The State Senate on Monday passed a resolution honoring the exceptional life and work of Gloria Farley of Heavener, a teacher, researcher, author and caseworker for the state welfare system.
Senator Kenneth Corn, author of Senate Resolution 87, said Farley’s tireless work and efforts have produced a wealth of historical knowledge and ultimately resulted in her research area being transformed into the Heavener Runestone State Park.
“Gloria Farley has devoted a half a century to research and record evidence of pre-Columbian visitors to America and specifically Southeastern Oklahoma,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “Her perseverance resulted in the protection of the Heavener Runestone as a State Park, ensuring the preservation of a unique historical artifact.”
In 1928, Farley first viewed the Heavener Runestone, then known as Indian Rock, which changed her life forever. While maintaining her career as a kindergarten teacher, Farley spent decades researching the site. She has authored 66 published articles and presented over 50 lectures on epigraphy and her findings. In 1994, her book, “In Plain Sight: Old World Records in Ancient America,” was published, and a second book is scheduled for publication next year. Her extensive collection is being catalogued and displayed by the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Farley, a renowned epigrapher in her own right, and with the assistance of some of the world’s most prominent experts of ancient Norse languages translated the inscription on the rock as reading “Glome’s Valley”. The language used in marking the rune dates from 300 A.D. to 800 A.D.
Farley’s work to bring academic legitimacy to the Heavener Runestone and various other sites throughout America resulted in numerous honors. She has been named a fellow of the Epigraphic Society and the Explorers Club, is a charter member and trustee of the Institute for the Study of American Cultures, which honored her with the Root Cutter Award, is a charter member of the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame, and an honorary member of Delta Kappa Gamma International.
“Gloria Farley’s accomplishments were not limited to her work as a highly respected epigrapher,” Corn said. “She was a woman of boundless energy and talent, a loving mother, an inspiring teacher and a woman of great empathy as evidenced by her work as a caseworker for the welfare system in Oklahoma. She will be greatly missed.”