Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 31, 2003
Walt Helmerich, Peggy Helmerich, Sen. Ford and Mike Wimmer
Ford Dedicates Painting of President Teddy Roosevelt Signing
Senator Charles Ford announced
the dedication of another original painting commissioned by the Oklahoma
State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. The painting, titled “President
Teddy Roosevelt Signing Statehood Proclamation” by nationally renowned
artist Mike Wimmer of Norman, was unveiled during a ceremony in the Senate
Chamber this afternoon.
“This is an exceptional piece that displays the simplicity of our
humble beginnings. There is such a sense of innocence about this work.
I love that Mr. Wimmer chose to depict President Roosevelt presenting
Albert Hammer the blotter after the clerk had requested it. It’s
an interesting little story that most citizens would have never known
about, but now they will. It is, after all, a part of our history,”
said Senator Ford, President of the Senate Historical Preservation Fund,
Senator Ford explained that the birth of the new state of Oklahoma was
attended with very little ceremony. Only a delegation of government clerks
from Oklahoma and newspaper men were in the cabinet as witnesses. President
Roosevelt was in the process of signing when a person cried out, “Mr.
President, give me the blotter,” which was then presented to Albert
Hammer, a clerk in the general land office, from Enid, Oklahoma.
The painting is a gift from the Helmerich Foundation. Walt Helmerich is
Chairman of the Board of Helmerich & Payne, Inc. His wife, Peggy has
been actively involved in many organizations throughout Oklahoma, especially
its libraries. Peggy and Walt Helmerich are true humanitarians who are
devoted to activities that benefit the lives of others.
“Walt and Peggy’s gift will serve as a reminder of our state’s
birth – and how it all started with the simple stroke an eagle quill
pen on November 16, 1907,” noted Senator Ford.
Unknown to Helmerich until the ceremony, his own image was used in the
painting as one of the delegates present at the Proclamation signing.
This and other art commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical
Preservation Fund, Inc. can be found on the Internet at: http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/senate/welcome.html.
For more information, contact:
Division - (405) 521-5605