By Kasey Fowler, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
It is nearly impossible to drive through Enid without running across one of the city’s public art displays.
Errol Wofford, tour guide for Chisholm Trail Coalition, talks to visitors each month from April to October about the statues and other places of historical significance around downtown Enid as part of the organization’s walking tour.
The Doughboy statue, located in downtown Enid on the east side of the library, depicts a World War I soldier.
“The Doughboy statue was originally dedicated July 4, 1924. They first put it up at the courthouse. ... The courthouse burned in 1930, and it was moved to its present location,” Wofford said. “It was rededicated in 1994 with four World War I veterans Burt Richardson, Ben Isaacs, Bill Long and Ike Crawford, at the dedication. They were all over 90 years of age at the time.”
The statue was purchased by the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter.
The Boomer statue, sculpted by Kremlin artist H.T. Holden, and underwritten by NBC Bank, was unveiled June 16, 1987.
“It was put up to memorialize the history of the Cherokee Strip land run. It was H.T. Holden’s first public work of art,” Wofford said. “It became the official symbol of the Cherokee Strip land run. In 1993, it was commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp. It is on the south end of the Square by the (Cherokee Strip) Conference Center.”
The Tri-State statue, northwest of the courthouse, depicts three young musicians marching and playing their instruments.
“The Tri-state statue was dedicated and erected May 1, 1976. It was sponsored by Phillips University and the city of Enid. It is made of bronze and sculpted by Tasso Pitsiri, who was a local artist. It was erected and dedicated to the thousands of musicians who had come to Tri-State since it started in 1932,” Wofford said.
Miniature Statue of Liberty
The miniature Statue of Liberty on the east side of the courthouse was purchased for $150 in 1950.
“It was brought to us by the Boy Scouts of America and was dedicated in 1950. It is made of copper. It is an exact replica of the Statue of Liberty but smaller. Nobody really knows who the artist is that made the smaller statues put up by the Boy Scouts in several towns,” Wofford said.
The watering trough at Maine and Grand was a gift to Enid from the Herman Lee Ensign estate.
“It was originally placed on the square in 1910, in the middle of Maine street, just north of Garfield Furniture, Wofford said. “Basically, it was used to water the many horses in Enid in the time and also the dogs and cats. It was there until 1930, when it was hit by an automobile and knocked over. The city fathers at the time declared it a traffic hazard and planned to haul it off to the dump. The Daughters of the American Revolution raised enough money to move it to Government Springs Park. It became a fountain for the kids’ waiting pool. It was there until 1990. Of the original 125 of these that were manufactured, only 37 are known to exist. Ours is one of them.”
The Homesteaders statue at Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center is one of Enid’s newest pieces of art.
“It was commissioned by the McClures as a gift to the museum. The sculptor was Holden. It represents the pioneers who came into northwest Oklahoma in the land run,” said Andi Holland, director of the museum.
The statue was dedicated in September 2007.
“I think it is a wonderful entrance to the city for travelers coming into the city. It points out in very direct terms of what we are about and how proud we are of our heritage. It is beautiful,” Holland said.
Statues and other points of historical interest can be viewed on Chisholm Trail Coalition’s walking tour the third Saturday of the month April through October. There also are re-enactments at different sites. For information about the tours, contact Wofford at 242-2233.