Downtown greets Legends series monuments

First statue unveiled is that of community booster, former Sentinel publisher Walter Walker

Walter Walker carries his 6-year-old son, Preston, on his shoulders in a likeness unveiled Friday by the Legends of the Grand Valley committee, which is raising funds for five downtown statues of community leaders. The Walker statue is by Ridgway artist Michael McCullough.

With a tug and a spin, former Daily Sentinel publisher Walter Walker was unveiled to applause Friday from nearly 200 locals gathered downtown.

The sculpture, perched atop a spinning pedestal, is the first of five Legends of the Grand Valley monuments planned for downtown.

Tillie Bishop, a former state senator and Mesa County commissioner, said the statue will serve as a reminder not only of Grand Junction’s history, but also of the spirit of service that has inspired local leaders for more than a century.

“Part of our history has been recaptured,” Bishop said.

Dale Beede, president of the Grand Junction Rotary Club, said he hopes Walker’s efforts to build the community and his commitment to service clubs inspire others.

The statue, at 634 Main St., shows Walker with his 6-year-old son, Preston, also a former Daily Sentinel publisher, perched atop his shoulders.

Ridgway sculptor Michael McCullough thanked the city and the Legends of the Grand Valley committee for allowing him to memorialize Walker and his son.

Walker, in addition to his newspaper career, was the founder of the Grand Junction Rotary Club and a one-time U.S. senator.

After the death of Sen. Charles W. Waterman, R-Colo., Gov. Bill Adams appointed Walker to take the office.

Walker served from his appointment on Sept. 26, 1932, until Dec. 2, 1932. His re-election bid failed.

The Legends of the Grand Valley committee plans to unveil a sculpture of a local leader every year through 2012.

To donate to the “5 in 5” campaign, people can send donations, via the Downtown Development Authority, to 248 S. Fourth St. Grand Junction 81501.


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