“Nations are possessed with an insane ambition to perpetuate the memory of themselves by the amount of hammered stone they leave.”
― Henry David Thoreau
At the statue’s base is an iron crypt. Made of ore mined in Cherokee County, Texas, it once contained the front pages of three-hundred Texas newspapers for October 8, 1938, the date of the dedication. At the ceremonies, attended by some three-hundred descendants of the founders, the statue was unveiled by the Fair’s 1912 president, Mr. J. J. Eckford. Senator Tom Connally was the guest speaker. The key to the crypt was handed over to the Texas Press Association for safe-keeping until the crypt’s scheduled re-opening, fifty years from the date it was sealed. Unfortunately, when officials took a “sneak peek” inside the crypt, just before the 1988 State Fair, it was discovered that the vault had not been well-sealed and had leaked. When the bundle of deteriorating newspapers was touched, they crumbled into dust. As a result, ceremonies for the opening of the crypt were cancelled.