Marlow Brothers Stand Watch Over Main Street

by Arlyn Brantley
Darry and Terry Shaw of Lawton work on the mural of the Marlow Brothers on a sunny, clear day in November. The mural is on the east side of The Dollar General at US-81 (Broadway) and Main St. in Marlow, OK. Photo by Toni Hopper/The Marlow Review Darry and Terry Shaw of Lawton work on the mural of the Marlow Brothers on a sunny, clear day in November. The mural is on the east side of The Dollar General at US-81 (Broadway) and Main St. in Marlow, OK. Photo by Toni Hopper/The Marlow Review

It was by mere chance that all five Marlow brothers happened to be together one day at Ft. Sill at the right moment for a photographer to capture them in film for our posterity. It was this image that gave inspiration to the idea of a large mural on the Dollar General building at US-81 and Main Street in their namesake town. The building is owned by Jason Balaban of California. In about 2013 he first approached local art teacher Arlyn Brantley about having the students add a mural to the east wall.

Over the years the large wall has held great appeal as an art project. The size and scope of the work was enough of a concern that Brantley decided to propose a beautification project to the Marlow City Council. Mayor Jeff Prater was interested in the idea and helped present the proposal for the 2023 calendar year. This proposal included mural work being done by Darry and Terry Shaw of Lawton.

The Shaws are twin brothers who work for Arrow Sign Company in Lawton and paint murals in their spare time. Numerous murals by the Shaw brothers can be found while driving through the main Lawton roads.

Several different components work together to complete the final mural image. The south end includes a depiction of a cattle herd being driven along the Chisholm Trail. The north end includes a stream that can be interpreted as symbolic of Wildhorse Creek which runs through town.

There are native flora and fauna representative of the landscape including an American bison, Scissor-tailed flycatcher, and grey wolf. Wolves are not known to this area currently, but several decades ago an excavation for the old high school building basement revealed North America’s largest intact Dire Wolf skull ever found, according to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.. Many locals will remember that our local mascot for many years was the grey wolf. It is hoped that these symbols will help passersby realize the unique environment that has existed here before modern times.

The Marlow History Museum holds many artifacts and photographs of our local heritage. It is located on the third floor of the Marlow Mercantile business and may be seen by appointment only.



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