The Will Rogers Memorial Museum houses the world's largest collection of Will Rogers memorabilia and his entire collection of writings. The facility was complete and was dedicated on November 4th, 1938, the 59th birthday of Will Rogers. Will Rogers was known as "America's Cowboy Philosopher". The museum itself is a ranch house designed by John Duncan Forsythe. The Memorial was built with native limestone and with granite shipped from Vermont for the rotunda floor. The centerpiece is a Jo Davidson statue of Will Rogers.
Will Rogers was originally buried in California, but in 1942 a new sunken garden was built in front of the Memorial and Will Rogers was interred there in 1944. Will Rodgers died in
on August 15, 1935 in a small plane piloted by aviator Wiley Post.
A memorial plaque the entrance of the museum reads in part:
Will Rogers Quarter-Blood Cherokee — Roll Number 11384 —
"Live your life, so that whenever you lose you are ahead." Will Rogers
We honor the memory of Oklahoma's beloved native son. A modest, unspoiled child of the Plains, cowboy, actor, humorist and world traveler whose homely philosophy and superior gifts brought laughter and tears to prince and commoner alike. His aversion to sham and deceit, his love of candor and sincerity, coupled with abounding wit and affable repartee, won for him universal homage and an appropriate title, "Ambassador of Good Will."
Presented November 4th, 1946, the 67th anniversary of his birth by The Cherokee Nation.
Will Rogers Memorial Museum web site.