• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

He Wouldn't Quit

4 posts in this topic

How Ezra Meeker, Now Perpetuated in Bronze, Secured Oregon Trail Special Coinage.



Ezra Meeker at Bronze Statue Dedication Ceremony


How Ezra Meeker, “never-say-die,” refused to accept defeat and in the end secured victory for what was considered an impossible project-the coinage of 6,000,000 special Old Oregon Trail half-dollars-was told by Senator Wesley L. Jones, on the occasion of the unveiling of a statue of Mr. Meeker, a memorial to the pioneers of the Northwest, in Puyallup, on the morning of Tuesday, September 14, 1926. The statue, in bronze, is the work of Alonzo Victor Lewis, of Seattle, and is a life-size figure of the grand old exemplar of the pioneer spirit.


“I must tell you,” said Senator Jones, in the course of his address on “The American Pioneer,” “of his perseverance in getting this bill through to have struck off coins to be sold to aid in marking the old Oregon Trail. The Treasury Department was strongly against it for reasons very satisfactory from the department’s standpoint. The committee very naturally gave great weight to the department’s judgement. It said, ‘No, we cannot recommend this. Try something else.’ He would not give up. Nothing else would do. He came before the committee several times. His earnestness, his perseverance, his enthusiasm, his personality, appealed to every member of the committee. They would not report the bill favorably. They did not have the heart to report it adversely. They did order it reported without any recommendation. Senator Norbeck, a friend of the bill, had charge of it. At an opportune time he called it up. No one objected. It passed. I will never forget the joyful face of this old pioneer as he left the senate gallery that day. He had overcome the Treasury Department again before the president. He did it. The president could not resist him. He signed the bill, and Ezra Meeker is now joyfully promoting the sale of these coins so that the trail so dear to him and to every Western pioneer may be suitably marked.’




The statue was presented to the Washington State Historical Society by Charles H. Ross, of Puyallup, and accepted by Judge John Arthur, president of the society. Frank Spinning then turned it over to city of Puyallup for safe-keeping, and that duty was accepted by Mayor S. R. Gray. Mrs. Helen P. Gibson, president of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington, unveiled it. “Washington Motorist, 1926.”


Information from "The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Dickenson Research Center, The James Earle Fraser and Laura Gardin Fraser Studio Papers."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting article Leeg! Thanks for sharing!


Appreciate it. I feel it's important to share, and save, history.



Link to comment
Share on other sites