Hannibal couple seeking missing 'sister' statue beneath Free Library

A Hannibal couple seeks help returning a unique stone statue beneath the Free Public Library in front of their Oakwood home after it disappeared Tuesday, March 19.

Gordon Ipson, and his wife, Dale, are hoping visitors who come by the Free Library in their yard can help locate the stone statue that went missing last week. Dale Ipson is a retired teacher who loves to read, and she and her husband have been sharing and receiving books for the library for the past three years. They are hopeful that a “missing person” type of flyer posted on the library will help bring the missing statue back.

The Ipsons found the boy and girl statues — each of them laying down and reading a book — during the Arts and Crafts Fair amid Hannibal's Fourth of July and National Tom Sawyer Days celebrations. But last Tuesday, Dale Ipson looked out the window and discovered that the girl was missing. The couple filed a police report, and officers told them that the statue was likely taken by a juvenile.

The Ipsons posted a bright pink flyer on the window of the library door. “I wanted to get the word out somehow,” he said. “People use this library a lot.”

The flyer reads: “Help! My sister is missing! On Tuesday, March 19, she was laying here beside me on the ground below the Free Library reading a book. Now she is gone. Please help to bring her home. Girls are annoying at her age, but I really miss her. Call 573-822-6248 if you have any information that can help us be reunited. Thank you!”

The Ipsons said that the Free Library has been a popular destination — one woman donated five boxes of books for the library that stands more than six feet tall. Gordon Ipson said it has taken over a year to stock the library with the books as space allows.

Dale Ipson stressed the importance of reading, reflecting on her 26 years as a teacher and how she is “never, ever without a book.” The couple said several children visited on Halloween and picked out a book along with their candy.

“The trick-or-treaters called our house the 'library house,’” she said.

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com