News Releases

Evergy Donating Historic Keeper of the Plains Documents to Mid-American All-Indian Museum

Iconic sculpture commissioned by former company CEO 

Wichita, KS – May 13, 2024 – To mark 50 years of Wichita’s iconic Keeper of the Plains statue, Evergy is donating a treasure trove of original Keeper sketches, blueprints, original photographs, correspondence and other historic documents to the Mid-American All-Indian Museum. The museum is an inter-tribal facility and was named to be welcoming of various indigenous tribes represented throughout North America. 

“There is no better place for these pieces of Wichita history to be than the Mid-American All-Indian Museum. Collectively, each sketch, photograph, and diagram in this collection tells the story of the Keeper of the Plains from conception to the day it was dedicated in 1974,” said Chuck Caisley, Evergy’s Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief Customer Officer.  “Evergy played an important role in creating one of the most visible and visited symbols in the region.” 

In 1968, Elmer Hall, CEO of Kansas Gas and Electric (Evergy’s predecessor company) approached renowned Kiowa Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin to create a piece of art to honor the indigenous people of the North American Plains who first lived in the area, specifically at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers. 

Bosin designed the sculpture and Kansas Gas and Electric employees engineered the design for construction. Among the historic documents are original sketches and detailed diagrams, handwritten notes from the artist, telegrams requesting sculpture materials, and color photographs of Bosin collaborating with KG&E engineers. 

The engineers worked with Bosin to anchor the Keeper firmly on a modified transmission pole platform to ensure it would withstand extreme weather – including 100-mile-per-winds. The Keeper was placed at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers, and dedicated May 18, 1974.  

Fifty years later, Evergy is excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Keeper with the museum, the City of Wichita, and other partners.“These historic documents are finding their proper home at the Museum right on time,” said Caisley. “We can celebrate the history of the Keeper of the Plains while looking ahead to the future and the Keeper’s continued role as an icon of Wichita.”