Former Gov. Paul Patton honored with a statue

07/27/2016 06:41 PM

PIKEVILLE – A statue honoring former Gov. Paul Patton was unveiled on Tuesday in downtown Pikeville.

The 9-foot bronze statue, which honors Pike counties most famous citizen,who also served as Pike County judge executive, is located in front of the iconic 99 steps which lead up to the University of Pikeville where Patton is current chancellor and earlier served as president.

The $70,000 cost of the statue was raised through private contributions.

The 79-year-old Patton, who attended the ceremony, was the first Kentucky governor to succeed himself since James Garrard in 1800 as a result of a 1992 amendment which allowed an incumbent governor to run for reelection.

He was elected county judge-executive in 1981.

Patton was pleased that the statue rests at the foot of the hill leading up to his beloved Pikeville University.

“Certainly I tried to serve all of, Kentucky but the people of east Kentucky were the ones that enabled me to do that,” Patton said. “It’s a monument to my life’s work. I really appreciate it.”

Republican U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers, who attended the ceremony, praised Patton for his efforts in public service.

“Let me assure you, my friend Paul Patton has never left anything behind, if he could use it for the betterment of eastern Kentucky,” Rogers said.

The statue includes an inscription that Patton said was a quote from his father Wade who was an educator: “Learn as though you were to live forever. Live as though you were to die tomorrow.”


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