Wyoming Top 10

Seems to me there is a top ten for everything these days, thanks, David Letterman. I couldn’t resist, had to come up with my very own top 10. And you know what, it was tough? Like bloggers in other states, I found a long list of famous, near famous, want to be famous, and used to be kind of famous people.  I felt it might be appropriate to come up with a list of top ten Wyoming famous people.

Why was it hard? I had to leave off Olympic and world champs like Rulon Gardner, John Godina and Tommy Moe. I also left off all modern day politicians, because they are, well politicians. If they would have been statesmen, or world changers, I might have more impressed, but I have never felt running for office, winning, and then doing the job they were elected to do merited an award, and getting on my list is a huge honor, nearly the ultimate award. I also left off some famous people that are associated with Wyoming but maybe didn’t really live here, or not long enough, people like Owen Wister and Jedidiah Smith. My first list had 51 names and I am sure many people would substitute some of them with the ten that made my short list.

With all that said here is my list, no, I didn’t put myself on it, maybe if it were a top 11, well, probably not.

My, Ten Greatest Ever Wyoming People, or Ten Famous Wyoming People, list follows, and will be published in two blog installments. Today (1-5), the next five coming in my next post. These ten people are listed in no particular order, just my own stream of consciousness order.

My Wyoming Top 10

John B. Kendrick – (1857-1933) – Cowboy/Politician  

Born in Texas came to Wyoming on a trail drive at age 22, found work as a cowboy, became a ranch foreman and later a ranch owner. Later the Sheridan, Wyoming bank president and then headed up the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. Elected as the ninth governor of Wyoming, serving from 1915 until he resigned in 1917 after being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until his death in 1933. Elected to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1958

C.J. Box – (b. 1967) Box is a New York Times bestselling author from Cheyenne Wyoming. His feature character is Joe Pickett a Wyoming game warden. Box’s stories ring true to Wyoming in present time. Box was a small town newspaper man in Saratoga, Wyoming before his first novel, Open Season, became a New York Times, Notable Book of 2001. Box has now published more than a dozen novels including 10 Joe Pickett novels. His modern day Wyoming and American west books are among the best of the genre. If you have not read one, give him a try, you will not be disappointed.

Grace Raymond Hebard – (1861-1936) Much is made of the universal man, Miss Hebard is certainly a universal women, people just don’t spend much time talking about universal women. Most of her notoriety is as a Wyoming historian but she was also a noted suffragist, political economist, researcher, University of Wyoming professor and champion of women’s suffrage. And along the way she took time to win a couple of state women’s golf titles. Her most famous work, Sacajawea, is one of the most controversial books in western non-fiction history. Her insistence that Sacajawea lived to a ripe old age and is buried in Wyoming has been disputed, cussed and discussed for years. But she makes a strong argument with much original research.

Nellie Tayloe Ross – (1876-1977) Wyoming’s 14th governor from 1925 to 1927 (one term) need I say more? Later she was the director of the United States Mint from 1933-1953. Mrs. Ross was the first women to be elected governor of a U. S. state. She is also, still, the only women to serve as governor of Wyoming.

Jackson Pollock – (1912-1956) Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming and died in a car accident at 44.  But in those 44 short years he turned the art world upside down. Pollock was the leader of an artistic style referred to as abstract expressionism. His drip and splatter style painting might not be for everyone but they did sell and the style, though lessened in popularity today, is still in use in the world of art.



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