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September 29, 2013

Stratton Taylor, Elizabeth Gordon to join Claremore Wall of Fame

CLAREMORE — Two Claremore icons will be inducted into the Claremore Wall of Fame on Thursday, October 10, at the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in downtown Claremore.

The induction will begin with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 6 p.m.

This year’s inductees are Former Oklahoma State legislator and Senate President Pro Tem Stratton Taylor, and former Mayor of Claremore, Elizabeth Gordon.  

“We received nominations from the public for six weeks during the summer,” said Dell Davis, a Claremore Wall of Fame committee member. “We are very pleased that we can add these two distinguished Claremore citizens to the Wall of Fame.”

 Stratton Taylor moved to Claremore in 1974 to attend Claremore Junior College.  Four years later, at the age of 22 while working at a local grocery store, he was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives.  In 1982, he was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate. In 1995, with unanimous bi-partisan support, he was elected the President Pro Tem which is the presiding officer of the Senate, the highest leadership position in that body, and third in line behind the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.  He served in that capacity for eight years, the longest tenure in Oklahoma state history.    

During his time in the Senate, Taylor authored legislation and advocated for the creation of Rogers State University, the Claremore Veterans’ Center, and improvements to Highways 20, 88, 169, 66, and I-44.  He also authored legislation for bringing toll-free calling to Claremore throughout the Tulsa metropolitan area.  

    In 2000 he became the first Oklahoman to be elected Chairman of the Senate President’s Forum.  During this time he also founded Claremore’s largest law firm.  

Taylor is married to former State Representative, Dr. Carolyn Thompson Taylor.  They have two children: Carson Owen Taylor and Abbey Anne Taylor.  

Elizabeth K. Gordon  is a graduate of the University of Hamlin-Minnesota. She married Dr. Minor E. Gordon, and they had two sons, Elliott and Minor. Elizabeth Gordon was extremely active in serving the Claremore community. She was elected twice as the Mayor of Claremore, was President of the Claremore School Board, and President of the Professional Education Organization.

She served on the Claremore Planning Commission, the Rogers State University Foundation, the Board of Directors of the Bank of Oklahoma-Claremore, and the Board of Directors of the First Christian Church in Claremore. She was also active in the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, the Community Chest, the 4-H Foundation, Crimestoppers and an actress in and supporter of the Claremore Community Theater.

Beyond Claremore, Gordon was involved in the creation of the Tulsa Whole Blood Bank, served as Vice-President of the Oklahoma Municipal League, served on the Northeastern State University Endowment Fund, and was a nationally-certified flower show judge. Her honors include Claremore Citizen of the Year and the Ducks Unlimited Citizen of the Year, as well as being nominated to the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame.

The exhibit was designed by Davis Museum Curator, Jason Schubert. “Jason and our Maintenance Director, Curtis Miser did an outstanding job on this exhibit,” said J.M. Davis Executive Director, Wayne McCombs. “The Claremore Wall of Fame honors those past and present citizens of Claremore or Rogers County who have made great contributions to the betterment of society.”

With the addition of Gordon and Taylor, the Claremore Wall of Fame hosts fifteen members. Past honorees include:  J.M. Davis, former Claremore mayor and collector of the world’s largest privately held arms collection; W.R. Howell, past CEO of J.C. Penny’s; Clem McSpadden, State Senator and U.S. Congressman and internationally-known rodeo announcer; Lynn Riggs, poet and Broadway play writer. Riggs was the author of Green Grow the Lilacs, a smash Broadway play which later became the musical, “Oklahoma!”

Also included on the Wall of Fame are Patti Page, recording artist who sold over 110 million records; Andy Payne, winner of the 1928 cross-country foot race “the Bunion Derby”; Clem Rogers, state constitution delegate and father of Will Rogers. Rogers County is named after him. Will Rogers, Oklahoma’s favorite son; Ludmilla Robson a patron of the arts and a contributor to numerous charities; her husband Frank C. Robson, a promoter of public education, the Boy Scouts, and a member of the board of directors of RCB Bank; Stuart Roosa, lunar pilot for the Apollo 14 moon landing in 1971; Helen Walton, wife of Sam Walton, creator of the Wal-Mart corporation; and Laurie Williams, the farm-girl from Claremore, Indian Territory, the heroine of the play and movie “Oklahoma!”

The Claremore Wall of Fame ceremony is hosted by the Claremore Chamber of Commerce, Claremore Convention and Visitors Bureau, J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum, The Rogers County Historical Society and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.

Pelco Structural is the Claremore Wall of Fame induction evening sponsor.

The gala begins with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the 6 p.m. ceremony.

The public is invited to this free event. Reservations are requested by contacting;

KThompson@thegunmuseum.com.

The J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum is located in downtown Claremore at 5th street and J.M. Davis Blvd. For more information call 918-341-5707.

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