Rev. Haddock Memorial May Have To Move

(SIOUX CITY, IA) - It's a small memorial to a big part of Sioux City's history and it may have to be move because it sits on the future site of the new Hard Rock Casino.

On August 3, 1886 Reverend George Haddock was murdered on 4th and Water Streets. A memorial marks his death.

During the late 1880's Haddock was a crusader against the evils of alcohol and its impact on Sioux City. He was returning home from one of his trips to this bar-filled area of 4th Street when he was gunned down by someone in a crowd. A foreman at a local brewing company stood trial twice for the crime, but was found innocent.

The marker that pays tribute to his life lies on the site where the Hard Rock Casino will be built.

"The marker should be saved and honored. It was a significant event and did make nationwide news," said Jim Jung, Chair of Sioux City's Historic Preservation Commission.

Jim Jung says Hard Rock is fully aware of the memorial and has made it a point to honor it.

"So they've been keeping us informed, in the loop. And they're going to keep coming to our meetings and informing us as things progress with the memorial," said Jung.

Right now, a number of options are on the table.

"They can do pillars. They could do all kinds of glass encased. And for sure they could put some pictures or write up about the incident what happened," said Jung.

At the then called First Methodist Church is where Reverend Haddock led his sermons. And still to this day, it's a home for him.

"Reverend Haddock made a difference after his death rather than when he was alive. So that part of our history... and some people say forget your history, but those who tend to forget history tend to repeat history," said Rev. Roger Madden.

Sioux City's First United Methodist Church continues to honor Haddock with a plaque and photo in the church's hallway. Rev. Madden says he and a few others have some concerns about the downtown memorial.

"How it would be treated. Are they going to be taking it out? How it will be effected? And just not me, but we have members of our church wondering about it as well," said Rev. Madden.

Luckily, the word around town has him looking up.

"I've heard previously they've stated that they are keeping it there and maybe illuminate it, make it still visible. That would be wonderful," said Rev. Madden.

And change could be better in the long run.

"I think overall people in Sioux City, visitors to Sioux City will know more about it than they do now with it sitting here in the street," said Jung.

Jung says we should know what will happen to the memorial by the end of this summer.

Bill Warner, President of Sioux City Entertainment, will meet with Reverend Madden tomorrow to get his feedback. Warner says he wants to make sure the public can have access to the memorial outside the casino.