Meadowlarks, greening pastures, and the inimitable scent of branding smoke on the breeze announce Spring in this wonderful West that is Wyoming. Another perennial harbinger is the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame (WCHF) announcement of their next class of Honorees. WCHF Board of Directors held their Spring business meeting May 4 & 5 at Ramkota Hotel Conference Center in Casper, and proudly named 43 men and 4 women to the Class of 2019. Their induction ceremony will be at the Casper Events Center September 22, during the First Annual Wyoming Cowboy & Cowgirl Legacy Week.
Nominations were accepted statewide during January and February. Regional committees in ten different geographic sections of Wyoming sifted nominations from their areas and forwarded 75 to the state board for consideration this year. The 47 new selections will bring the WCHF Honoree total to 283 since the Premiere Induction in 2014. All nominees not chosen for induction — who meet WCHF criteria and for whom sufficient information has been provided – remain in the nominee pool to be considered in future years.
Formed for exclusively historical, cultural, literary and educational purposes, WCHF’s chief goal is “To preserve, promote, perpetuate, publish and document Wyoming’s rich working cowboy and ranching history through researching, profiling and honoring individuals who broke the first trails and introduced that culture to this state. WCHF plans to collect, display and preserve the stories, photos and artifacts of such individuals and anything else that will honor and highlight their contributions to our history.”
This year WCHF members lobbied for and were successful in passing a bill creating an annual “Wyoming Cowboy and Cowgirl Legacy Week” the third calendar week of September. The law becomes effective July 1, 2019. The accompanying encouragement of school studies to commemorate this time through appropriate activities is being supported by WCHF with educational Cowboy activity booklets distributed to all 4th grade classes across the state.
Members of the WCHF Class of 2019 may also be inducted at their county or regional level, prior to or following the State Induction. Events already planned include Park County Day of the Cowboy events in Meteetse including a town barbecue, live music and dancing July 20; and the Sommers Homestead Open House in Sublette County on September 1. Watch this publication for information on others across the state.
Here is the chosen WCHF Class of 2019:
REGION 1: Crook County – Joe Graham, Gerald McInerney. Weston County – Harry Aaron Borgialli, Warren Richard ‘Dick’ Shaw, Lora Reynolds Johnson.
Region 2: Goshen County – Bruce Laird, Archie Johnson, Gary Walker. Niobrara County – Glenn Hanson, Raymond Smith. Platte County – Jack Finnerty.
Region 3: Albany County – Dale Robbins, Joe Coykendall. Laramie County – Dan Kirkbride, Earl Marsh
Region 4: Converse County- Byron E. Wollen, Paul ‘Blinky’ Hamilton Miller. Natrona County – Tom Schutte, Roy Jarrard.
Region 5: Johnson County – Tom Borgialli. Sheridan County– Carleton Perry.
Region 6: Park County– Jerry Lanchbury, Art Bales, Peter McCulloch, CW & Dick Curtis
Region 7: Carbon County – Georgia Platt, Jess Barkhurst. Sweetwater County — A.W. Dick Dickinson, James Ramsay & Wanda Ramsay Walker
Region 8: Fremont County – William ‘Bill’ Hancock, William ‘Bill’ Frank Sr. and William ‘Billy’ Frank Jr. Hot Springs County – Hugh & Mary Sue Vass, Norman Sanford
Region 9: Uinta County – Jeffery ‘Nate’ Lupher & Jim Lupher, Albert William ‘Bud’ Huseman
Region 10: Lincoln County – Billy Sherman, Bill Carr. Sublette County – Gene Pearson, Bob Beard. Teton County — Rulon & Loal Jacobson, Wells Beck