Marshall veterans’ memorial gets $20K

MARSHALL — Plans for a veterans’ memorial in downtown Marshall are set to move forward this spring, and a donation from a local family is helping add to the efforts.

At its regular meeting Tuesday night, the Marshall City Council voted to accept a $20,000 donation from the John and Esther McLaughlin Foundation, to be used for the planned memorial project at Memorial Park.

Marshall Fire Chief Marc Klaith was at the meeting to present the donation to the council, and to recognize the McLaughlin family.

“I think it’s an honor for us to receive this donation from this family,” Klaith said.

John “Jack” McLaughlin was a Marshall resident and businessman who was deeply involved in the community. McLaughlin supported many community projects ranging from the cancer center at Avera Marshall Medical Center, to the YMCA and the Marshall-Lyon County Library. Southwest Minnesota State University was also built on former McLaughlin family farmland. McLaughlin died in August, at the age of 90.

“Jack was a giving man, and a very kind man,” Klaith said.

After formally accepting the donation from the McLaughlin family, council members asked Klaith about the status of the planned memorial.

When the 9/11 Memorial in Memorial Park was built, there were plans for future phases of development at the park, including a veterans’ memorial.

“We will start moving forward,” Klaith said of the memorial project. Organizers plan for construction to start this spring. Klaith said the memorial will be scaled back from its original proposal, but it will be able to be added on to later.

In September, the Lyon County Board approved $15,000 in funding for the memorial, to be granted in 2018. At a county board meeting, Klaith and Bruce Knieff presented concept art of the memorial, which included a memorial wall and walkways with memorial pavers.

At the time, Klaith said supporters of the memorial had raised about $90,000.

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