Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame seeks nominations for Class of 2017

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF&WHC) is seeking nominations for the 2017 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame induction round. Every year, the MCHF&WHC honors living and historical figures that have made notable contributions to Montana’s western heritage.

“People from across Montana are invited to identify those in their communities who are most deserving of inclusion in the hall of fame” said Mark Larson, MCHF&WHC board director. “Nominations are open and welcome from the public at large.”

2017 marks the seventh year the MCHF&WHC will honor living inductees and the tenth year of honoring legacy (non-living) inductees. The MCHF&WHC Board of Trustees will cast votes to select one living inductee and two legacy inductees from each of the MCHF&WHC’s 12 Trustee Districts based on nominations from the public.

Nominees can be men, women, ranches, stage coach lines, animals, hotels, etc.—anyone or anything that has made a notable contribution to our Montana western heritage. A full listing of inductees from 2011-2016, the 2017 Nomination Instructions, and more about the Hall of Fame induction process can be found online at

If you would like to make a nomination, you must contact the MCHF&WHC at or by calling (406) 932-5444 prior to the submission deadline to express your intent to nominate. Nominations must include a cover page, a two-page biography, and a high-quality photograph. All nomination documents must be in electronic format and emailed by April 30, 2017.

The 2017 Class of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame will be announced by press release by July 30, 2017. Winning inductees will be honored at the 2018 Annual Circle the Wagons Gathering.

2015 Living Inductee Jack Briggs of Polson, MT poses with his family after he received his plaque at the 2016 Circle the Wagons event.

2015 Living Inductee Jack Briggs of Polson, MT poses with his family after he received his plaque at the 2016 Circle the Wagons event.

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame to honor inductees at Circle the Wagons Gathering in Great Falls, Feb. 4

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF&WHC) extends an invitation to all to attend the 11th Annual Circle the Wagons Convention in Great Falls, Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Best Western Heritage Inn.


“We are excited to be celebrating our 11th anniversary of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame,” said MCHF & WHC President Jeff Bolstad. “We are honored to celebrate those who embody the qualities of our Montana communities and way of life.  If you are proud of your Montana Western heritage and wish to help preserve and pass it on to the next generation, we invite you to join us in Great Falls for this special event.”


The Inductee Recognition Ceremony Brunch will begin at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate the notable accomplishments and lasting legacies of the inductees to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Tickets are $30 per person. Early registration is recommended as this event sells out well in advance each year!


The 11th Annual Cowboy Ball and Benefit Auction will kick off at 7:00 p.m. This event will feature a Chuckwagon Buffet dinner and live Western music by Big Sky Country. A silent and live auction will feature unique Western items. Tickets to the Cowboy Ball are $75 per person or $570 for an eight-person table.


Register online at, by calling (406) 653-3800, or email Rooms may be reserved at the Best Western Heritage Inn by calling (406) 761-1900.

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame announces 2016 inductions

Today the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) announced the ninth class of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The inductees were chosen from a field of candidates nominated by the general public. Inductees are honored for their notable contributions to the history and culture of Montana.


“Our volunteer trustees around Montana vote on nominations that come from the district in which they reside,” said Jeff Bolstad, Helena State Farm agent and MCHF&WHC President. “It gives the local communities a strong voice in who will represent them in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame exists to honor those who have made an impact in their part of the state and represent Montana’s authentic heritage for future generations.”


The MCHF & WHC board of directors has designated 12 trustee districts across the state from which up to 20 trustees may be appointed. Nomination criteria established by the board for the Class of 2016 inductions allowed the election of up to one Living Inductee and two Legacy Inductees from each of the 12 districts.


The 2016 inductees into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame are:


  • District 1 (Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, & Valley Counties): Living Award – Edgar Richardson, Scobey. Legacy Award – Fire Bear – William Standing, Oswego and Tande Ranch, Scobey.
  • District 2 (Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, & Wibaux Counties): Living Award – Lawrence C. “Buck” Roberts, Wibaux. Legacy Award – William James “Bill” Brown, Sr., Sand Springs and Paul Kasten, Brockway.
  • District 3 (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, & Treasure Counties): Living Award – William Jr. “Chuck” Hubing, Miles City. Legacy Award – Gary Grant Gatlin, Broadus and Johnny Morris, Broadus.
  • District 4 (Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, & Liberty Counties): Living Award – Aaron “Duke” Pursley, Big Sandy. Legacy Award – Gordon Charles “Buck” Boyce, Havre.
  • District 5 (Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, & Toole Counties): Living Award – Donald Patrick Hogan, Great Falls. Legacy Award – Hattie Maria (Webb) Dear, Cascade and Jules Klint “Duke” Gustafson, Great Falls.
  • District 6 (Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, & Wheatland Counties): Living Award – Clinton H. “Clint” & Sharon E. (Henderson) Martin, Lewistown. Legacy Award – George R. “Sonny” Smith, Grass Range and William “Bill” Skelton, Stanford.
  • District 7 (Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, & Yellowstone Counties): Living Award – Henry & Lorraine Valgamore, Big Timber. Legacy Award – Ella Maude (Daylong) Huntington, Billings and High Bird – Dr. Joseph “Joe” Medicine Crow, Crow Agency.
  • District 8 (Broadwater, Jefferson, & Lewis and Clark Counties): Living Award – Jack Leroy “Doc” Rea, Helena. Legacy Award – Frank James “Gary” Cooper, Helena and Robert F. “Bob” Morgan, Helena.
  • District 9 (Gallatin, Meagher, & Park Counties): Living Award – James Earl “Jimmy” Sarrazin, Wilsall. Legacy Award – Gerard “Bud” Story Burkhart, Bozeman and “Indian Jack” Hart, Livingston.
  • District 10 (Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, & Sanders Counties): Legacy Award – Lester P. “Les” Baldwin, Polson and The Park Saddle Horse Company, Glacier National Park.
  • District 11 (Mineral, Missoula, & Ravalli Counties): Living Award – Arnold D. “Smoke” Elser, Missoula. Legacy Award – Charles James “Charlie” Yerian, Corvallis and Elton Vanleir Brechbill, Stevensville.
  • District 12 (Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison, & Powell Counties): Living Award – Paul Irving Greany, Drummond. Legacy Award – Donald Philip “Don” Harrington, Dillon and Samuel Russel “Sam” McDowell, Wisdom.

Since the initial round of inductions to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008, including this year’s inductions, 274 inductees have been honored. Full biographies for past inductees are available on the MCHF & WHC’s website,


For more information about the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center, or for more details on the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees, please contact Christy Stensland by calling (406) 653-3800, emailing, or visiting



The mission of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center is to “honor our cowboy way of life, American Indian cultures and collective Montana Western heritage.” We exist to serve as a resource to all who wish to see this way of life passed forward to the next generation. Our vision is “to be the state’s premier destination attraction that celebrates and passes forward Montana’s unique western culture and heritage.”