BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — The well-known Bowie Knife Statue continues to hold the record for the largest bowie knife in the world, but few know the history behind it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023, at the Kemp Center for the Arts, the 20 foot 6-inch knife design and construction were presented by one of the main builders, Albert Schlabs, and his wife Gloria Schlabs, while the project stands as a city memorial.

To Schlabs, this project means much more.

Schlabs and his best friend Larry Hartmangruber were the two commissioned to build this monument. After the completion of the project in 2016, Hartmangruber died of cancer.

Schlabs said he believes the knife statue honors the memory of Hartmangruber and all of his dedication and hard work throughout the years.

“What it means, like, it means a lot because it represents just many years of friendship and a part of us,” Gloria said. “I don’t think that there could have been another welder that could have done this much.”

Surrounding the knife are granite stones, some of which were bought in and dedicated in memory of Heartman-Gruber and his participation in the community.

For information on how to visit the World’s Largest Bowie Knife, check out the Bowie Chamber of Commerce’s website.