No, the Missoula County Courthouse’ World War I Doughboy statue is NOT being removed, it’s just getting a long overdue facelift.

Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss said the statue renovation is the last step in the courthouse renovation.

“As part of the final phase in finishing up the renovation of the courthouse, there was a grant that came available from the U.S. Foundation for the Commemoration of World Wars of Washington, D.C. we got a grant to spruce up the Doughboy statue,” said Curtiss. It was selected as one of 50 memorials across the United States to receive a $2,000 matching grant, so we’re going to buff him up a little bit and the granite base will also be polished up.”

The Doughboy Statue is officially called ‘Over the Top to Victory’, and there has always been an accessibility issue for visitors.

“There’s a raised little concrete wall all around the yard of the courthouse and that makes it difficult for folks who might have physical limitations, whether they have a cane, or a wheelchair or a mom with a stroller, so we will be bringing the platform around the statue down to the sidewalk level so people can come up and touch it if they want to,” she said.

The statue was originally erected by the American Legion in 1927 to honor 39 local men who were killed in World War I. The sculpture is bronze with a granite base.

Curtiss said ‘we’re just excited to get him cleaned up and ready for the next 100 years.”