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Farm Credit Services of America

Farm Credit Services of AmericaBob 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.

Three new governors to join the trail in Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Trail of Governors Foundation will host the unveiling of three statues honoring the state’s past governors at 1 p.m. CDT on Friday, June 12 in the Capitol Rotunda at Pierre.

The statues honor:

  • 4th Gov. Charles Herreid by artist John Lopez
  • 18th Gov. George T. Mickelson by artist James Michael Maher
  • 25th Gov. Richard Kneip by artists Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby

Gov. Herreid had close ties to the South Dakota communities of Leola, Eureka and Aberdeen where he lived. Gov. G.T. Mickelson was born in Selby and had business interests there both before and after being elected governor. Elkton, Arlington, Salem and Sioux Falls are towns Gov. Kneip once called home. Individuals from all these communities are expected to attend the ceremony. Many Mickelson and Kneip family members as well as friends and donors will witness the unveiling of the statues.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard will speak at the event, as will Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill, and the South Dakota artists creating the sculptures will share what inspired their vision of each leader. The new statues will be added to the trail which begins in downtown Pierre and follows a path to the state’s Capitol grounds. Gov. Herreid’s statue will be placed in the downtown Pierre area while the Gov. G.T. Mickelson and Gov. Kneip bronzes will be at the Capitol grounds, installed during the month of June. These life-size bronzes will bring the total number of governor statues along the capital city’s trail to 12. The project honoring the state’s chief executive officers is the only one of its kind in the United States.

The Kneip and Mickelson statues are fully funded, while donors for Gov. Herreid’s statue are being sought. Each statue requires a donation of $68,000 and those contributing one-quarter ($17,000) or more receive name recognition on the statue’s plaque for the governor they honor.

The foundation’s board is made up of a small group of volunteers who started the project in 2011. Donors from across South Dakota and several states have contributed a total of $910,000 so far, as well as $500 for an endowment fund. The S.D. Community Foundation provides funding guidance and oversight.

Renditions Started of First “Trail of Governors” Statues

Story from The Miller Press

THIS IS ONE OF TWO proposed statues of Harlan J. Bushfield by artist Jim Maher, and the Facebook site states the Trail of Governors Foundation “likes” it.

Renditions started of first ‘Trail of Governors’ statues

This is the year that at least three of the previous governors of South Dakota will be erected along the “Trail of Governors,” which will connect the State Capitol and the Missouri River in Pierre.

The Trail of Governors Foundation has commissioned South Dakota artists to create life-sized, bronze statues of the state’s past governors.

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).

Arthur C. Mellette was the final territorial governor (March 11-October 1, 1889), and the first governor of South Dakota when it became a state (1889-1893).

Walter Dale Miller was governor from 1993 to 1995. The Meade County rancher’s statue promises to have a Western aspect.

And the “mid-timeline” governor whose statue should be placed in 2012 is Harlan J. Bushfield, a Miller native who was South Dakota’s 16th governor, from 1939 to 1943.

James M. Maher of Belle Fourche has been commissioned to create the Bushfield statue, and he has provided two renditions.

The Trail of Governors Foundation was established in 2010. 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.

Pierre businessman Rick Jensen is the foundation’s president. He said the statues will form a trail through the state’s Capitol grounds and downtown Pierre which people can follow to learn more about South Dakota’s 30 previous governors as well as the state’s history. He said there is no other project like this in any other state.

Creation of the governors’ statues will be an ongoing process, which will continue to honor future governors.

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