Wyoming Stories

Wyoming Stories captures history through the memories of those who live here.

Listen to Wyoming Public Media's collection of Wyoming Stories below. Subscribe to the Wyoming Stories podcast here.

And explore additional Wyoming oral histories by visiting these sites:

Supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

Visit historical organizations across the state featured on Best of Wyoming.
For more information contact Diana Denison at ddenison@uwyo.edu or 307-766-4240.

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Wyoming Stories
9:30 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Horse You Could Rely On

Gene Olmsted
Credit Wayne Thomas

Gene Olmsted lives in Powell. His memories of his horse, Ginger are always fresh on his mind, including a time Ginger helped him get home from school during a storm.

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Wyoming Stories
8:57 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Wyoming Stories: How To Get To School When You're Kicked Off The Bus

Clarabelle Barsness, from Powell.
Credit Wayne Thomas

Clarabelle Barsness lives in Powell. She remembers growing up on a farm in Cody and riding her horse to school—out of necessity.

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Wyoming Stories: Podcast
12:16 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Wyoming Stories Podcast #11

Stories about getting into trouble.

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Wyoming Stories
9:48 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Three Brothers Get Into Mischief

Bob, Frank, and Bert Johnson

Frank, Bert, and Bob Johnson grew up on the A—1 ranch outside of Elk Mountain. The three brothers recount their stories of childhood trouble-making on the ranch and in the school house.

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Wyoming Stories
9:09 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Stem Cell Transplant Transforms A Life

Val Burgess

Val and Jerry Burgess are residents of Sheridan. In this story, Val asks her husband to reflect on his experience receiving a stem cell transplant.

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Wyoming Stories: Podcast
12:21 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Wyoming Stories Podcast #10

August in Wyoming: Stories of nature and wildlife. 

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Wyoming Stories
3:50 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Handicap Ramp Opens Doors

Nancy Casner

On July 26, 1990 President George H W Bush signed into law the Americans With Disabilities Act. Among other things, the ADA has accessibility requirements for public places—such as stores or restaurants. But the Elk Mountain Trading Company was built 1895, long before the idea of handicap accessibility. Nancy Casner, who owns the Crossing Café housed in the building, recalls what it meant to add a ramp to the historic building.

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Wyoming Stories
9:05 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Wyoming Stories: She'd Rather Ride A Horse

Alice Fales
Credit Wayne Thomas

Alice Fales lives in Cody, WY. She recalls fond memories of the role horses played in her youth and riding a horse to school.

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Wyoming Stories
8:24 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Love, Just Not Quite At First Sight

Pat and Phyllis McKee

Pat and Phyllis McKee both grew up in ranching families in Elk Mountain. As kids, they avoided each other, but that didn't stop a whirlwind romance when they got older. They were married in 1990 and have three daughters.

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Wyoming Stories
8:27 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Becoming A Mom At 65

Sherril Bailey

Not long ago, in an unexpected turn of events, Rawlins resident Sherrill Bailey adopted her grand-nephew. In this story, she explores the rewarding and complicated destiny of becoming a parent at 65 years old.

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Wyoming Stories: Podcast
12:49 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Wyoming Stories Podcast #9

A collection of World War II memories from Wyoming.

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Wyoming Stories
8:25 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Fate And Faith On The Mormon Trail

Sister Mary Ann and Elder Lorin Moench

Lorin and Mary Ann Moench work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Martin’s Cove Historic site.  This spot in south-central Wyoming marks an important point along the Mormon trail.  European converts sailed to the East Coast of the U.S., purchased supplies and handcarts, and traveled with handcart companies to Salt Lake City.  In 1856 two handcart companies began their journey late, causing them to face unforgiving Wyoming storms.

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Wyoming Stories
9:55 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Rough And Tumble Casper, Forming Unlikely Friendships At A POW Camp

Casper, looking southwest toward Standard Refinery, approx 1920.
Credit wyomingtalesandtrails.com

Dick Sedar grew up in Casper, in a working-class neighborhood called “the Sandbar.” His parents emigrated from Croatia in the early 1920’s to seek work in the coal and oil industries. Dick was one of 16 children and tells the story of his childhood in Casper.

One of Dick’s Sedar’s brothers, Mike, worked in the Douglas Prisoner of War camp during World War II.  Dick remembers his brother’s experience working with the prisoners, and the lasting friendships he made.

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Wyoming Stories
9:02 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Pioneering Politician And Priest

Linda Fleming

Linda Fleming was the first woman to be appointed or elected for public office in the Carbon County town of Baggs. After her long tenure as both mayor and county commissioner, she turned her leadership talents to ministry.

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Wyoming Stories
11:05 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Personal Experience Of The Gender Wage Gap

Marilynn Deiss and Debra Swedberg

Women in the United States have been fighting for equal wage rights since the early 1900s.  In 1963 the government passed the Equal Pay Act, which aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex.  But the act excluded professional careers.  Starting in 1971, Marilynn Deiss juggled work as the Executive Director of the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy and as a single mother.  She tells her daughter, Debra Swedberg, how gender discrimination affected her life.

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Wyoming Stories
11:25 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Tommie Butler Remembers Life During War Time

Tommie Butler

Tommie Butler was just a kid when World War II began, but he remembers the effect that war-time  retrenchment had on his home town of Gillette—times that were both hard and rewarding.

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Wyoming Stories
4:00 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Life Lessons Learned Tending Bar

Darrell Moore

Darrell Moore grew up in the historic Hotel Wolf in Saratoga, Wyoming. Fredrick G. Wolf, a German immigrant, built the hotel in 1893. Since then, the hotel has had only four owners. Moore’s father bought the Wolf in 1937, and his family maintained the place for 40 years. The hotel and restaurant has hosted hunters, fishers, and ranchers through the years, and is still open to adventurers today. Moore shares his memories of growing up at the Hotel Wolf.

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Wyoming Stories
9:51 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Future Legislator's Childhood Trip To Cheyenne

Dan Kinneman
Credit Micah Schweizer

Dan Kinneman is from Rawlins. His father was one of Wyoming’s longest-serving legislators. In this story, Kinneman—himself a former legislator—describes a childhood visit to Cheyenne during a treacherous winter.

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Wyoming Stories
4:25 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Navy Tour Taught What Med School Didn't

Martin Ellbogen
Credit Micah Schweizer

Martin Ellbogen grew up in Worland, Wyoming. In high school he played basketball against the future Wyoming Senator Al Simpson. Once Ellbogen determined his career was not in basketball, he came to the University of Wyoming to study pre-med and finished his medical degree in Omaha. Ellbogen then joined the Navy as a doctor.  He shares memories of being a medical assistant on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. After his tour, Ellbogen moved to Casper to set up a general practice medical firm.  He retired in 1996, and sold the practice to his son.

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Wyoming Stories
11:25 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Abbie Taylor Remembers Music In The Mountains

Abbie Taylor

Abbie Taylor moved to Sheridan as a kid, when her father decided to take over the family business. Because of a lifelong disability Taylor developed a unique relationship to jukeboxes -- as well as the whole region where her father installed and repaired them.

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Wyoming Stories
4:14 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Joan Paige On Her Grandfather, The Battle Of Milk Creek, And ‘Ladies of the Night’

Joan Paige
Credit Micah Schweizer

Joan Paige’s family has lived in the Equality State for almost as long as it’s existed. In 1889, her grandfather, John Mahoney, was stationed just outside of Rawlins at Fort Steele. In this story, she tells of circumstances that brought him west, and the dubious nature of late-19th century frontier towns.

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Wyoming Stories: Podcast
11:55 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Wyoming Stories Podcast #8

In honor of glorious springtime, stories about love.

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Wyoming Stories
2:32 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Home(school) On The Range

Shasta Wigginton
Credit youngmusicians.net

Evanston native Shasta Wigginton talks about what it was like to be homeschooled and how the experience shaped her views on education.

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Wyoming Stories
10:34 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Wyoming Stories: A Worldly Wyomingite

Mary Burgess and Val Burgess

Sixty-two-year Sheridan resident Mary Burgess spent much of her youth in the Philippines where her father was a politician. As she tells her friend Val Burgess, when she was thirteen, she was living at an Episcopal boarding school in Baugio when she, her sister, and two other women decided to take a long walk north.

Mary Burgess moved back to the US for college, and eventually joined the WWII effort as a part of the American Red Cross. In this story, she tells her friend Val Burgess about her experience as a woman behind the front lines.

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Wyoming Stories
11:12 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Wyoming Stories: An Outside Perspective On Wyoming

Gretchen Wheeler
Credit Casper College

Gretchen Wheeler grew up in Nebraska and moved to Wyoming to teach in the Communications Department at Casper College.  As a “non-native” Wyomingite, Gretchen shares her observations of the cultural differences between Wyoming and Nebraska.

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Wyoming Stories
9:23 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Boom And Bust In Rawlins

Marla Brown
Credit Micah Schweizer

Marla Brown is a fifth generation Wyomingite who grew up helping run her parents’ various businesses during some of Rawlins’ booms and busts.

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Wyoming Stories
11:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Wyoming Stories: How A Wyomingite Protected Japanese-Americans From WWII Internment

Phil Roberts

UW Professor of history Phil Roberts tells the story of how Thomas Boylan—the late owner and operator of The Fossil Cabin outside of Medicine Bow—protected the identity of local Japanese Americans from relocation officers during World War II.

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Wyoming Stories
4:53 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Wyoming Stories: The Prison Warden They Called “Dad”

Duane Schillinger
Credit Micah Schweizer

In 1967, Rawlins resident Duane Shillinger was hired by the Wyoming State Penitentiary as a counselor. Later, through an unexpected turn of events, he ended up serving as warden for seventeen years. In this story, he remembers the transition from the 19th century facility to the current one, and the relationships he formed with inmates.

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Wyoming Stories: Podcast
1:32 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Wyoming Stories Podcast #7

Stories about education: UW's Hathaway Scholarship, a Mexican-Arapaho teacher at Central Wyoming College, and helping students achieve the dream of going to college.

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Wyoming Stories
9:33 am
Thu May 1, 2014

StoryCorps: How The Hathaway Scholarship Came To Be

Bill Schilling and Brent Hathway
Credit StoryCorps

Bill Schilling is the president of the Wyoming Business Alliance. He was instrumental in getting the Hathaway scholarship passed through the legislature, and he says it’s one of his greatest accomplishments.

The Hathaway allows students to get money for college if they meet certain academic criteria. Here, Schilling talks with former dean of the UW Business School Brent Hathaway. (In case you were wondering – no, the scholarship is not named after him.) Schilling recalls how the Hathaway scholarship came to be.

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