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Celebrating the Legacy of the Chisholm Trail at the Mollie Spencer Farm

June 13, 2019

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The Mollie Spencer Farm, in Yukon, Oklahoma, recently celebrated the relocation of the Chisholm Trail Marker, a historic landmark celebrating the legacy of the Chisholm Trail. The historical marker is also accompanied with a new public entrance for the farm.

Mollie Spencer Farm provides educational opportunities that promote animal well-being, support regional history, and celebrate a sense of community pride in Yukon, Oklahoma

“There is no greater regional history to support than the Chisholm Trail, which came straight through what is now known today as Yukon, Oklahoma,” said Christian Keesee, President, Board of Trustees – Mollie Spencer Farm.

The new marker indicates:

  • Over this spot passed the vast herds of long-horned cattle from the ranges in Texas to the railroads in Kansas. it was in 1867 that the first herd came up this trail on the way to the nearest railroad loading yards in Abilene, Kansas.
  • Jesse Chisholm, an Oklahoma part-Cherokee Indian trader, soon after the Civil War, laid out a trail for his freight wagons that reached approximately from the Arkansas River in Kansas to the North Canadian River in Oklahoma. 
  •  In time, the entire trail from southern Texas to Northeastern Kansas took the name "Chisholm" after the man who had laid out the major part existing when the drives began. 
  • In the twenty years of its use, millions of "beeves" (cattle) were driven up this route, making it the greatest cattle trail of all time. 

           – Oklahoma Historical Society, 1965 

The marker was celebrated this spring with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Mollie Spencer Farm, and a tribute to a longtime friend of the Mollie Spencer Farm, Dixie Clement. A plaque was presented in memorium to the family of Clement, as well as mounted on the back side of the new historical marker for visitors to see as they leave the farm. 

Clement was born in 1939, in Ada, Oklahoma. Her professional career found a home with the Kirkpatrick family after having served on the staff of Oklahoma Governor Henry Bellmon during his first term. John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick’s philanthropic vision required the help of individuals who could envision a project’s potential even in the midst of incremental progress.

Clement fostered the relationship between the Kirkpatrick family and the city of Yukon through her endless support of the Mollie Spencer Farm, Clement never approached anything with less than her best.  She also gave herself to many important programs such as helping FHA students throughout Canadian County, comforting incarcerated minors at the Juvenile Justice Center, and pursuing the humane treatment of animals through countless groups dedicated to their welfare. 

Doug Sauter, Chisholm Trail Historical Preservation Society, said, “Dixie was a true cultural leader whose vision and commitment will forever be remembered by her friends and the community she loved.”

The Mollie Spencer Farm is one of the oldest pieces of continually owned family real estate in Oklahoma and was originally founded in 1894 as the Spencer Homestead. The 33-acre property was purchased by Mollie Spencer, whose husband, L. M. Spencer, and brother-in-law, A. N. Spencer, founded the town of Yukon in 1891. Today, the Mollie Spencer Farm provides educational opportunities that promote animal well-being, support regional history, and celebrate a sense of community pride in Yukon.

Public access at the Farm is only allowed during public events and scheduled activities. To learn more about the Mollie Spencer Farm, please call (405) 767-3702 or email info@molliespencerfarm.org.

 

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