New governors join the trail June 11 in Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. – Statues for South Dakota Govs. Charles Sheldon, Coe Crawford and Carl Gunderson were unveiled at the Capitol Rotunda on June 11.

Gov Kristi Noem recalled interesting times in history experienced by these three during the Trail of Governors ceremony as the life-size bronze likenesses were viewed. Several former governor family members participated in the ceremony along with friends and statue donors.

“South Dakota is known for successfully taking on challenges and raising gifted leaders. The Trail of Governors celebrates this,” Trail of Governors Foundation President Rick Jensen stated. “Here in South Dakota, you can walk – or run – alongside our state’s former governors. Along the way, you can enjoy first-class artwork, learn some important history lessons, and get a workout.”

“The trail is reality thanks to many donors who generously contribute to the project. They understand the importance of telling South Dakota’s story and recognizing our leaders who helped shape this state.”

The statues’ sculptors talked about what inspired them to create the statues: James Michael Maher, Lee Leuning, Sherri Treeby, and James Van Nuys.

The three newest statues will be added to 25 statues already on the trail that begins at the Legion Cabin on the shores of Lake Sharpe, winding through downtown Pierre and the Capitol grounds.

The statues are funded by donations made to the trail’s foundation and managed by the South Dakota Community Foundation. All donor names are listed online at The website also provides the biographies of each governor, photographs and other trail details.

The primary donor to-date for Gov. Crawford’s statue is the Jason and Michelle Glodt family with a one-quarter donation. Primary donor names are cast in brass plaques at each statue’s base.

The trail celebration continues on Saturday, June 12, with the Run with the Govs event. Runners and walkers will gather by 8 a.m. at the Capitol’s front steps. Proceeds will go to the Trail of Governors Foundation. Those wishing to learn more about this 3.5-mile event can do so online at and on Facebook.

– 30 –

Here’s a link to download/copy photographs. No photo credit necessary.

Here are links to each of the three governors’ biographies:
Gov. Charles Sheldon –
Gov. Coe Crawford –
Gov. Carl Gunderson –

News Archives

Donate Today!

Preferred method mail to:
Trail of Governors
2310 Patron Parkway
PO Box 296
Pierre SD 57501

Click here to Donate Online!

Donations of any amount are welcome and will be posted on the Donors page.

Donated to Date:


updated 9/6/2023

Endowment Balance:


updated 9/6/2023

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This