Solon Borglum was the son of a woodcarver, who later became a physician, and the older brother of the more famous Gutzon Borglum. At the age of 16, Solon was sent to western Nebraska as a cowboy on his father's ranch, where he learned the movement and form of horses. On Gutzon's return from Paris, he saw Solon's drawings and urged him to take up art as a career. With Gutzon in California, Solon would work one day a week and spend the rest of the time with the local Indians in the Sierra Madre Mountains. That interest continued when he and his bride spent time with the Sioux Indians on the Dow Creek Reservation. His works principally consisted of Indians, cowboys, horses, and cattle.