FAIRBURY – A recent article written by the Lincoln Journal Star has stirred up some bad blood relating to a Gatling gun that is currently inside the Fairbury City Museum.
“I agree that some of the things weren’t said the best. Some of it should have been taken tongue in cheek, but when you’re from the other side, that’s not tongue in cheek. The thing of it is, without Tom, we wouldn’t have the knowledge and the history of the gatling gun,” said Chairman of the Plymouth Village Board, Fred Meyer.
The Journal Star interviewed President of the Plymouth Improvement Association, Tom Brandt, in relation to the Gatling gun. The gun was originally presented as a gift to Plymouth.
It was eventually loaned to Fairbury in 1960 by the village board. The confusion has been what happened a couple of years later. Board Chairman Ed Jacobs signed the Gatling gun over to the town of Fairbury for them to keep, but no meeting minutes have been produced in reference to the signing.
Back to 2017, and current Board Chairman Fred Meyer came to the Fairbury City Council asking to be loaned back the gun for three days in August to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Plymouth.
With the gun currently being displayed in the Fairbury City Museum, Museum Board President Ben McBride presented his thoughts to the council. He said that they had all thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea before the article came out.
“Then, this came out, which is nothing but talking down about Fairbury and the museum. It’s a one-sided biased story. I was told the day that these journalists were there, that we would get a fair story. This is everything but fair, no facts whatsoever.”
Meyer talked about what McBride had to say: “I understand where Ben was coming from, I really do, but I think they just looked at the three days. That’s all I asked. The long term solution, I think would be something that we can work on because, as a veteran, this was given to the town of Plymouth as a war memorial. It’s not a museum piece.”
The council voted to allow Plymouth to have the gun for the anniversary celebration, as long as they pay for insurance and transportation. Brad Kuzelka was the lone councilman to vote against the loan to Plymouth.
News Channel Nebraska’s Elise Waller will follow up with more on this story on Thursday.