THE TREE TOTEM (constructed pre-1961)


"The Dr. Seuss-like tree structure is thought to be the last thing that Ed Galloway built before his death probably between 1955 and 1957. The Tree Totem also has a humorous story behind its creation which sheds light on Galloway’s sense of humor. The story goes that Villie, Galloway’s wife, poked fun at him by saying that the only thing he had yet to make was an actual tree. She paraphrased the poet Joyce Kilmer. “Totem poles are made by fools like thee, but only God can make a tree.” Out of this challenge, Galloway built a monument to the nature that surrounded him and also built a home for the plethora of birds that inhabited the Blackjack, Oak, and Mimosa trees that covered the property. In an interview that Ed had with his son, he explained it in some detail.

"This tree is made of concrete. It’s about 5 feet in diameter, and it has the first figure in front of it with a tall bonnet on is a string guide on an Alaskan Indian. He’s fishing under the ice with spears, an’ hooks, an’ things like that. Then the other Indians are just decorations that go around on it. On a band is a possum squirreling his head out, an’ an old squirrel’s climbing up and down in one place. And there’s falcons on top of it, on each limb, sticks out there’s a falcon. An’ the birdhouse on top is made out of wood, but the rest of the building is a birdhouse where, the holes you can see in there is to house 50 - 75 Starlings through the winter.”

"Totem Pole Park Audio Tour," written by Tim Brown, commissioned by Dr. Carolyn Comfort and the Rogers County Historical Society.


Trees, by Joyce Kilmer

"The Tree Totem, located to the northeast of teh Birdbath Totem, may have been the last of Galloway's constructions. Legend tells that his wife chided him for his many constructions, telling him that the only thing that he had not yet made was a tree, because 'only God can make a tree.' In jest, Galloway created his Tree Totem, which measures fourteen feet in height, and eight feet in width along the branches. This green concrete totem, cylindrical in form, with rough bark, is decorated with heads of Plains Indians, several in full-feathered headdress, as well as small, three-dimensional owl figures that perch atop the upraised tree branches. There are seven owls; one is obviously missing, probably stolen."

Everett, Dianna. "Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park." National Register of Historic Places. 27 July 1998. Certified 25 January 1999.