Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 24, 2014
Painting sponsor Brad Naifeh and artist Wayne Cooper unveil “Land
Run of 1889” in Senate Chamber
Monday alongside Brad’s wife, Valerie, (on left) and his mother,
Jeaneen (on right).
(High Resolution version of photo)
(Pictured L-R) Artist Wayne Cooper and State Senate Historical Preservation
Fund president Charles Ford
pose with “Land Run of 1889” painting sponsors Brad
and Valerie Naifeh.
(High resolution version of photo)
Senate unveils “Land Run of 1889”
On Monday, the State Senate unveiled a landscape painting
depicting the historic event that put Oklahoma on the map, the Land
Run of 1889. The work, by Oklahoma artist Wayne Cooper, was sponsored
by Oklahoma City businessman Brad Naifeh.
The Land Run of 1889 began the dispersion of the federal public
domain in Oklahoma. The basis for opening Unassigned Lands came
in 1889, when the U.S. Congress amended the Indian Appropriations
Bill to authorize President Benjamin Harrison to proclaim the two-million-acre
region open for settlement. Under the Homestead Act of 1862, a legal
settler could claim 160 acres of public land, and those who lived
on and improved the claim for five years could receive title.
It was not long after Harrison’s March 23, 1889, proclamation
that Oklahoma settlement colonies were being formed in major U.S.
cities. A multitude of impoverished farmers were not along in their
zeal to settle the Unassigned Lands. Across the nation, prospective
settlers began loading their wagons, saddling their horses and catching
trains to find the most advantageous point of entry.
On April 22, 1889, an estimated 11,000 agricultural homesteads were
claimed. In the months and years following, there were hardships
and many were forced to contest others who claimed the same farm
or lot. A few sooner contests made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
One precedent-setting case was Smith v. Townsend (1892), claimants
at Edmond Stations, in which it was determined that Alexander Smith,
a Santa Fe worker, had acted illegally in his run from the railroad
right-of-way. The high court’s ruling in this matter caused
many old boomers, such as William Couch and his family, to lose
valuable claims in Oklahoma City.
By setting the stage for non-Indian settlement of other sections
of Indian Territory, the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 quickly led to
the creation of Oklahoma Territory under the Organic Act of 1890
and, ultimately, to the formation of the 46th state of the Union,
Oklahoma, in 1907.
The oil painting was commissioned by the State Senate Historical
Preservation Fund overseen my former State Sen. Charles Ford.
“This was the day that truly shaped our great state; and although,
many faced hardships afterward this historic event gave birth to
new hope for thousands of Americans and became an iconic image in
the history of the West,” said Ford, Fund president. “I’m
pleased that guests will now have the opportunity to relive that
exciting event in their minds and teach their children about it.
I want to thank Brad Naifeh and artist Wayne Cooper for bringing
this historic event to life through this beautiful work of art.”
The painting’s sponsor Brad Naifeh is one of the owners of
Central Wholesale Liquor, which is one of the leading wine and liquor
distributors in Oklahoma. Today, there are five generations of Naifeh’s
in the business. The company employs approximately 275 employees
and owns a 250,000 square foot warehouse and distribution center
in Oklahoma City. Brad has also been a dedicated community servant
for the past 30 years through his volunteer work and support of
Leadership Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Chamber, the Young President
Association, Leadership Oklahoma Class XVII, White Fields, Children’s
Medical Research Institute and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
He also serves on the board of the Oklahoma City Chamber and the
Oklahoma State Chamber.
Born near Depew, Oklahoma, Wayne Cooper is an internationally known
artist who specializes in Western Art. His upbringing in Oklahoma
and Indian roots are the subject of many of his artistic creations.
His professional career began in the early 1960s and continues today.
His works, oils, water colors, charcoals, pencil, bronze sculptures,
and lithographs are in many private and public collections worldwide.
The Land Run of 1889 is his 19th work of art to hang in the Oklahoma
This and other art commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical
Preservation Fund can be found on the Senate website at http://www.oksenate.gov/senate_artwork/artwork_index_full.aspx.
For more information,
Sandra Shelton: (405) 521-5563