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, http://www.montanacowboyfame.org.
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 Christy@montanacowboyfame.org, or visiting http://www.montanacowboyfame.org.
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.”