Sheldon, Crawford and Gunderson join Trail of Governors

This morning, the Trail of Governors unveiled new statues of Charles H. Sheldon, 2nd Governor of South Dakota; Carl Gunderson, 11th Governor of South Dakota; and Coe Crawford, 6th Governor of South Dakota.

Below is a gallery of the three new statues, which were installed at their permanent sites in Pierre shortly after the ceremony.

Sheldon’s statue, by sculptor James Michael Maher, portrays the second governor with his saber and hat from the Union Army, holding a small picture of himself during the Civil War. The statue is placed near the southeastern shore of Capitol Lake, across Capitol Avenue from the Civil War Memorial and near the Governor’s Mansion.

Crawford’s statue, by sculptors Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby, evokes Crawford’s reputation as an entertaining orator and debater. Crawford traveled the Midwest to speak on the issues of the day, and in his statue he stands prepared to vigorously his position. The sculpture is placed at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Pierre Street, in front of the headquarters of the South Dakota State Bar Association.

Gunderson’s statue, by sculptor James Van Nuys, recalls Gunderson’s lifelong career as one of the state’s largest wheat farmers, and includes a surprising field mouse behind the hay bale upon which Gunderson is seated. The sculpture is placed on the Governor’s Mansion grounds, near the corner of Washington Avenue and Cabot Street.

The placement of the three statues means that the Trail of Governors now features 28 of the 31 former governors of South Dakota, and will be completed in June 2022 when statues of Andrew E. Lee, Frank M. Byrne, and William J. Bulow are unveiled. After that, new statues of governors will be placed after they leave office, beginning with current Gov. Kristi Noem.