So without further ado,
The Pioneer Woman Statue stands on 14.5 acres of land staked during the 1893 Land Run. Her name is “Confident.” The 30-foot-tall bronze cast is 17-feet-high, weighs 12,000 pounds, and was erected at a cost of $300,000.
The monument was financed by oilman E. W. Marland. It was suggested that a statue be erected to the “vanishing American,” by which was meant the Native American. Marland thought it more fitting to create a memorial to America’s vanishing womanhood. He invited 12 sculptors to submit small models. In 1927, these were exhibited in 13 major cities across the nation (and Ponca City) and 750,000 people voted for their preference. Bryant Baker’s model won 11 cities and the vast majority of votes.
Baker stated in a letter to Gareth Muchmore “I have frequently been asked who posed for my statue, the Pioneer Woman, and I have to tell them no one did”… “I learned about the statue project one late summer’s evening in 1926. Before I went to bed that night I made a tiny 8 to 10-inch model which in actual conception and movement was never changed, and all the work was done in my studios here. No one posed for it”…“I think it grew out of my reading the many stories of James Fennimore Cooper when I was a boy, but the woman was to me the courageous character marching out, carrying all her worldly belongings, her bible, and her son, the man of tomorrow to a new life”…”She is the “abstract, beautiful, ideal woman of the spirit of great faith and hope.”
The unveiling occurred on April 22, 1930, attended by roughly 44,000 people. President Herbert Hoover gave a brief radio address, as did Secretary of War (and native Oklahoman) Patrick Hurley. The closing speaker was comedian Will Rogers.