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Working to fulfill a mission, replacing the clock tower

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A group in Crawfordsville have been hard at work for more than two decades to fulfill a dream.

The Montgomery County Courthouse Clock Tower Committee has been raising money for a new clock tower.

The courthouse’s clock tower was removed back in the 40’s after it was leaning and people feared that it would fall.

This was around the time of World War II so there was not money available to fix the current clock tower.

“It was amazing back in the day and we know we lost all of that when the tower was taken off during World War II but we think we can put something back that looks equally as nice in today’s world,” said Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton.

A man by the name of James Kirley came back home from the war and wanted to replace it.

“He decided for the rest of his life he was going to restore that clocktower,” said Clock Tower Restoration Committee member Sandra Lofland-Brown.

Kirtley was a doctor and was once a state senator. After he retired he dedicated his life to replacing the clock tower. He fell short of his goal when he passed away from leukemia in 2000.

“He said, ‘Sandy, I want you to promise me here in front of God and everybody that you will finish that clocktower,’” Lofland-Brown recalled before Kirtley passed away.

For 21 years the Montgomery County Courthouse Clock Tower Committee has worked to raise money to build a new one. Last year the group sold pencils on the street.

“I have never felt like I would ever stop until we’re finished. We just have to put the tower back in the right place,” she added.

The new clock tower is expected to cost about $540,000. $176,000 still needs to be raised before the project can begin.

“We don’t care how long it takes but after 21 years we would like to get it finished this year,” Lofland-Brown said.

To donate to the project, click here.

Donations can also be mailed to the following address:

Montgomery County Historical Society

Sandra Lofland-Brown

1449 West U S Highway 136

Crawfordsville, IN 47933

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