CASPER, Wyo. — During its 10th annual induction ceremony on Sept. 15–16 in Casper, the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame will honor those who worked the land and helped shape the Cowboy State.
The event at the Ramkota Hotel, 800 N. Poplar St., is open to the public. The Cowboy Social on Sept. 15 featuring a live auction, cash bar and vendors will start at 6:30 p.m. On Sept. 16, activities including photographs at 9 a.m. and an induction lunch at noon will be followed by a 3:30–5 p.m. video showing of past inductees. A complete schedule with registration and ticket information is available here.
According to the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame, the organization has chosen 25 inductees for the Class of 2023. Of the 10 geographical regions in the state, Region 4 — which includes Natrona and Converse counties — is the only one without an inductee this year.
The void is due to a lack of nominees, according to Candy Moulton, Cowboy Hall of Fame executive director.
“We certainly hope to have nominees from the region next year,” Moulton said.
Nominations for the 2024 class are accepted Oct. 15–Feb. 28. To request a nomination form, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame’s purpose is exclusively historical, cultural, literary and educational. To honor and highlight their contributions to the state’s history, the Cowboy Hall of Fame collects, displays and preserves the stories and photos of its inductees at wyomingcowboyhalloffame.org.
According to the website, the Hall of Fame’s chief goal is to “preserve, promote, perpetuate, publish and document Wyoming’s working cowboy and ranching history through researching, profiling and honoring individuals who broke the first trails and introduced that culture to this state.”
Inductees date back to 2014. Photos and stories of past honored cowboys are available at www.wyomingcowboyhalloffame.org/inductees. The website does not yet showcase 2023 inductees.
Rancher Dee Burtch, a 2022 inductee, was the last cowboy from Natrona County to receive Hall of Fame honors. Burtch, who died in 1988 having spent the majority of his life in Natrona and Carbon counties, was born in a sheep wagon in 1895 in Alcova in a draw north of the North Platte River.
Committees in 10 Wyoming regions researched and scored over 50 nominations for the Class of 2023 and sent the top picks to the WCHF State Board of Directors, which also selected several nominees. The state board chose the 2023 inductees by vote during its annual meeting April 29 in Casper.
According to the Cowboy Hall of Fame website, in 2014, the first official induction ceremony was at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds. Ceremonies were moved to the Casper Events Center in 2015 to handle the large number of guests and to provide a central location for the induction ceremonies.
The Class of 2023
- Region 1
- Campbell County – Marion Scott, Gillette
- Crook County – Wallace Canfield and Jeff Garman, Sundance
- Weston County – Julius Frederick Bock, Osage
- Region 2
- Platte County – Larry D. Cundall, Glendo
- Region 3
- Albany County – Shirley Dawn Wright Lilley, Laramie
- Region 4
- Region 5
- Johnson County – George K. Fraker and Carl Knudson, Buffalo
- Sheridan County – Woodrow Wilson Moreland, Big Horn
- Region 6
- Bighorn County – Stan and Mary Flitner, Greybull
- Park County – Lewis Clifton “Sonny” Bennion Sr., Meeteetse, and Simeon Leon Thayer, Cody
- Washakie County – Gary Vernon Rice, Ten Sleep
- Region 7
- Carbon County – Charles L. Vyvey, Encampment
- Sweetwater County – Gary Zakotnik, Eden, and William J. “Bill” Thoman, Green River
- Region 8
- Hot Springs County – Ross Rhodes, Thermopolis
- Fremont County – Donald Sheer, Dubois
- Region 9
- Lincoln County – Ray C. Fritz., LaBarge
- Uinta County – C.B. Hamilton and Richard Henry Hamilton (family nomination), Fort Bridger
- Region 10
- Sublette County – William Patrick Dew and Carl and Bud Jorgensen, Pinedale, and Dru and Tawny Roberts, Daniel
- Teton County – Tom Breen, Jackson, and Mike Taylor, Wilson