Saturday, October 16, 2004

Statues and Buildings ... back home

An assortment of public art in my hometown, Ponca City, OK. This is the same town where the statue of Standing Bear is located. You can see a great photo on 3&8's blog, My Race Space. There's a link on the left.

"Pioneer Woman." Artist: Bryant Baker. Commissioned by E.W. Marland, 10th governor of Oklahoma.

"Our First Account." Artist: Jo Saylors. Located in Home National Bank.

"Through the Eyes of a Child" by Jo Saylors. It is on the west side of the library.

There's been some contro-versy about this sculpture. It was dedicated in 1993 and was called "Staking His Claim." Now it is called the "Cen-tennial Statue;" it also is a work by Jo Saylors.

Jo Davidson's statue of E.W. Marland, completed in the 1920s. It was placed on the corner of Fifth and Grand, where he could look over the city he was so instrumental in building.

Not a statue, but this fountain is significant to me. This was the subject of my very first feature story, written when I was in the sixth grade. It was donated to the city by the DAR after it was restored and painted. It was a drinking fountain built to serve humans, horses and dogs. It's been located on a few different corners downtown.


FrenziedFeline said...

I LOVE that drinking fountain! What a neat idea to boot! Any info on the designer/inventor?

What is/was the controversy on the Centennial Statue?

Trixie said...

The fountain originally was used during the times shortly after the Cherokee Strip Land Run which opened this area of Oklahoma to white settlement (1893). It was used by early settlers when the town first started growing. After people started learning more about hygiene and germs and stuff like that, and after horses fell out of favor as the chief mode of transportation, the fountain was removed. I don't know where it was stored in the interim, but the DAR chapter found it in the early 1950s and decided it had historical significance. And they were less worried that people would be transmitting icky stuff to each other now that they were no longer accustomed to actually using a common fountain to drink from. I remember my 6th grade teacher having me call a Mrs. Black (some friend of hers) to have her tell me the story in 1965-66. The main thing I remember her telling me was about the different levels, one being for horses, another for people, and then the bottom level was for puppy dogs. Of course I thought that was just too cool.

Trixie said...

Oh yeah, about Centennial Statue: There are six tribes (with various clans) represented in this area of Oklahoma -- Osage, Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Kaw, Tonkawa and Ponca.

(Check 3 and 8's blog and see the statue of Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe).

The Centennial Statue was dedicated in 1993 to commemorate the Cherokee Strip Land Run. By this time, there was a lot of political awareness about the tribes, who first of all weren't so crazy about the Land Run, and second weren't happy about the celebration. The statue's first name was "Staking His Claim" -- it shows a "Boomer" (a white settler who participated in the Land Run) leaping from his horse to hammer stakes into the ground marking the area he was claiming.

The tribes weren't happy, of course, because that land already belonged to someone -- THEM. Particularly the Ponca Tribe, who had been assigned the land and forced to move here from Nebraska.

Since they had been removed from their previous homelands and assigned new homes in Indian Territory, they believed the land really would be theirs forever.

And here, a mere 14 years later, their new home was opened to white settlement. 100,000 land-hungry whites came charging across the borders "staking their claims" -- 160 acres each.

This land called the Cherokee strip had been given to the Cherokees originally as a perpetual hunting ground. But the Cherokees fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, so the U.S. decided to "renegotiate" that treaty after the war ended and took all of that land away to make room for white settlers.

FrenziedFeline said...

Thanks for the history lessons--there's nothing like asking a journalist! :)

TECH said...

I love the photos. What's really cool is that I've seen most of the statues in person. My brother was the pastor at a church in Ponca City for several years. I visited him and his wife a few times. The Marland Mansion is fantastic. I'd like to tour it again someday.

Trixie said...

Oh I would love to know what church! You can e-mail me if you'll tell me, if you don't want to post it.

CrystalDiggory said...

Very cool pictures. I've been to the Pioneer Woman Museum, too. Thanks for the glimpses of Oklahoma.

TECH said...

Trixie, I can't seem to find that email you sent me. Could you send one to me again and I promise this time to save your address? Actually, I think I do have it saved, but I can't remember which one it is!

Anonymous said...

The statue of E. W. Marland is by Jo Davidson, another famous sculptor who also did the statues of George and Lyde Marland that are in the Marland Mansion. All three statues were to have graced the lawns at the Mansion built in the 1920s.

Anonymous said...

Original name of the centenial statue was " THIS LAND IS MINE" Native Americans protested so the name was changed. I know Jo Saylors and have some of her art.