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Governor Jack Callaway Walton, Jan. 8 - Nov. 19, 1923

by Leonard D. McMurry

Commissioned by the Oklahoma State Legislature
Dimensions: 25 height
Dedicated 1982

Governor Jack Callaway Walton, Jan. 8 - Nov. 19, 1923 by Leonard D. McMurry

The Artwork

Jack Callaway Walton was born March 6, 1881, on a farm near Indianapolis, Indiana. After a ten-year stay in Lincoln, Nebraska, he joined the Army in 1897. Although he saw no foreign service during the Spanish-American War, he did live in Mexico before coming to Oklahoma City in 1903, as a sales engineer. He was Commissioner of Public Works in 1917; Mayor of Oklahoma City, 1919-1923; elected Governor in 1922; and impeached within the year, serving from January 8, to November 19, 1923; served in the State Corporation Commission from 1932 until 1939, when he retired to enter private law practice. He died on November 25, 1949, and is buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Oklahoma City.

The Artist

Known as Oklahoma’s own “Michelangelo”, Leonard McMurry was born to a family of prominent cotton farmers in the Texas panhandle. McMurry moved to Oklahoma in 1955 and then lived in Stilwell and Oklahoma City. Under the teachings of sculptors Carl Mose and Ivan Mestrovic, McMurry perfected his craft. His magnificent sculptures of Oklahoma icons can be seen across the state including the ‘89er statue on Couch Drive in Oklahoma City and the Praying Hands that grace the lawns of Oral Roberts University.

In accordance with Oklahoma’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1982, Leonard McMurry was commissioned to sculpt busts of 21 past Oklahoma Governors. The Hall of Governors exudes Oklahoman’s pride in her past legislative guardians. Regarding his works, McMurry states, “Each piece must have a soul, a living quality that’s far more important than just physical representation. A piece has to have guts: the strength, power, and dignity, that makes it a monument.” McMurry has accomplished that very feat within the grandiose Hall of Governors in which visitors may come face to face with naturalistic representation of Oklahoma leaders.