In 1927, Marland had the idea that a statue should be erected to honor the spirit of the women who played such a significant role in the settling of this part of the country. He hired 12 artists to submit their own design, for which each was paid $10,000.
The twelve miniature 3-foot statues toured the country by
train, traveling to 12 different cities in six months. The
statues were viewed by 750,000 people who cast votes for
their favorite. The overwhelming favorite was the monument
of a confident woman and her young son, created by sculptor
Bryant Baker of New York. The statue stands 17 feet high and
weighs 12,000 pounds. It is mounted on a pyramid limestone
base, making the total height over 30 feet.
(Left: Lydie and E.W. Marland admire the Pioneer Woman Statue prior to its installation on the stone base.)
When the statue was unveiled on April 22, 1930, more than 40,000 people gathered to witness the unveiling and hear famous Oklahoma humorist, Will Rogers. Marland presented the Pioneer Woman Statue and the land surrounding it to the State of Oklahoma and her people. The Pioneer Woman Statue stands at Monument Circle, one block from the Marland Mansion.
Replicas of the twelve models are now featured on the lower level of the mansion on the Carl and Carolyn Renfro gallery.