Birth Name: Ruby Tiger
Birthplace: the Everglades
Married: Frank Osceola
This Seminole Indian woman was born to descendants of Seminole Indians who eluded capture and deportation to the American West. She worked in the fields to support 7 children. In 1960 her husband was murdered, and she moved her family from the swamps to Bradenton.
In 1980 a new Seminole reservation became available, and she was asked to help develop it, along with 17 other members of her family who were living nearby. They began a high stakes bingo hall which grew and grew, eventually becoming the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel. She was actively consulted about the management of this enterprise until her death at the age of 106.
Throughout her life she worked to preserve tribal culture and to protect her people. She wore traditional clothing, spoke only the tribal language and lived in a traditional hut, a “chickee”, her entire life. She worked to impart this culture to her many descendants. The importance of her family is captured by the background of the statue, where her six daughters are pictured: Suzie Osceola, Nancy Frank, Peggy Cubis, Maggie Garcia, Linda O’Henry and Annie Henry.
Commissioned by: the Seminole Tribe of Florida
Sculptor: Bradley Cooley and his son, Bradley Cooley Jr.
Installation Date: Oct. 23, 2009
Location: Near the South entrance, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The hotel and casino is located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa, Florida.
Date of Photos: Feb. 23, 2010