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Oklahoma CUs Make a Permanent Mark at State Capitol
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 6:55 AM

OK CUs Make Mark at Capitol
Sen. Dan Newberry (left of painting) with WEOKIE CU President/CEO Brent Taylor, and members of the WEOKIE board.

Every 12 years, a state senator is asked to raise funds to commission a painting that reflects a chapter in Oklahoma’s unique history. These paintings are placed in a prominent location in the capitol and also identify those who contributed to its creation.

This year, Sen. Dan Newberry was tasked with this project, and he enlisted the help of Oklahoma credit unions to underwrite the effort. Within 48 hours, enough money was raised to commission an impressive work of art.

The three credit unions donating at the highest level received three original copies of the paintings: Communication FCU, TTCU The Credit Union, and WEOKIE Credit Union. Four other credit unions, Oklahoma Central Credit Union, Truity Credit Union, Green Country FCU, and Bison FCU, played an integral part in this project.

OK CUs Make Mark at Capitol
Sen. Dan Newberry (left of painting) with Communication FCU President/CEO Larry Shropshire and members of staff and board.
OK CUs Make Mark at Capitol
Sen. Dan Newberry (left) with TTCU President/CEO Tim Lyons.

The painting is of U.S. Deputy Bass Reeves who became the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi River and one of the greatest frontier heroes in our nation’s history. Reeves was born to slave parents in 1838, and in the latter part of the 1870s, he worked among other legendary lawmen riding the Oklahoma range in search of outlaws. He earned his place in history by being one of the most effective lawmen in Indian Territory, bringing in more than 3,000 outlaws.

The original painting will be unveiled in the senate chamber in February. Credit unions that contributed to its creation will be invited to participate in the ceremony.