Former Aiken mayor honored with bronze statue in downtown parkway

May 27, 2019

A statue depicting former Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh was unveiled in downtown Aiken over the weekend.

The bronze statue – located in Teague Park along Park Avenue between Newberry and Laurens streets – immortalizes the longtime mayor gesturing and smiling. The block it sits on features the former mayor’s name, title and dates of service: 1991-2015.

The statue was privately funded, according to a related press release from the city. The Frederick B. Cavanaugh Monument Committee “engaged” South Carolina sculptor Maria Kirby-Smith for the project, per the same information.

Mayor Rick Osbon, in a prepared statement, praised Cavanaugh for putting others first, describing him as a “great man.”

The press release from the city describes the statue as a “permanent public honor that exemplifies the many contributions former Mayor Cavanaugh made to the city of Aiken.” During Cavanaugh’s time as mayor, the city was recognized with an All-America City Award.

Cavanaugh was elected to the Aiken City Council in 1985; he was appointed mayor pro tempore two years later.

The unveiling ceremony on Sunday, which Osbon described as “special,” was private.

A similar bust of Odell Weeks, another former mayor, was relocated next to the statue of Cavanaugh.

The Weeks figure was previously located along Richland Avenue. The city’s press release states the two statues now coexist.

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