Riddell statue is 'home'

CHRISTI BERTELSON/HIGHLAND LAKES NEWSPAPERS
The statue of Burnet County Sheriff Wallace Riddell (1899~1978) stands proudly at its new home at the historic jail, over which he presided almost 40 years, on the corner of Washington Street and Pierce Street in Burnet.

BY CHRISTI BERTELSON
HIGHLAND LAKES NEWSPAPERS

The statue of the legendary Burnet County Sheriff Wallace Riddell found a new home during the morning hours on Saturday, July 16.
Burnet Commissioners in May approved the relocation of the statue from the north side of the Burnet County Courthouse lawn to the Burnet Historic Square lawn.
 “We felt it was more appropriate that it be in from of the historic jail, which is where he lived and officed,” said Burnet County Judge James Oakley, in a previous interview.
Oakley and Riddell’s descendants witnessed as Diamond E Rigging out of Austin, removed the statue from its concrete base on the Courthouse yard early Saturday morning and strapped it to heavy machinery before picking it up and moving the granite monument along with the statue to the Historic Jail.
Inching its way, the statue was lead by the Riddell family from Pierce Street down the square and placed on the lawn of the Burnet Historic Jail.
“Everything went as planned and there was no incident,” said Oakley.
“Diamond did a great job at moving the statue and we are honored to place the statue where Mr. Riddell worked and lived for almost 40 years,” said Oakley.
Ann Riddell, widow of Pat Riddell, was at the front of the pack leading her children and grandchildren during the move of the statue said Diamond E Rigging did a great job at the move as well, and they were very respectful.
 “The move went very well, Pat would be happy, he grew up in that jail,” said Ann Riddell, daughter-in-law of Wallace Riddell.
“Everyone is happy where it is and it is where it should be since Wallace spent almost 40 years in that Jail,” said Ann.
Oakley said once the offices housed in the old jail at this time are relocated, renovations to the building would begin.
“We have plans to renovate the interior and use the jail as a historic site and tourism facility, so the statue will make a perfect adornment,” said Oakley.

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