By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
James Cash Penney is back in Wyoming, at least to some degree.
A statue of the retail magnate behind the department store bearing his name arrived in Kemmerer, its new home, late last week after being delivered from Plano, Texas, about 1,200 miles away.
The trip was apparently delayed by two days due to a winter storm in Utah.
According to the media reports, the statue was donated by the J.C. Penney Co. after it vacated its Plano headquarters last year as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.
The statue is just over 9 feet tall and weighs around 3,500 pounds. It previously sat in the headquarters’ rotunda, a place employees would gather for celebrations and big announcements.
The city of Kemmerer now owns the statue and intends to winterize it before its installation sometime later this year, when the ground is no longer frozen.
The first store run by J.C. Penney, the “Golden Rule” store in Kemmerer, was put on the auction block in August by the company. No further announcement has been made about the store’s fate.
J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy last May and was given until the end of July to formulate a plan to tackle its debt that would appease the court and the company’s creditors.
The Kemmerer store was one of 21 company-owned locations listed for auction. Forbes stated that the store will likely be liquidated and sold after the auction.
The Kemmerer location is known as the “Mother Store” and has been in continuous operation since the company’s founding in 1902 by Penney.
The building is now part retail store, part museum.