• 77°

Warrior Chief will stay in Salisbury

SALISBURY — The Indian Centurian Warrior Chief has found a temporary home.
The antique statue was displayed for years in the Okey-Dokey Hardware Store downtown. Believed to be more than 100 years old, the statue was made from a West Texas oak tree that was itself about a century old.
After a fire forced Okey Dokey to close, the Rev. Dr. Fleming “Holy Eagle” Otey acquired the rare statue to preserve its history and keep it in Salisbury.
The statue took on official status recently when Mayor Karen Alexander and Catawba College President Brien Lewis participated in a dedication ceremony, along with the Salisbury-Rowan Ministerial Alliance and community leaders.
The ceremony was led by Bishop Ronald Hash, L.A. Washington, Susan Lee, Betty Jo Hardy, the Rev. Robert Freeman and others.
The Warrior Chief stands in Catawba’s library for now. Plans are for the sculpture to be displayed in several area locations before being placed in a permanent home in a museum, according to Otey.
The solid oak statue weighs around 800 pounds and stands 9 feet tall.
The Indian statue has regalia of red, white and blue, including a full bonnet of 24 eagle feathers. It has a sword on one side and a sheath of corn or tobacco rolls in the left hand. The maroon skin is tanned from the sun. The giant right hand appears to salute and shade the chief’s eyes as if surveying the horizon.

The saving of “The Centurian” was a project undertaken by the Ministerial Alliance. Otey estimates the statue is worth more than $10,000. It has only a few “bruises”  from moving or standing on concrete and outdoors.

Otey‘s mother was born about the same time the statue was created in 1888-1900. The family tree lists Aunt E. Foster on the Cherokee roll.

“The majestic Indian Centurion Chief means commending at least a hundred other officers and warriors and tribal circles or bands of Native Americans,” Otey says.
“For this retired chaplain, it is an honor as an 80+ year (old) veteran with over 50 years of service to dedicate this icon to Salisbury, Rowan and Catawba families like the Fishers, Ketners, Kennedys and Stanbacks. The honor guards and many others are also vital parts of this great undertaking and other gatherings,” he says.

Comments

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time