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Founder's Hall

Founders' Hall

Images of the Founders' Busts

Awards and Honors

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Founder's Hall

Founders' Hall provides a place where some of the Museum's early benefactors are honored with busts and plaques provided by those who wanted to memorialize these exceptional figures of the West. Many of these individuals contributed to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum during its early years in a multitude of ways, and through their time, effort, passion, and expertise the Museum came into existence and thrived.

Founders' Hall begins at Gerald Balciar's Canyon Princess on the west end of the Museum building. The hallway runs south to north, taking Museum guests by Prosperity Junction, Atherton Alcove, the American Cowboy Gallery, and the Joe Grandee Museum of the Frontier West. The hallway also has natural light coming in through floor to ceiling windows looking into the plaza and gardens. Guests may step outside to enjoy fresh air, admire the wonderfully designed gardens, and gaze upon some of the statues and sculptures located here.

This hallway also includes the plaques recognizing the Museum's Prix de West Awardees, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association's All-Around Champion Cowboys, the Museum's Hall of Great Westerners and Hall of Great Western Performers Inductees, and the Rodeo Historical Society's Rodeo Hall of Fame Honorees. Information about these sections of the hallway for these honorees is located at Awards and Honors.

Below you will find photographs of the statue busts along with the plaques' text honoring these founding benefactors.

Images of Founding Benefactors' Busts  

Anne Keesling Ackerman Anna Keesling Ackerman
Pioneer, Mother
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1856-1939

K.S. "Boots" Adams K.S. "Boots" Adams
Chairman of the Board of Phillips Petroleum Company
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Albert Anderson Albert Anderson
Cattle Feeder, Potato Grower
Oakley, Idaho
Founding Benefactor

C.R. Anthony C.R. Anthony
President of C.R. Anthony Company
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Harriet T. Beckert Harriet T. Beckert
From Opera Singer to Cattle Ranching
Eilldeer, North Dakota
Founding Benefactor

Joseph Bowes Joseph Bowes
Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. Executive
Tulsa, Oklahoma
1885-1965
Founding Benefactor

Virgil Browne Virgil Browne
Business Executive, Philanthropist, Civic Leader
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Frank Buttram Frank Buttram
Geologist, Oil Producer
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Edwin M. Clark Edwin M. Clark
President of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company
Founding Benefactor

T. Ross Clement T. Ross Clement
Farmer, Rancher, & Processor
Idaho Falls, Idaho
July 23, 1925

Luther T. Dulaney Luther T. Dulaney
Industrialist
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

B.D. Eddie B.D. Eddie
Industrialist, Civic Leader
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

H.A. Eddins H. A. Eddins
Chairman of the Board, President Oklahoma Natural Gas Co.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Geo. Epperly Geo. Epperly
Builder and Banker, Founder of Del City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Harvey P. Everest Harvey P. Everest
President of Liberty Bank & Trust Co.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Streeter B. Flynn Streeter B. Flynn
Lawyer
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

E.K. Gaylord E. K. Gaylord
President of Oklahoma Publishing Company
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Robert A. Hefner Robert A. Hefner
Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice, Oil Operator, Mayor of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Henry C. "Ladd" Hitch Henry C. "Ladd" Hitch
Rancher and Businessman
Guymon, Oklahoma
1918
Founding Benefactor

Mrs. Henry C. Hitch, Sr. Mrs. Henry C. Hitch, Sr.
Pioneer, Mother, and Businesswoman of the Oklahoma Panhandle
Guymon, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Harry D. Jersig Harry D. Jersig
President & Chairman of the Board of Lone Star Brewing Company
San Antonio, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Dolores Franklin Johnston Dolores Franklin Johnston
Astute Businesswomen, Philanthropist, Active Leader in Many Civic, Arts, Educational, & Charitable Organizations
Houston, Texas
Founding Benefactor

Harry V. Johnston Harry V. Johnston
Early Day Cowboy, Manufacturer, Printer, Author of two books: "My Home on the Range" and "The Last Roundup"
Edina, Minnesota
Founding Benefactor

Ralph A. Johnston Ralph A. Johnston
Oil Producer, Rancher
Houston, Texas
Founding Benefactor

Elizabeth Shartel Jopling Elizabeth Shartel Jopling
Civic Leader
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1919-1982

Donald S. Kennedy Donald S. Kennedy
President, Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Robert J. Kleberg, Sr. Robert J. Kleberg, Sr.
Rancher and Lawyer
King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas
1853-1932
Founding Benefactor

Emmett LeFlors Emmett LeFlors
Cattleman as Producer, Grazer, and Trader in Bulls
Pampa, Texas
Founding Benefactor

Walter B. Ludwig Walter B. Ludwig
Owner Ludwig Photo Enterprises
Laramie, Wyoming
1911-1977
Founding Benefactor

Watt Reynolds Matthews Watt Reynolds Matthews
Cattle Ranching
Lambshead Ranch, Albany, Texas
February 1, 1899

Rex Lee Nicholson Rex Lee Nicholson
Cowhand, Government Administrator, Corporate Executive Financier, Civic Leader
Tucson, Arizona
Founding Benefactor

Sam R. Ratcliff Sam R. Ratcliff
Rancher & Oil Properties
Gillette, Wyoming
1942 –

J.B. Saunders J. B. Saunders
Oil Company Executive and Civic Leader, Trustee of National Cowboy Hall of Fame
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Gladys L. Saunders (Mrs. J.B.) Gladys L. Saunders (Mrs. J. B.)
Wife and Mother, Prominent in Social and Civic Affairs
Houston, Texas
1911-1966
Founding Benefactor

Col. Leonard B. Scott, Jr. Col. Leonard B. Scott, Jr.
United States Air Force Officer
Minco, Oklahoma
July 13, 1922 - April 3, 1983

John Ben Snow John Ben Snow
Rancher, Publisher, Civic Leader
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Founding Benefactor

Joseph Snyder Joseph Snyder
Civic Leader, Pioneer
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Founding Benefactor

Leon H. Snyder Leon H. Snyder
Lawyer, Grand Master of Masons in Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Founding Benefactor

Anne Burnett Tandy Anne Burnett Tandy
Ranching
Fort Worth, Texas
1902-1980
Founding Benefactor

Charles David Tandy Charles David Tandy
Chairman of Board, President & Chief Executive Officer of Tandy Corp.
Fort Worth, Texas
May 15, 1918 - November 4, 1978

Clarence L. Tinker Clarence L. Tinker
Major General, Army Air Force Hero of World War II
Founding Benefactor

Charles A. Vose Charles A. Vose
Prominent Pioneer Banker, Chairman of the Board - First National Bank and Trust Company
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Founding Benefactor

Edward Allen Walker Edward Allen Walker
Banker, Oil operator, Philanthropist
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1869-1981
Founding Benefactor

J. Spencer Watkins J. Spencer Watkins
Cowboy, Cowman, World Traveler, Author, Philanthropist
Bozeman, Montana
Founding Benefactor

Grace Werner Grace Werner
Ranch Wife, Philanthropist, Deeply Devoted To The West And All That It Stands For
Casper, Wyoming
Founding Benefactor

Awards and Honors  

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Prix de West Awardees, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association's All-Around Champion Cowboys, the Museum's Hall of Great Westerners and Hall of Great Western Performers Inductees, and the Rodeo Historical Society's Rodeo Hall of Fame Honorees are all recognized by brass plaques each year in this hallway. Here you can read the basic information signaling each area of honor in Founders' Hall.

Founders' Hall

The Prix de West Awards
"Each year the finest contemporary western artists in the nationa gather at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for the Prix de West Invitational Exhibition and Sale. One selection from this exhibition is reserved by the museum for addition to its permanent collection. This Prix de West Award has come to represent the very best in contemporary western art." To view previous awardees, application procedures, and other current information about Prix de West, visit this page.

The All-Around Champion Cowboys
"The most prestigious award bestowed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association is that of All-Around Champion Cowboy. It is earned annually by the rodeo contestant who wins the most prize money during the year while competing in two or more events."

The Hall of Great Westerners
"Each year the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum inducts into the Hall of Great Westerners those who have made significant contributions to the development of the American West." To view previous inductees, application procedures, and other current information about the Hall of Great Westerners, visit this page.

Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award
"The Chester A. Reynolds Award is bestowed annually upon contemporary individuals who most personify the spirit of the American West." For information and previous winners of the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award, visit this page

The Hall of Great Western Performers
"Each year the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum inducts into the Hall of Great Western Performers those who have made significant contributions to the western genre in the entertainment field." To view previous inductees, application procedures, and other current information about the Hall of Great Western Performers, visit this page.

The Rodeo Hall of Fame Honorees
"Each year the Rodeo Historical Society inducts into the Rodeo Hall of Fame those who have made significant contributions to the sport of Rodeo." To view previous honorees, application procedures, and other current information about the Rodeo Hall of Fame, visit this page.

The Tad Lucas Memorial Awardees
"The Tad Lucas Memorial Award is presented annually to those women who exemplify the spirit of skill and dedication exhibited by Tad Lucas during her distinguished rodeo career." For information and previous honorees of the Tad Lucas Memorial Award, visit this page.

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