He never met a man he didn’t like.
Will Rogers was born in Oologah, OK, and his final resting place is at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, OK.
Rogers made a name for himself in vaudeville as doing roping tricks, eventually making it to the Ziegfeld Follies. He then made silent films, talking pictures, wrote syndicated newspaper columns and broadcasted on the radio. Rogers was always on top of his communication game.
Rogers died in 1935 in a plane crash in Alaska.
“When commercial radio evolved, Rogers quickly migrated to the new format,” said an exhibit at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. “If alive today, he probably would be blogging and tweeting.”
This past September, my co-worker Brittany Randolph and I went on a road trip to Oklahoma. She loves the plains and I was along for an adventure. I didn’t care where we went as long as we visited the Will Rogers Rogers Memorial Museum.
The museum includes:
-Rogers’s saddle collection such as Mongolian, French and Navajo saddles
-A gallery of portraits painted of Will Rogers
-A theater that shows “The Will Rogers Story” narrated that Bob Hope
-Rogers’s tiny saddle collection
-A smaller theater that shows Will Rogers films
-A diorama on Will Rogers life
-Artifacts such as hats, scripts or costumes that belonged to Rogers
-History on Rogers’ family, dating back to his Native American heritage
-Rooms of the museum recreate rooms of Rogers’s home such as his study-modeled to make him think of ranch life
-Will Rogers’ grave sight is in a garden outside the museum with a large statue of him on a horse.
-Samples of some of his radio broadcasts
The museum opened in 1938 and was dedicated on what would have been his 59th birthday. The land where the museum stands was purchased by Will and his wife Betty in 1911. Betty donated the land to the state in 1937, according to the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.
Along with Rogers, his wife Betty (d. 1944) and their four children: Fred Stone Rogers, 1918-1920; Mary Amelia Rogers Brooks, 1913-1989; and James Blake (Jim) Rogers, 1915-2000; as well as Jim’s wife, Marguerite Astrea Kemmler Rogers, 1917-1987 lay to rest behind the museum.
Here are some photos I took around the museum:
If you are ever in the Claremore, OK area, I highly suggest visiting the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.
For someone who lives in the southeast with few historical film museums to offer, it was a treat to get to visit the Will Rogers Museum and his resting place.
It was peaceful and a beautiful tribute to a highly respected man.
“Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on Earth.”
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