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Leaping into History, Kentucky Daisey

Collection: Publicly Owned
Leaping into History, Kentucky Daisey

Sponsor: Purchased in partnership with Edmond Parks Foundation, State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Centennial Commission and private donations.

Among the thousands of men, women and children who descended on towns like Arkansas City, Kansas and Purcell, Indian Territory, before the land-rush into the Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma that came to be known as “Harrision’s Horse Race” in 1889, was a newspaper reporter from Kentucky named Nanitta R.H. Daisey.

Boarding one of the “Boomer Trains” in Purcell, IT, Daisey joined many of her colleagues from various newspapers around the country, notionally there to cover the story herself. But Daisey had another motive, she wanted land of her own, and had already scouted a potential claim.

When the Boomer train carrying among its passengers the reporters arrived in Edmond, it still wasn’t noon, and the passengers weren’t allowed to leave the area of the tracks, lest they become “Sooners” and illegal. Legend has it, Miss Daisey convinced the engineer of the train to let her ride the cowcatcher at the front of the train, and north of the station, carrying her stakes and wearing a six-shooter as well as a dress with many petticoats, she leapt from the cowcatcher, ran across the bar ditch that ran along the tracks, drove her stakes into the ground and tore off one of her petticoats to use as a flag to warn other Boomers that the claim was taken. She then pulled her pistol, fired it into the air and shouted, “I hereby claim this l

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Artist: Mary Lou Gresham

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Medium type: Bronze

Date created: 2007