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Haggard suggests tree as O’Bannon memorial

In the wake of the death of Gov. Frank O’Bannon of Corydon on Sept. 13 from a massive stroke, some Harrison Countians, Democrats and Republicans alike, are laying plans to honor the esteemed governor.
Harrison County Democratic Central Committee Chair Steve Haggard approached the commissioners Monday about planting a tree in O’Bannon’s honor on the courthouse lawn.
‘We’re all kind of stunned at the loss of our governor,’ Haggard said. ‘We feel we need to do something extra, more on a personal basis.
‘Our thought is to plant a tree, maybe an ornamental tree, that would be festive with blooms in the spring, on the grounds of the courthouse, in honor of our friend and neighbor Frank O’Bannon.’
Commission chair J.R. Eckart said, ‘That would be a nice gesture. Others have been done. It’s a good idea.’
Commissioner James Goldman said he would like to have professional help from a nursery business to determine the type of tree and the location needed.
‘That’s where it’s headed,’ Haggard said. ‘We wanted to get permission to do it and then come back with more details.’
Eckart said, ‘I have a feeling some other people in the community would like to contribute to that cause, if it’s possible.’
‘Maybe we could get together on some type of statue,’ Haggard said. ‘We have a lot of tourists coming through here.’
By consensus, the commissioners instructed Haggard to return with more details on the planting.
‘It’s a good project,’ Eckart said, adding he thinks the tree should be ‘showy, in the spring or in the fall.’
Jim Klinstiver of Elizabeth, who was at the meeting concerning a bridge which is under construction, gave his recommendation for an O’Bannon tree. ‘I would recommend a pin oak, because of its root system,’ Klinstiver said. ‘It is tall and stately and low maintenance in the fall.’