Sen. Charles Ford, R-Tulsa, announced the dedication today of two more original paintings commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. The oil portraits of Oklahoma’s first territorial House Speaker, Arthur N. Daniels, and Oklahoma’s first statehood House Speaker, “Alfalfa Bill” Murray, were unveiled during a ceremony this afternoon in the House of Representatives Chamber.
Daniels became Speaker of the House for Oklahoma’s first territorial legislature in 1890 and was the nation’s youngest speaker of the house at the time. William H. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray was Speaker of the House for Oklahoma’s first legislature after statehood from 1907 to 1909. Murray was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served as Oklahoma’s ninth governor from 1931 to 1935.
The portraits of Daniels and Murray were created by Kathryn Walker Richardson of Choctaw.
“These two men are among our most colorful figures in Oklahoma history, and they deserve to be enshrined in our State Capitol,” noted Sen. Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc.
“We are honored to have such a talented artist as Ms. Walker Richardson here in our state. Her skillful rendering of these political mavericks will grace the walls of this historic building for years to come,” Ford said.
The portrait of Daniels was sponsored by Sen. Ford, while the portrait of Murray was sponsored by Speaker of the House Larry Adair, D-Stilwell.
“Alfalfa Bill’s colorful personality is legendary in Oklahoma history,” Adair said.
“I am extremely proud to sponsor a painting that provides historical perspective to his contributions to the state. As future generations visit the Capitol I hope they will be inspired to explore his significance in the founding of the Sooner State,” added Adair.
These works and other art commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc., can be found on the Internet at www.oksenate.gov.