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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 9, No. 2
June, 1931
THE COWBOY
1880
THE STATUE
1931

By an '89er
Frank C. Orner

Page 153

Frank C. Orner

The elementaries of nature and civilization have long since united the smoke clouds from council fires into plants of industries. The cowboy became a plow-boy achieving on from the campfire's glow and trail dust to the zenith of all vocations. Their voice has made known the principles of primitive pioneer days. They were of sterling worth and by such, year after year, from amid thorns and wild flowers the rough diamond of Indian Territory, polished to glow by the hoof of a cowpony, soon glittered and now shines in brilliancy the star, Oklahoma. I fancy I hear and see as fifty years ago, the mocking bird singing, turkey and sage hen nestling near. Tepees in the valley, white tailed deer, moon beaming over the hill top, as star lit dew drops shine on our camp in the Territory. Hoa—Hoa. Old Time! Those of you who have followed the trails, forded streams, sang cattle to bed down, filed on and improved claims unto modern homes, one of that great family of pioneers knowing naught of luxury save the good covered wagon, robes of fur, warmth of the camp fire, and spring water, best understand the cowboy statue and its trappings on the South Capitol grounds, "Rearin' to go" as in contrast of days when he rode the range. Code of the plains, your title, a Winchester was underslung, lariat, roll and slicker adorned your saddle, the creaking leather was music to you as it purred to the chug chug of the pony across the valley and hill. Sunshine and rain, dust, hail and muddy water of the rivers swum silenced the weird music, cinches, latigoes, chonchoes, strings of rawhide and stirrups turned time and time again to resist the cruel wear of the boot heel, shall rest, no longer needed to hold for a branding iron against strains of the wild, or pull a chuck wagon from the mire; victims of a herd law, as the vanished unwritten law. This beautiful Statue mutely proclaims days of adversity and sunshine. Gone as the lightning flash, now the roll of thunder, Adieu, Adieu save in memory only, the original range riders

Page 154

and settlers soon to follow the Long Long Trail leaving to posterity a work finished; the home founded by a race on the last frontier, and resources to maintain it. Posterity will honor, respect, and carry on.

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