Stone monument to move next door to Haskell County Courthouse

BY RANDY ELLIS Modified: March 17, 2010 at 4:54 am •  Published: March 17, 2010
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STIGLER — A monument of the Ten Commandments in front of the Haskell County Courthouse in Stigler is scheduled to be transferred this morning to a new location in front of the adjacent American Legion building, officials said Tuesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month refused to review an appellate court decision that placement of the monument on the courthouse lawn in 2004 amounted to an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by a governmental entity.

The new location is about 75 to 85 feet east of the old site, said Janice Williams of the Stigler Chamber of Commerce

The chamber office is located in the American Legion Post 22 building. The Haskell County Historical Museum also is in the log cabin structure, but museum officials were not involved in the decision to move the 8-foot-tall stone monument, Williams said. The American Legion owns the property, so its leadership made the decision to accept the monument, she said.

"I think most of the citizens are happy with it,” Williams said of the monument’s new location.

Williams said officials tried to move the monument last Wednesday, but encountered a problem.

The Muskogee Marble and Granite monument company has been asked to perform the move. The relocation is expected to take place about 11 a.m., a company employee said.


AMERICAN LEGION
Norman attorney Micheal Salem, who worked with American Civil Liberties Union attorneys to sue the county in behalf of Haskell County resident James Green, said the American Legion is a private organization so placing the monument on its property should not pose a legal problem.

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