Kueker’s buffalo coming to courthouse

This buffalo statue outside the Kueker homestead in Waterloo will soon have a new home on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn. Inset photo is of the late Edd Kueker.  (Alan Dooley photo)
This buffalo statue outside the Kueker homestead in Waterloo will soon have a new home on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn. Inset photo is of the late Edd Kueker. (Alan Dooley photo)

Plans are firming to display a buffalo statue donated by late Monroe County historian Colonel Edd Kueker on the courthouse grounds in Waterloo.

The iconic statue greeted visitors to the Kueker homestead on Lakeview Drive for many years, and symbolizes the formation of the historic Cahokia-Kaskaskia Trail out of Native American buffalo traces.

“Col. Edd meant so much to Monroe County,” Monroe County Board Chairman Delbert Wittenauer said.  “And we want people to be able to see the plaque that will tell this story as they walk past the courthouse.”

Wittenauer indicated that a combination of donated materials, skilled labor and cash will enable the completion of this project in Kueker’s name — at no cost to the county.

Edd Kueker
Edd Kueker

It is hoped the statue will be installed by this fall.

Kueker, a well-known World War II veteran, historian, humanitarian, author, educator and auctioneer, died at the age of 87 on Dec. 25. Much of his 4,000-piece historical collection resides at the Monroe County History Museum, 724 Elaine Street, in Waterloo.

During Monday’s morning meeting of the Monroe County Board, Treasurer Kevin Koenig- stein said all property tax bills have been mailed as of Monday.

Some 17,500 bills have been sent out, with tax receipts of approximately $50 million expected.

Koenigstein, who hand-delivered tax bills to each of the county commissioners at the meeting, said bills may be paid in two installments — the first being due Aug. 30, and second due by Oct. 25.

Bills may also be paid in total by the first due date, he said.

Also on Monday, Oak Hill Care Center Director Kim Keckritz said work on the facility’s fire suppression sprinkler system has been completed.

Traditionally, sprinkler systems have been charged at all times with water, and this was one of the first of the new dry systems. They are air-filled and charged with water only if there is a fire. Since its installation, some corrosion of pipes had been noted due to periodic water testing followed by air drying.

A nitrogen pressurization system now will both keep the pipes dry and prevent future deterioration.

County Highway Engineer Aaron Metzger provided a progress report on work to replace the bridge on Gall Road over Andy’s Run Creek, about one-half mile north of HH Road. Metzger said work is well under way, with the original bridge deck having been removed. A new bridge should be in place in about a month.

Two long-awaited courthouse improvements were also announced by County Coordinator Linda Lehr.

Lehr reported that a secure Wi-Fi computer connection is now operational there, providing internet connectivity for the building and its visitors. The system is password protected and access has been provided to all offices requiring it in the courthouse. Access will also be available to visitors on an as needed basis.

An emergency notification system has also been completed, Lehr reported. It will enable courthouse employees to summon law enforcement assistance in case of a threat.

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