Since the implementation of the Sculpture Walk, we have become used to seeing statues of different kinds in downtown Sioux Falls.
A statue was unveiled this morning....located near the entrance of Falls Park. It is the statue of a man..and if it weren't for the actions of this one man...there might not be a Sioux Falls today.
It a beautiful day to learn a little history...about a man whose image is now cast in bronze.
A man who made the city you and I know as Sioux Falls....possible.
"This is one way we can help educate the public in terms of what kind of visionary, what kind of leader, what kind of steward he truly was." Mayor Mike Huether was on hand as the statue of this man......R-F Pettigrew.. was placed into position. As cameras snapped and people jockeyed for position to get a better look....the story of this man began making the rounds. "I don't think there has been a person before Senator Pettigrew or a person after Senator Pettigrew passed away that has made a more monumental impact on the city of Sioux Falls."
If you don't know, Pettigrew is the man who brought the railroads into Sioux Falls and made the city an early stop on the larger map of the upper Midwest.
As the city grew, he helped developed a city trolley system....the first system of mass transit the city had.
He helped nurture the quarry industry which helped the city build an economy and a reputation.
He made sure Sioux Falls remained a vital place on the prairie.
And this statue, meant to honor him, is also meant to make sure his place in our history is never overlooked or forgotten. "There will be people of our town and visitors that will be coming by here for generations to come and they'll be going who was that man?"
Pettigrew also represented South Dakota in the United States Senate after statehood was granted.