The Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame (WCHF) is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt organization, founded through a series of meetings April–July 2013 at Casper, Wyoming. The WCHF By-Laws are now on file with the State of Wyoming. The mailing address is PO Box 6070, Riverton, WY 82501. Board Members are Scotty Ratliff of Riverton, Russell “Pinky” Walter of Lingle, Paulette Moss of Riverton, Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns of Newcastle, Pete Kuhn of Cheyenne, Kim Furnival of Casper, Lee Martinez of Kaycee, Jen Fernandez of Powell, Valerie Remick of Encampment, Wade Lupher of Mountain View, and Windy Noble of Pinedale.
The purposes of the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame are exclusively historical, cultural, literary and educational. 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.”
Having observed and studied the formative struggles of similar organizations in various states, and fully understanding the blessings of our present “internet age,” the WCHF plans to first establish an accessible, informative virtual presence. While recognizing the possible limitations to non-computer-users, the Board also recognizes the limitless borders and opportunities of such a presence worldwide. The rich wealth of information the virtual WCHF can display will be advantageous to Wyoming, to each Region, and to all facets of the livestock, ranching and cowboy business.
Wyoming covers a lot of territory, and some parts of the state are historically isolated from others. Traveling border to border is difficult and time consuming. Whenever and wherever the WCHF finds a permanent home, it will not likely be soon, and it will definitely be distant from many Wyoming residents. Thus, to facilitate the process of soliciting nominees and compiling their information – and in an effort to make the working cowboy’s valuable historic data more accessible to all – the WCHF is developing committees in each of ten geographic Regions.
After the cut-off date, all correctly filled out nominations will be forwarded to the appropriate committee, which will then meet to discuss the supporting information about all their nominees and make their decision on which nominees they want to advance to the State Board to be considered for induction at both their Regional Level and State Level. Events held locally to commemorate such recognition will offer those within the Region opportunity to gather and celebrate their common heritage, as well as building a local archive and information base and providing fundraising opportunities for WCHF and the Region.
Once the final selections are made by the State Board and publicized for that year’s inductees, both a state level and local level induction ceremony and celebration will be held.
In addition to a display of photos, memorabilia and information about honorees, the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame intends to compile a comprehensive archival collection. The collection of items that cannot be stored and displayed virtually will be delayed until WCHF develops a permanent home. Ideally the collection will contain anything and everything concerning, pertaining to or connected with Wyoming’s cowboy history, and will be available for research purposes to anyone involved with or interested in the lore of the American West.