On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


22 ft. bronze of Standing Bear



Pioneer Woman Statue -( sun in wrong position)


Marland Mansion



E.W. Marland


Mrs. Marland's bedroom

present day ladies room - steps hide the plumbing!


miles of dirt roads

a truck passed and I couldn't see a thing for awhile

no bison just longhorns


Walked through Standing Bear Park this morning. The birds were chirping, ducks were strolling with their ducklings , and the 22 foot bronze statue of Standing Bear was glistening in the morning sunlight. It was so very peaceful.

Standing Bear is a famous chief of the Ponca tribe because in 1879 he won a "landmark court case that recognized an Indian as a person under the law and is entitled to rights and protection." The details of this case ,"Standing Bear vs. Crook", are fascinating. The story is long, sad, but in the end fruitful. The famous quote from the trial is Standing Bear saying to the judge " my hand is not the same color as yours, but if I prick it, the blood will flow, and I shall feel pain. The blood is of the same color as yours. God made me and I am a man."

On my way to the Marland Mansion, I passed the Pioneer Woman statue. The photo came out terribly because the sun was in the wrong position. The plaque says the statue "commemorates the heroic character of the women who braved the dangers and endured the hardships of the daily life of the pioneer and homesteader."

Ernest W. Marland was a multi-millionaire oilman who died broke. He made and lost his first million dollars in Pennsylvania oil. His son was attending school in Oklahoma and urged his dad to come here. Marland came and found oil on Ponca Indian land. He got permission to drill and by the early 1920's he controlled 10% of the known oil reserves in the world. He ended up owning Conoco. He was a wonderful employer providing health care, education, housing and recreation. He built a hospital, a children's home and many churches. He was the one that commissioned the Pioneer Woman statue. He ran into troubled when he borrowed money from many banks to expand his business. The very year he completed his 55 room mansion he was forced out of the Presidency of his company by J.P. Morgan. Marland went on to be a one term Governor but never really regained his wealth. He and his second wife ended up living in the servants quarters of his estate.

After a morning of sad stories it was time to move on down the road and commune with nature. Pawhuska is the capitol of the Osage Nation - the wealthiest Native American tribe in America. One of the entrances to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is here. This is the largest protected remnant of tallgrass prairie left on earth - 40,000 acres. There are 2500 free roaming bison on a part of that land. It is roundup so I didn't get to see even one on my driving tour on gravel roads. Gave new meaning to "eat my dust." I did get treated to some broad views of rolling prairie. Seriously, the first thing I did when I got to town was get the car washed and, after checking in to the hotel, I got washed as well!

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |