E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models

From Researchandideas
Jump to: navigation, search

E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens

Pioneer Woman Models

E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens

In 1908 E. W. Marland came to Oklahoma after losing his fortune in the Pennsylvania oil fields in the panic of 1907 and by 1920 had reestablished himself and started the Marland Oil Company in Ponca City with a fortune estimated at $85 million (roughly $910 million in modern dollars). Marland was a visionary and not only pioneered the use of geophysical techniques in the oil industry but was years ahead of his time as an employer providing housing, loans, medical care, and other benefits for the thousands of employees who worked at his refineries and pipelines. But misfortune would strike Marland and in 1928 his oil empire was destroyed by J.P. Morgan's banking interests. Marland was forced out of the oil company he had founded when bankers merged it with Continental Oil Company and renamed the company Conoco.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



In 1926 before losing his fortune, Marland decided to build a monument to the disappearing West and began a project to build a statue of the "Pioneer Women" in the city that he had made his home. A trip almost fifty years back in time reminded me of the unique nationwide sculptural competition to create a monument to the Pioneer Woman and I decided to investigate to discover the story of how the Pioneer Woman statue ended up in Ponca City while the models for the monument ended up in Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum an hour and a half drive away. This is the story of the Pioneer Woman Models.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



In March 2007 my wife and I drove over to spend the day at Woolaroc Museum located on Frank Phillips' ranch retreat 12 miles southwest of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the nearest city. The museum was almost empty the day we visited. The guides were very helpful as they gave us a private tour. The last time I had been at Woolaroc was when I was in 4th grade at Lutheran School in Ponca City in 1957. My father drove school buses for the Ponca City School System and chartered his school buses for church groups and private organizations and I remember that my father drove our class over to spend the day at Woolaroc.

With the perspective of 57 years of age, Woolaroc seems a lot different now than I remembered and the emotions I felt while walking through the museum weren't so much excitement as sadness and regret over lost innocence.







E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



As a nine year old child, I thought Woolaroc was exciting and wonderful. The most fascinating items were the dioramas of the Native American tribes, the dinosaur egg from the Gobi Desert, the shrunken heads from the Amazon jungle, and a miniature of the Pioneer Woman Statue. What perplexed me was that in addition to a three foot model of the real "Pioneer Woman" statue I had seen all my life in Ponca City, there were eleven more models of "Pioneer Women" that looked nothing like the one I was so familiar with. I asked my father why the Pioneer Woman Statue was in Ponca City and these models were 75 miles away in Woolaroc. He wouldn't tell me and I forgot about it for forty years. The visit to Woolaroc made me remember my questions and do some research.





E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



In 1926, E. W. Marland, founder of Marland Oil Company (later to become Conoco) and at that time one of the wealthiest men in the world, commissioned twelve 3-foot sculptures that were submitted by US and international sculptors as models for the Pioneer Woman statue. Marland paid each sculptor $10,000 for his submission, about $100,000 in present US dollars. The models were shown in Ponca City, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Dallas, Fort Worth and Oklahoma City where they were viewed by 750,000 people who cast votes for their favorite.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Marland told the sculptors to pay tribute to “the pilgrim mothers, the Puritan women, the mothers of the south, the sturdy broods." The twelve submissions included "Protective" by John Gregory; "Determined" by Maurice Sterne; "Challenging" by H.A. MacNeil; "Affectionate" by James E. Fraser; "Self-Reliant" by A. Stirling Calder; "Fearless" by Wheeler Williams; "Heroic" by Mario Korbel; "Adventurous" by F. Lynn Jenkins; "Sturdy" by Mahonri Young and "Faithful" by Arthur Lee; "Trusting" by Jo Davidson; and "Confident" by Bryant Baker. "All races, all creeds, all nationalities gave their best and bravest women," said Marland.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



The New York Times reported on March 27, 1927 that the exhibition had arrived in New York City and that it had attracted "more interest than any exhibition of sculpture New York has known in a long while." The twelve models were exhibited for three weeks in the Reinhardt Galleries and Bryant Baker's model was the winner of the first place in the New York balloting. The Times Reported that "Baker not only won first honors, but was the last man to enter the contest having no more than a month to prepare his model and obtain a casting."






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Marland pronounced himself pleased with the models. "I believe all of the sculptors have done well," said Marland. "We could select any one of the twelve figures and get an excellent interpretation of the frontier woman. the decision will be a hard one to make. I expect to be guided largely by public taste, but the final decision will be my own. This national vote is going to show exactly what the American people think about one of the greatest of their women," Marland added.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



The exhibition touched a popular chord in American culture of the time. The New York Times reported on March 27, 1927 that among those who visited the exhibition at the Reinhardt Galleries was 91 year old Betty Wollman who as a young bride had journeyed from St. Louis to Leavenworth Kansas in 1855 and had once entertained Abraham Lincoln as a dinner guest in the Wollman household in Leavenworth long before Lincoln was a candidate for President.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Wollman spoke about women's role during pioneer days in the old west and congratulated Marland for his proposal to erect a statue to the Pioneer Woman. "Mr. Marland is to be congratulated for doing this in commemoration of these early women of the West," said Wollman. "The hardships were many, and the courage and self-denial of the women who worked side by side with their husbands and sons and brothers in those primitive days are largely responsible for the development of the Middle Western States, now so rich in everything that goes to make life worth living."






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Although the winning statue nationwide was "Confident," produced by British-born American sculptor Bryant Baker, it is believed that Marland's personal favorite was "Trusting" by Jo Davidson who had also sculpted the statue of Marland on the town plaza of Ponca City.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



An article about the exhibition in Time Magazine, then in only its fourth year of publication, said that "the pioneer woman selected was not the ugly one executed by Mahonri Young; it was not the demure one executed by Jo Davidson; it was not the brawny one of James Earle Fraser, nor the placid one of Arthur Lee, nor the fragile one of F. Lynn Jenkins. Nor was it Maurice Sterne's, Hermon A. MacNeil's, Alexander Stirling Calder's, although these artists too were among those who made models for the competition. It was not John Gregory's sturdy female, snatching a musket from her moribund husband, although this one ran second in the balloting and won first place in three cities. Instead, it was Bryant Baker's striding figure of a woman whose skirts are blown backward in a prairie breeze, who carries a Bible in one hand, leads her scampish belligerent little boy with the other. This had received most votes in eleven cities; by far the largest total out of the 123,000 votes cast."






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Baker's sculpture was unveiled in Ponca City in a public ceremony on April 22, 1930 when forty thousand guests came to hear Will Rogers pay tribute to Oklahoma's pioneers. President Hoover addressed the nation over a nation-wide radio network for the commemoration of the statue. "It was those women who carried the refinement, the moral character and spiritual force into the West," said Hoover. "Not only they bore great burdens of daily toil and the rearing of families, but there were intent that their children should have a chance, that the doors of opportunity," added Hoover. The finished statue of the Pioneer Woman Statue was 27 feet high and weighed 12,000 pounds.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



After financial reverses that included the loss of his company Marland Oil Company, E. W. Marland wrote a letter to his friend Frank Phillips on March 11, 1940. "My financial condition compels me to sell objects of art, tapestries, bronzes, rugs, and paintings acquired by me in more prosperous years," wrote Marland. "I will sell at a price approximately 25 per cent of their cost to me... And will consider it a kindness if you will come yourself or send someone to look them over with the object of buying anything you fancy."






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Phillips sent art expert Gordon Matzene to inspect the bronzes and began bargaining with Marland for their purchase. In the end Phillips offered Marland $500 for each of the twelve models. Matzene declared that the purchase was a wonderful bargain and the models were removed from Ponca City along with other statues and artwork to became part of Frank Phillips' collection at Woolaroc where they have been on display ever since.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



This is the story of how E. W. Marland lost his company, his home, and the beautiful artwork he accumulated to benefit the citizens of Oklahoma.







E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



The Frank Phillips Foundation that runs Woolaroc Museum was founded in 1937 by Frank Phillips and his wife Jane Phillips with the purpose of providing educational support for the employees of Phillips Petroleum Company and their families.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Now that E. W. Marland's oil company and Frank Phillips' oil company have combined into one company, there are thousands of ConocoPhillips employees in Ponca City who would benefit from the Frank Phillips Foundation's original educational and cultural mission of providing support for the employees of his company.







E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



Wouldn't it be a noble gesture for the Frank Phillips Foundation to recognize the friendship between Frank Phillips and E. W. Marland and return the models to Ponca City where they really belong to benefit Phillips' employees in Ponca City.






E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens



One possibility would be that the models be placed on permanent loan to the Marland Mansion. Another possibility would be the Pioneer Woman Museum.







Although he lost his fortune, his company, and his home, Marland had something more important - the love of his wife Lydie and the high esteem of his fellow Oklahomans who elected him Governor.

On January 15, 1935, Marland was inaugurated as Governor. Immediately, Marland instituted a policy that would become known as the "Little New Deal." Despite Governor Marland’s efforts, most politicians in Oklahoma never fully embraced the New Deal but by the end of Marland's term as Governor, WPA projects had created jobs for over 90,000 Oklahomans on over 1,300 projects and the Legislature had accepted Marland's proposal for a homestead exemption provision to the state’s ad valorem taxes, increased school funds, and raising the state sales tax to two percent with funds raised by the sales tax to go towards the handicapped, the elderly, and dependent children.

Marland’s term as Governor ended in 1939 and under Oklahoma law he could not succeed himself so Marland returned to Ponca City where he died of a heart condition in October, 1941 only weeks before America's entry into World War II. Marland is buried in Ponca City, the city he loved so well.








Links:
History of the Marland Oil Company
Marland's Grand Home in Ponca City
Marland's "Palace on the Prairie"
The Frank Phillips Foundation
Frank Phillips Foundation builds Tulsa's Jane Phillips Hospital
Wikipedia Biography of E. W. Marland
Wikipedia article on Woolaroc
Wikipedia article on Marland Oil Company



References:
1. Woolaroc Museum. "The Frank Phillips Foundation."
2. Time Magazine. "Pioneers" January 2, 1928.
3. The Ponca City News. "Pioneer Woman Models Return to Ponca City" by Louise Abercrombie. May 23, 2000
4. Toone, Thomas E., Mahonri Young: His Life and Art, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1997
5. New York Times. "Pioneer Woman Seen in Bronze." March 20, 1927.
6. New York Times. "Statue of the Pioneer Woman Stirs Memories of Long Ago." March 27, 1927.
7. PoncaCity.com "The Pioneer Woman"
8. New York Times. "The Pioneer Woman Praised by Hoover." April 23, 1930.
9. Frank's Fancy: Frank Phillips' Woolaroc by Gale Morgan Kane, published 2001 by Oklahoma Heritage Association, page 147
10. Jane Phillips Medical Center. "Jane Phillips Hospital was built by the Frank Phillips Foundation" March 19, 2008.



Related Web Sites:
Ponca City, We Love You
The Broken Statue
Honor the Legacy of EW Marland






Contents

About the Author

Hugh and Dr. S. J. Pickens

Hugh Pickens (Po-Hi '67) is a physicist who has explored for oil in the Amazon jungle, crossed the empty quarter of Saudi Arabia testing microwave communications systems, and built satellite control stations for Goddard Space Flight Center all over the world. Retired in 1999, Pickens and his wife of 32 years moved from Baltimore back to his hometown of Ponca City, Oklahoma in 2005 where he cultivates his square foot garden, mows nine acres of lawn, writes about local history, photographs events at the Poncan Theatre, produces the annual Oklahoma Pride series with his wife at Ponca Playhouse, and recently sponsored the first formal dinner in the Marland Mansion in 75 years. Pickens can be contacted at hughpickens@gmail.com.

Pickens' Publishing

In 1996, Pickens edited and published My Life In Review: Have I Been Lucky of What?, the memoirs of Jack Crandall, professor of history at SUNY Brockport. Since 2001 Pickens has edited and published “Peace Corps Online,” serving over one million monthly pageviews. Pickens' other writing includes contributing over 2,000 stories to “Slashdot: News for Nerds,” and articles for Wikipedia, and “Ponca City, We Love You”. Pickens has written the following articles available on his wiki at Research and Ideas.

History, Biography, and Politics

Science and Technology

Business and Investing

Ponca City, Oklahoma

Art

Peace Corps Writing

Personal Essays

Phillips 66

Conoco and Phillips 66 announced on November 18, 2001 that their boards of directors had unanimously approved a definitive agreement for a "merger of equals". The merged company, ConocoPhillips, became the third-largest integrated U.S. energy company based on market capitalization and oil and gas reserves and production. On November 11, 2011 ConocoPhillips announced that Phillips 66 would be the name of a new independent oil and gasoline refining and marketing firm, created as ConocoPhillips split into two companies. ConocoPhillips kept the current name of the company and concentrated on oil exploration and production side while Phillips 66 included refining, marketing, midstream, and chemical portions of the company. Photo: Hugh Pickens all rights reserved.

For nearly 100 years oil refining has provided the bedrock of Ponca City's local economy and shaped the character of our community. Today the Ponca City Refinery is the best run and most profitable of Phillips 66's fifteen worldwide refineries. The purpose of this collection of reports is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66's business that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations



Marland's Pioneer Woman Models

E. W. Marland's Pioneer Woman Models at Frank Phillips' Woolaroc Museum by Hugh Pickens