Look Around: Laura Kelly Statue - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Look Around: Laura Kelly Statue

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KOSCIUSKO, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The statue of Laura Kelly has been a landmark in the Kosciusko Cemetery for over a century. But she's changed over time. And some Attala County folks are hoping to restore her to her former glory.

She's always had "the gaze" as she stares out over the cemetery from her perch high atop a pedestal over where her body is buried.

At first, she looks stern. But if you ever look deep into her eyes…

"She always looked very, very mean. But when you zoom in actually on her face you can notice how absolutely gorgeous and beautiful she was at 38 years of age" said Sheila Pumphrey.

And "zooming in" is how Sheila Pumphrey of Kosciusko made her discovery. After retiring from teaching and taking up photography, the statue of Laura Kelly became one of Sheila's favorite subjects.

But during the February, 2011 snowstorm when Sheila came to take some photographs, thinking Laura in the snow might look interesting, she found that Laura Kelly's hand had been broken off.

"And it laid there for several, several weeks. Several weeks" said Pumphrey.

Sheila decided to let the hand alone. It wasn't hers after all. But then weeks later, she got to wondering if the hand could somehow be reattached. And when she came back to retrieve it for safekeeping, it was gone.

After a frantic search and a reward offered, a few more weeks passed and a family found it nearby.

"It was on one of the walls over here" said Pumphrey. "They were playing the new game on line called geo cache where they hide trinkets. It was on one of the walls over here and when the family saw it the wife would not touch it. "

Well, after all, this is the same hand countless Kosciusko teenagers have come to see at midnight over the decades, hoping it would raise its finger and point at them as older siblings and classmates had told them it would. But it never did.

But hopefully, now that the hand has been found, at least it can be put back aright. And to do that will take, not raising a finger, but raising cash.

"Right now, I know it's probably 25 hundred dollars" Pumphrey added.

A handy amount for a retired teacher to take on by herself. But if everyone who has ever admired Miz Laura, or come to see her at midnight, would hand over a few dollars, she could be back like new.

And once again in a position to maybe point her finger at you at midnight sometime.

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