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‘Lighthorse’ statue arrives at U.S. Marshals Museum

The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma Lighthorse monument arrived at the Marshals Museum on Friday.
Credit: United States Marshals Museum
The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma Lighthorse monument

FORT SMITH, Ark. — A nearly 13-foot tall bronze monument by Sallisaw artist Daniel Horsechief arrived at the U.S. Marshals Museum Friday (June 4), checking off one more box for the future museum that has struggled to raise enough funds to open.

The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma Lighthorse monument is dedicated to the tribal law enforcement agencies that worked closely with the U.S. Marshals to capture fugitives during the frontier period. Though it will temporarily be stored in one of the museum’s galleries, the sculpture will have a permanent home on the southwest corner of the museum’s campus, where it will sit in the center of a large concrete star looking west toward Oklahoma. 

The museum hopes to hold an unveiling ceremony for the sculpture when it is moved to its permanent location sometime in July, said Patrick Weeks, Marshals Museum president and CEO.

Credit: United States Marshals Museum

Horsechief is of Cherokee and Pawnee descent and has created many art pieces and sculptures over the years, including the bronze statue Sequoyah, one of the Cherokee Nation’s most noted citizens, at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., said Catherine Gray, history and preservation officer for the Cherokee Nation. The Lighthorse was a native lawman with the police forces of the five tribes in the Oklahoma Territory during the frontier period. 

“A lot gave their lives in the line of duty. Back then it was such a wild area that going out on their own, they weren’t guaranteed to come back,” Horsechief said 

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