Preferred method mail to:
Trail of Governors
1714 N. Lincoln
Pierre, SD 57501
Donations of any amount are welcome and will be posted on the Donors page.
Donated to Date:
Join us Friday, June 15 at 10am as we unveil these statues in the Capitol Rotunda in Pierre.
10th Governor of South Dakota – William McMaster (1921-1925) – Artist, James Van Nuys
17th Governor of South Dakota – Merrell Sharpe (1943-1947) – Artist, Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby
21st Governor of South Dakota – Ralph Herseth (1959-1961) – Artist, James Michael Maher
The year 2016 was historic for South Dakota’s Trail of Governors as the foundation reached the half-way point with 15 bronze statues – half of our former governors’ images. We celebrated this milepost of the journey on this Trail since beginning six years ago with zero dollars and a handful of volunteers. Progress continues to rely on volunteers from board members to underwriters, artists to historians, advisors to donors.
Established in 2010, the Trail of Governors Foundation is committed to honoring South Dakota’s chief executives in a unique and lasting manner.
While the physical trail is located in South Dakota’s state capital, the project has brought partners together from across the state and beyond its borders.
The foundation has commissioned South Dakota artists to create life-sized, bronze statues of the state’s past governors. A minimum of three statues will be erected each year and the “Trail of Governors” will connect the state capitol and the Missouri River. The foundation is relying entirely upon private donations and corporate underwriters to fulfill its vision. Dakota Prairie Bank and Leroy and Charlene Foster are providing interest-free loans to underwrite a portion of this project and up to four sponsors are needed to fund each statue. The South Dakota Community Foundation is also a project partner and all donations are tax-deductible. Up to four sponsors are needed for each South Dakota governor and donations are tax-deductible.
The governor statues will follow the timeline and order established working from outside inward, i.e. the first year’s statues will include an early governor (Mellette) and a recent governor to leave office (Miller), as well as a mid-timeline governor (Bushfield). Collectively, the artists have the ability to do up to six statues each year. Thus, additional governors may be moved up within the timeline provided a sponsor comes forward with full funding. A timeline for the creation of each statue may be found here.
This is a truly unique and South Dakotan way to honor our state’s leaders. We hope this project will spark your interest and we hope you will contact us with any questions or comments you might have. In the meantime, we ask you to check back occasionally and follow the progress! Thanks again for stopping by and enjoy our website!
Bob Schmidt of Farm Credit Services of America presenting a $17,000 check to Buddy Seiner of the SD Community Foundation for Governor Joe Foss to be completed in 2017. With Trail of Governor’s Foundation board members Chuck Schroyer & Leroy Foster.
Leroy Foster, Rick Jensen, & Mansour Karim presenting checks to Stephanie Judson of the South Dakota Community Foundation for the 13th Governor Warren Green (1931-1933) to be completed in 2016.
Charles Burke III of Bankwest presenting a $68,000 check to Stephanie Judson of the SD Community Foundation for Governor Nils Boe to be completed in 2016 in honor of his dad Charles Burke II.