On Friday, October 26 at 1:30 in the afternoon, the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore was named an Oklahoma Literary Landmark and was placed on the National Literary Landmark Register.  The public was invited to attend the dedication ceremony and the reception which followed. Friends of Libraries USA, FOLUSA, is the sponsor of the Register. Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma , FOLIO, is the sponsor of the Oklahoma project.  Another major sponsor is The Cherokee Nation.  The Will Rogers Library, the Friends of the Will Rogers Library, and the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum are sponsors and were fully involved in the dedication. The other Sponsors for the dedication of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum as an Oklahoma Literary Landmark were the following groups:  Oklahoma Center for the Book, Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma Library Association, the Pocahontas Club, Rogers State University, Talala Area Public Library Supporters, and World Literature Today.


Will Rogers was born near Claremore and even nearer to Oologah, in the Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation. Throughout his life, he wrote and spoke about his birthplace and his people.  He loved home.  On May 25, 1924, he wrote, “I am mighty happy I am going home to my own people, who know me as “Willie, Uncle Clem Rogers’ boy who wouldn’t go to school but just kept running around the country throwing a rope.”  He did very well with the rope, with his life, and with his writing.  Will’s daily column was read by everyone.  He had a way of understanding the tragedy and comedy of people and events and putting his understanding into his writing.  He wrote the truth of injustice that was sometimes difficult to read.  America read it and reflected on it because Will Rogers wrote it.  He was beloved.


The Oklahoma Literary Landmarks Steering committee represents all the previous Landmarks, the Cherokee Nation, the sponsors, and the citizens of Rogers County.  The members include the Chair Michael Wallis, Co-chair Julia Brady Ratliff, Dr. Richard Allen, Dr. Bob Blackburn, Betty Boyd, Jan Bryant, Glenda Carlile, John Cary, David Draper Clark, Denyvetta Davis, Clare Delaney, Beverly Dieterlen, Jon Douthitt, Sharon Douthitt, Emily Dunagin, Fernando Esté, Judy Randle, Eugene Earsom, Steve Gragert, Wayne Hanway, Marilyn Hinshaw, Guy Logsdon, Lynn McIntosh, Carol McReynolds, Susan McVey, Lisa Melchior, Teresa Miller, Karen Neurohr, Bethia Owens, Shari Parks, Tom Terry, Cara Cowan Watts, Pat Weaver-Meyers, Irene Wickham, Harlene Wills, Phyllis Yargee.


Agenda for the Dedication


Master of Ceremonies
Michael Wallis, Author
Will Rogers’ Cherokee Nation Today
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chadwick Smith
Cherokee Nation Youth Choir
Will Rogers Museum
Steven Gragert, Director Will Rogers Museum
Will Rogers, Cherokee Citizen
Cara Cowan Watts, Cherokee Nation Council
Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma
Gerry Hendon, First Vice-President, FOLIO
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
Susan McVey, Oklahoma State Librarian
Oklahoma Librarians
Jan Bryant, Oklahoma Library Association
Friends of the Will Rogers Library
Jon Douthitt, President, Friends of the Will Rogers Library
Will Rogers Library
Fernando Este, Director
Will Rogers, American
Julia Brady Ratliff, FOLIO
Dedication -- Michael Wallis
Oklahoma Literary Landmarks - www.okfriends.net
Literary Landmarks Register




Thanks to the Cherokee Nation for outstanding support as FOLIO prepared for the Will Rogers Memorial Dedication. Extra thanks for the lovely traditional meal and for the support offered by your citizens.


  • Ken Foster and his friends for the delicious lunch.
  • Friends of the Will Rogers Library for planning a special day.
  • Talala Area Public Library Supporters and Friends of the Catoosa Public Library
  • Foundation for joining in the planning and hosting today.
  • Pocahontas Club for the gracious reception.
  • Rogers State University for tables and chairs.
  • Will Rogers Library and Library Director
  • Fernando Esté for his leadership.
  • Will Rogers Memorial for preserving this lovely site.
  • Steve Gragert and his Staff for excellent preparations.
  • The state of Oklahoma for assuring the memory of William Penn Adair Rogers.