Skip to Main Content

The Pioneer Mother.

The Pioneer Mother (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Eugene, Oregon

In 1927 sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor created "Pioneer Mother" for Kansas City, a misnamed statue that in fact depicts the entire pioneer family of the wealthy businessman who paid for it.

Five years later another well-off businessman, Burt Brown Barker, paid Proctor to sculpt another "Pioneer Mother," but this time it really was just of mom, in this case Elvira Chadwick Brown Matheny. Unlike most pioneer mom statues, Elvira sits in a classical chair with a book in her lap, like maybe she'd been reading about the Old West but hadn't actually been there. In fact, the only thing pioneer about the statue are the bas-relief plaques on its base, depicting typical wagon train scenes.

Burt Brown Barker was not only successful enough to pay for a statue of his mom, he was also the vice president of the University of Oregon, which is why the statue sits on its campus.

The Pioneer Mother

Directions:
On the campus of the University of Oregon. East side of the city. From E. 18th Ave. turn north onto University Ave. When you reach the stop sign, park (good luck) then walk to the left, just north of the big red brick building with the circular driveway in front of it. You'll come to a quad on the right; the statue is seated on a pedestal there, facing away from you.
Admission:
Free
Status:
Gone

More Quirky Attractions in Oregon

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Oregon.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Oregon Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Congressional Cemetery: A Not-Grave Graveyard, Washington, DC (Feb 19-25, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights