HAGERMAN • A new sheep monument in Hagerman is a reminder to this generation and future ones about what made Idaho, Lt. Gov. Brad Little said during a dedication ceremony Saturday.
Little told more than 200 people that the monument is a way to honor great families, traditions and innovation.
He said he hopes young people will learn more about the sheep industry.
Danny Edwards created the life-size bronze monument.
Bill Jones commissioned the sculpture and donated it to the Hagerman Valley Historical Society.
“This dedication has been a long time coming,” historical society president Pinky Vader said.
There’s a paved walkway leading to the monument, which includes a rancher leading his horse, a dog and eight sheep.
It sits along U.S. 30 at the north end of town near the city park.
Just across the street, attendees at the dedication ceremony sat in the shade outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building to take shelter from the intense heat.
Jones told the crowd that when efforts to create a monument started two years ago he was surprised by how many people have ties with the sheep industry.
People are also reading…
“Any one of you could be up here telling your own story,” he said.
About one-and-a-half years ago, Jones asked the Hagerman Valley Historical Society to partner with him on the monument project.
Jones and his parents, Johnny and Ethel, represent 75 years of sheep ranching in the Hagerman Valley.
Bill’s sister Florence Sandy talked to the crowd about their family history, and particularly, their parents’ time as sheep ranchers.
“Dad worked right alongside the hired men,” she said, noting he also settled disputes out on the land before the U.S. Bureau of Land Management existed.
Sandy said she and Bill were never bored with trailing sheep and there wasn’t a dull moment.
Peter Remmen, past president of the Hagerman Valley Historical Society, was involved with the start of the efforts to create a monument before he moved to Boise.
“We are pleased and proud to have this monument for Hagerman and southern Idaho.”
Remmen said he remembers the day four or five years ago when he chatted about Bill’s desire to have a monument dedicated to the sheep industry.
“For me, it was a real eye opener,” he said, and a tribute to the history of Hagerman Valley.
Since Hagerman is a small town, Remmen said he didn’t imagine there would be the resources to make the monument a reality so soon.
Harry Soulen, president of the Idaho Wool Growers Association, said his family has been in the sheep business for 84 years.
Idaho Wool Growers is the oldest agricultural association in Idaho, he said, and is in its 121st year.
It’s a smaller, tighter group these days, Soulen said, but hopes it will be around for many years to come.