stole her sword years ago," said Robert McWhorter. "Then, someone took the scales and it's nice to see them back. She's a great symbol of justice and I'm glad to see her restored.

Lawyer Carl Cowart concurred.

"I think it's a great symbol of truth, justice and the American way," said Cowart. "It is quite suitable to grace the grounds where we come to seek justice. The park where she stands lost some character in her absence."

Lindley has great hope for Lady Justice's life expectancy.

"If we keep giving her the attention she needs, and fixing her when she breaks, she should be around a long time," Lindley said.

"After all these years she's survived, so I'm sure she'll continue to stand."

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