Three statutes to be unveiled on Trail of Governors

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – Life size, bronze statues of three more governors will be unveiled next week in Pierre.

The Trail of Governors Foundation will hold an unveiling ceremony Friday, June 14, at 10am at the South Dakota Capitol Rotunda. This year’s additions are Govs. Samuel Elrod (5th), Archie Gubbrud (22nd) and Dennis Daugaard (32nd). These statues will be the 23rd, 24th and 25th statues on display from the State Capitol grounds to downtown Pierre near the Missouri River.

Trail of Governors statues cost around $72,000 each and are paid for using private donations, not state government funds.

Pierre businessmen Leroy Foster and Rick Jensen came up with the idea for the Trail of Governors. The foundation was formed in 2010 and the first bronze statues (Arthur Mellette 1st, Harlan Bushfield 16th and Walter D. Miller 29th) were placed in 2012. South Dakota artists Lee Leuning, John Lopez, James Michael Maher, Sherri Treeby and James Van Nuys have been selected to create the sculptures.

Timeline for future statues:


Coe Crawford, 6th

Charles H. Sheldon, 2nd

Carl Gunderson, 11th


Andrew E. Lee, 3rd

W. J. Bulow, 12th

Frank M. Byrne, 8th


Kristi Noem, 33rd Scheduled for the end of her term