Oklahoma State Senate

Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

Audio Clip

For Immediate Release: March 31, 2003

Walt Helmerich, Peggy Helmerich, Sen Ford and Mike Wimmer with painting
Walt Helmerich, Peggy Helmerich, Sen. Ford and Mike Wimmer with painting

Senator Ford Dedicates Painting of President Teddy Roosevelt Signing
Statehood Proclamation

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, Inc.

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:
Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5605

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