The Duncan Banner

Local News

September 8, 2013

Rock Island 905 project continues

DUNCAN — The primary goal was to move the Rock Island 905 10 feet to continue the restoration project that started in 2004. But the truck used in lieu of heavy machinery didn’t have quite the pull to move the 905, so the locomotive stayed put for the time being.

Regardless of the stubbornness of the steam engine, members of the Save the 905 organization weren’t deterred from the project. Instead, they acknowledged that portion of the project may have to hold for now.

Mike Stuckert, president of Save the 905, said there are many plans to continue the restoration of the locomotive. For the organization members, Saturday was a work day to continue the project that began when the organization formed.

Since the project began, the train has been through several upgrades, from the removal of asbestos to being move east in Fuqua Park as part of a train depot museum.

“Next we’re going to work from the boiler section to the cab, where the asbestos was,” Stuckert said. “All that has to be filled in. We’re going to roll on pickup bed liner. We’re trying to stop the rust.”

The Rock Island 905 project began toward the end of 2004, because some Duncan community members were concerned about the deterioration of the locomotive. The train initially arrived in Duncan in 1954.

David Ballard joined the Save the 905 organization in 2007 and was active until March of 2008 when health issues caused him to sit out for about a year.

Ballard said it has been enjoyable bringing the Rock Island 905 back to life, after it had been sitting almost ignored in Fuqua Park for years.

“It’s part of our history,” Ballard said.

The train depot was created as a way to highlight the 905, and to draw more attention to Fuqua Park. The museum is open five days a week and is run by the same volunteers who chose to restore the locomotive.

Stuckert said the organization is working to stop rust so future generations can enjoy the train. He said the pickup bed liner will probably be in place this fall.

“Hopefully by Christmas, we can get the rust stopped,” Stuckert said.

Once the rust problem is addressed, there will be more work to do. Stuckert said Styrofoam and sheet metal will be added to the locomotive to aid in the restoration. He said this probably won’t happen until the beginning of 2014.

“The reason it will be the beginning of next year is we don’t have the sheet metal or the people lined up,” he said. “We can’t do the Styrofoam until the sheet metal is ready to go on.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Bench found competent, trial to start Monday

    A jury took 50 minutes on Thursday to find Miles Sterling Bench competent to stand trial for first-degree murder  and District Judge Joe Enos scheduled the trial to begin Monday.
    Bench, 23, of, Velma, is accused of the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma. She was killed in June 2012 in the Teepee Totem convenience store in Velma where Bench was employed.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Miller and Decathlon 0016.jpg Miller pumps up decathlon students

    Dr. Ché Miller, who helped bridge a funding gap needed to send the Duncan High School Decathlon Team to the national competition in Hawaii, gave the team a pep talk on Thursday.
    Miller, recently recognized as the Man of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the students they are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and advised them to absorb as much of the experience as they can.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Churches prepare for Easter Sunday

    Churches throughout Duncan and Stephens County are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
    Today is known as Good Friday to mark the day Christ was crucified on a cross.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 lauren-ellis mug.jpg Ellis named new CEO of regional United Way

    Lauren Ellis, who’s led the United Way of Stephens County for more than two years, has been named the new chief executive officer of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.
    Her new job will be based in Lawton but Ellis said she will remain in Duncan and commute.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014