By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
A local historian made a request during Monday’s regular commissioners’ court meeting that the Cooke County Courthouse square be given a monument in tribute to the 42 men slain during Gainesville’s “Great Hanging” of 1862.
L.D. Clark discussed a possible “central slab” monument during the meeting’s public comments section. Clark, who has written and spoken extensively on the subject of the Great Hanging, suggested the project could be donation-driven and thus free to the county and the public.
He submitted to commissioners his proposed wording for the monument, which would include names of the hanged.
“The forty-two Unionists identified as follows were lynched in the Great Hanging at Gainesville in October 1862,” the proposed wording reads. “Most were sentenced to death by a vigilante court. Three were condemned by court-martial in their own companies of the Confederate militia. Some were hanged by a mob without trial. Two were shot when running to escape.”
As per public comments policy, the commissioners were unable to respond to Clark’s request or take action. The monument subject may surface again this month during the next commissioners’ court meeting.
Other meeting highlights:
• Commissioners approved a proclamation honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
• Commissioners approved a proclamation honoring county road maintenance technician/heavy equipment operator Randy Cler for more than 21 years of service.
Commissioners recognized members of the county clerk’s office in their recent win of the 2012 Exemplary Five Star Award at Department of State Health Services Annual Conference in December.
• Commissioners approved a proposal that Indian Creek Volunteer Fire Department be allowed to utilize Cooke County Emergency Medical Services old extrication tools.
• Commissioners approved the following consent agenda items: fiscal year 2013 budget amendments; monthly bills; payroll and related expenses; ratification of the county judge’s signature on a contracts between Xerox and county offices; out-of state travel expenses for for Jennifer Johnson-Spence, library director, so that she may attend the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington, DC from April 6 -11; allowing the Cooke County Library to apply for the Library Mobile Project Grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission; allowing the Cooke County Library to apply for the Wal-Mart Community Grant; notification of setting the mileage reimbursement rate for 2013; an increase in Cooke County Library’s change fund; cell phone allowances for Chris Watson, constable Precinct 1, James Harper, constable Pct. 4; David Scott, chief deputy; Sharon Baughman, investigator; and Shane Norie, investigator; a contract with Bluelinegeo to conduct seismic field operations on county roads 345, 326, 330 and 325; a speed limit of 35 miles per hour on County Road 109; a maintenance contract between Dustins Office Machines and the district attorney’s office; continuation of a vending contract with Dr. Pepper for a one-year term; a contract with Grayson Petroleum Company for the installation of a temporary saltwater line on County Road 2117; filing of the certificate of course completion for the Public Information Act and the Open Meetings Act from treasurer Patty Brennan; a bond for assistant treasurer Donna Felker; sheriff’s office bonds; appointment of current Cooke County Historical Commission Members for a two-year term; using the land adjacent to the Cooke County Justice Center for the annual household hazardous waste collection event on April 20; a contract with the City of Gainesville for the installation of a water line on County Road 451; the Cooke County Annex Building electronic monitoring agreement; a contract with Xerox for a five-year lease on a copy machine for the Cooke County attorney’s office; approval of specifications and advertising for sealed bids for road aggregate to be used by Cooke County for a period of 12 months, beginning March 1, 2013 up to and including Feb. 28, 2014, with two optional one-year renewals; and the renewal of a contract with Denton Regional Medical Center for the medical care of inmates.