Wyoming Cowboy Hall Of Fame
- September 26, 2017
- Tiffany Schwenke
Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization with purposes that 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.”
Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame is documenting many life stories of those who helped dub our state as the “Cowboy State.” Officially, Wyoming is the “Equality State”, but undeniably we are better known as being cowboys. The logo on our license plates is a cowboy! The mascot of our only state university is a cowboy!
When I think of a cowboy the words that come to my mind are legacy, hertiage, traditions, integrity, and honesty. Cowboys are known for making a deal and sealing it with a handshake. For hundreds of years they have had an unwritten code of ethics but now it has been written and been adopted by the state of Wyoming.
Official Code of Ethics of Wyoming
An Act declaring “The Code of the West” as the official state code of Wyoming was signed into law on March 3rd, 2010. Wyoming is the first state to adopt a code of ethics.
The legislation designates ten ethics derived from the book “Cowboy Ethics” by James P. Owen:
When we say cowboy that means cowgirl too! Most ranches rely on everyone to help so their operation can succeed. Many cowgirls work right along side the men out in the pasture and at the barn. WCHF has inducted some amazing women. Cowgirls who have ridden hundreds of miles, doctored sick animals, and raised their children to have the knowledge and knowhow to do the same.
Wyoming’s history is full of tales about adventurous cowboy pioneers who endured freezing winters, summer droughts, range wars, and disease. Cowboys who raised families, cattle, horses, and sheep. The stories of cowboys who came before us are entertaining and humbling to read. They survived through the tough times because they were tough people. They did their part to be stewards to the land and to the livestock they raised. Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame is proud to be honoring such individuals.
Many people have asked “Why did it take until 2014 for the ‘Cowboy State’ to form a cowboy hall of fame?” My response is, “Cowboys usually keep very busy being cowboys. They are humble, hard working folks who don’t do it for the recognition. They are cowboys because they love the lifestyle and the livestock. I am thankful though, that the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame has finally been organized to preserve our rich Wyoming Cowboy history, that might have otherwise been lost.”
Some cowboys own their ranch and livestock. Some cowboys work on several ranches and with many different breeds of livestock throughout their lives. Every cowboy has their own story and Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame loves learning them!
Geographically, Wyoming is a large state. Because of this, WCHF state board has grouped neighboring counties together to form 10 regions with committees in each. Local ceremonies and fundraisers are held across the state and one large state induction ceremony is held annually in Casper, WY.
My favorite part of being involved with the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame is reading the stories of honoree’s. Stories about tough times, wild events, and exciting adventures. I have read about horses bucking so hard that matches in the cowboy’s pocket set on fire, roping a bear, and a cowboy with a broken leg that tied it to his horse’s neck so he could continue to work… just to mention a few.
For now WCHF is a virtual museum. WCHF is working on raising money so that in the future they can have a permanent building to house exhibits with memorabilia from the inductees. Currently, they are filming interviews with living inductees and family members so they can have a mobile unit to travel around and share with students at schools and people at events all over.
The video link below is story of my great grandfather, Edwin Earl “Cam” Camblin, who was inducted in WCHF first class of inductees. This was at our local, WCHF Region 1 Induction Ceremony in 2014.
Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame is now selling merchandise with our logo and commemorative items with inductee names and pictures on them. To order please message Cowgirl Laser
To keep up on happenings around the state be sure to follow their Facebook page.
For more info about WCHF or to nominate someone for Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame please see our website. Nominations will be accepted January 1st – February 28th, 2018. wyomingcowboyhalloffame
Thank you to everyone who has been involved with and in support of Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame! Preserving Wyoming’s cowboy history is our future!
The following video has some coverage of from our 2017 WCHF state induction ceremony on K2 News!
About Tiffany Schwenke
My family has been ranching and raising horses for over 100 years. We raise, train, and market AQHA horses at North Four Mile Creek Horse Ranch. We produce the annual event WYO WILD RIDE RANCH RODEO. I am a wife and a mother to 3 amazing...