Ruth Monro Augur Murals
114 W Broadway
Step back in time with fascinating depictions of 19th-century Native American hunting, cattle trails and home-seekers from the 1893 Cherokee Strip Land Run that adorn the Garfield County Courthouse. This series of Great Plains region oil murals were painted by Ruth Monro Augur under the auspices of the WPA Federal Art Program. Forced on WPA rolls during the Great Depression, she began work on the project in 1935 for $57.50 a month. Through tedious research, she began to reproduce a land and a people that no longer existed except in history books and the minds of a few old settlers. It is estimated that she spent the equivalent of 15 to 16 months in research before she began painting.
The historical murals cover 1,136 square feet inside the courthouse and took over three years to complete between research and painting. Augur used 36 pounds of white paint on the murals and 20 pounds of combined colors. The oil paints that were used were manufactured from a single chemical base, regardless of color, in order to avoid fading and discoloration of the murals in years to come. According to Augur, the colors will be as bright 200 years from now as they were when she completed them.