Theodore Roosevelt

May 10, 2019

CONTACT: Stephanie Price, 806-651-2235, sprice@pphm.wtamu.edu

 

Theodore Roosevelt's Gun Debut at PPHM

Canyon, Texas-- President Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite shotgun will go on display at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 28.  A ribbon cutting for the artifact, considered to be the most historic and important shotgun known to exist, will take place in the PPHM, Pioneer Hall at 2503 4th Avenue in Canyon. The firearm is on loan from the Jason Roselius Trust. Members of the Roselius family will be present for the ribbon cutting.

Roselius, a native of Panhandle, graduated from West Texas A&M University with degrees in history and political science and from the University of Oklahoma Law School.  He purchased the shotgun in 2010 for $862,500, setting a record for the most expensive shotgun ever sold at auction. 

According to the Roselius family, it was Jason’s intention the shotgun be displayed where the residents of the Texas Panhandle would be able to see and enjoy it. Following Roselius’ death in an accidental drowning in January 2018, members of his family initiated efforts for the shotgun to be placed on display at the PPHM, on the campus of the University he loved, according to his father, Jay Roselius. 

The Fox “F” Grade double barreled shotgun was presented to President Roosevelt by the president of the Fox Gun Company and bears the inscription “Made Expressly for Hon. Theodore Roosevelt.” Roosevelt used the shotgun on his well-documented 1909 African safari, known as the most famous of all African safaris, and told friends it was “the finest and most beautiful gun” he’d seen. The shotgun features intricate scroll work, oak leaves and a gold inlaid hunting dog on each side of the frame.

“We are extremely excited to have this shotgun on loan to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum,” said Carol Lovelady, director. “PPHM has long been known for having the best gun collection in Texas, but with the arrival of Teddy Roosevelt’s shotgun – considered a national treasure – the museum has become a destination for history buffs, gun collectors and Roosevelt scholars.”

In the book “Theodore Roosevelt, Outdoorsman” by R. L. Wilson, Roosevelt is described as “one of the greatest of American Presidents, and one of the most versatile and accomplished individuals ever to hold that office. His public and private record of achievements during his sixty years of life (1858-1919) is remarkable.

He was a social reformer and trust-buster, statesman and diplomat, rancher and hunter, naturalist and conservationist.  In addition, he was a soldier, explorer and author. He also held the offices of vice president and governor of New York. He was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, co-organizer of the Rough Riders, builder of the Panama Canal and founder of the Boone and Crockett Club. Roosevelt’s colorful and forceful personality endeared him to the people of his time. To all Americans, he was a great exemplar of courage, hardihood and self-reliance.

The shotgun will be on display in PPHM’s Pioneer Hall for the summer and possibly longer, per the terms of the loan agreement with the Roselius family.

ABOUT PPHM

Located on the campus of West Texas A&M University, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is the largest history museum in Texas, with more than 285,000 square feet—and over two million artifacts—dedicated to preserving this area’s past. PPHM offers visitors a chance to step into panhandle history with special exhibits, a permanent collection, Pioneer Town, cell phone tours, educational tours and special events.

 

—WTAMU—


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