- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Relatives of a woman who was crowned Miss America in 1926 are wondering how a trophy thought to be hers wound up on an online auction.

Some wonder if the trophy that’s up for the highest bid until Friday is the one that Norma DesCygne Smallwood had actually won, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1fJvSWc ) reported. They say they plan to do more digging to unravel the mystery of how the award winded up in the care of a Miss America memorabilia collector, who somehow obtained it.

After the collector’s death in 2010, his sister kept the items and decided to sell them last October, when it was purchased by founder Joshua Leland Evans of the website, Lelands.com. Evans said that when he stumbled across the trophy at an auction, he couldn’t pass it up. He also bought a jewelry box that appears to have belonged to Smallwood.

Smallwood was the first Miss America from Oklahoma and the first Native American winner. She died in 1966, four days shy of her 57th birthday.

One of her grandsons, who’s the president of the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation, said that the trophy might be authenticated with photos of Smallwood with the silver cup. Thomas Gilcrease Denney said that if it’s proven genuine, then he would consider acquiring it for a museum.

“I suspect some of the other family members would be interested as well, but the trophy isn’t engraved, so we have lots of questions,” he said.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com



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