The Woodward News

Local News

April 3, 2014

Museum announcing major donation

A Mooreland couple who left the area in 1929 to follow the hope of a better life to California never lost their love for Northwest Oklahoma and have left their entire estate to the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum.

Mrs. Jennie (pronounced Jenae) and Frank Baird were both born near Mooreland around the turn of the century. Upon their passing more than 10 years ago, they left their entire Glendale, Calif. estate ($1.2 million and personal collection of artifacts) to the museum, said Robert Roberson, museum director.

The museum was notified of the pending bequest in 2012 and has already received into the trust nearly half of the funds, Roberson said.

It is the largest single donation in the history of The Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum, Roberson said.

A short press conference announcing the donation will be held at the museum at 10 a.m. Friday and will feature comments from the Baird's executrix, Mrs. Eva Jeffers and those in the community who helped with the process.

After the press conference, Jeffers will tour the museum and the newly established Baird exhibits and visitors will be able to talk with her.

The exhibits feature the eclectic art of Frank Baird, a pilot and multi-medium artist.

Jeffers will also be honored at the Rotary Wine and Cheese Tasting event at the Woodward Conference Center Friday night.

Roberson encourages anyone interested in history and the growth of the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum to be present at the first of its kind press conference for this auspicious announcement and to hear from Jeffers.

"We just want to really make sure Mrs. Jeffers knows how grateful this community is to her for what she did," Roberson said.

Those present will learn of the unlikely path and the long years during which Jeffers shepherded the probate and estate process to ensure her friend's wishes were carried out and the Baird's dearly held artifacts ended up in the place they loved the most.

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