Davis honored by State Historical Society


October 14, 2017

The Wyoming State Historical Society recently recognized individuals and organizations from across the state (and some from out of state) who have contributed to Wyoming’s rich legacy. The awards, presented at the Society’s recent annual meeting, recognize the vast amount of hard work by adults, school students and organizations that resulted in publications, oral histories, reference works, tours, exhibits and more.

Final selections were made by the Society’s Awards committee — Jessica Clark, Chairperson, Rock Springs; Cindy Brown, Cheyenne; Jane Gebhart, Gillette and Ruth Lauritzen, Green River.

Winners include Worland author John W. Davis, first place in non-fiction publication for “The Trial of Tom Horn. The Historical Society noted, “Nominated for a one-of-a-kind book on the trial of Tom Horn, Davis’ book documents and highlights one of Wyoming’s most investigated murders. The book covers both the cause and effect of the trial of Tome Horn, revealing a more complete narrative than ever before.”

On being honored by the Wyoming State Historical Society Davis said, “I appreciated very much the award by the Wyoming State Historical Society. Receiving an award for an historical writing in 2017 was especially significant to me, though, because 2017 is an important date in my personal history. It was 1917 when my family first came to Wyoming, settling on a little sugar beet farm just north of the Washakie County border; 2017 is the 100th anniversary of my family’s arrival in our great state.

“Whenever I set out to write a book, I have two overriding goals. One is to write an accurate history, to make sure my facts are right. That’s mostly a matter of doing thorough research. The other goal is to write the story clearly so that my reader fully understands what I’m trying to impart. This second goal was more difficult to meet here than was the first. “The Trial of Tom Horn” was, of course, one with a legal topic, about a big trial in 1902, and I practiced as a lawyer for close to 50 years. So, I had to work especially hard to make sure I didn’t lapse into ‘lawyer talk’ and lose my readers who are not lawyers. 

I take this award to be some indication that I met both of my goals.” 

Other Big Horn Basin area award winners include:


Second place, “Bob Edgar,” Legends Magazine by Amber Peabody of The Cody Enterprise.

Nominated by Park County Historical Society for an interesting article concerning the life of Bod Edgar. Edgar was a local legend around Park County and this article brings it to life.


Honorable mention, The Cody Monologues: Famous and Infamous Women of the West” by Bethany Hamilton Sandvik, Cody.

Nominated by Park County Historical Society for a play created to highlight the woman’s voice in the West. This play uses transcripts, journals, and other primary sources to help make history in Wyoming come alive.

Young Historian (Grades 9-12)

First place, “Caroline Lockhart” by Matthew Dimsey and Tori Ransom, Wapiti.

Nominated by Park County Historical Society for the creation of a documentary on Caroline Lockhart. These students created a YouTube documentary consisting of commentary and interviews on Lockhart.

Second place, “Bringing the Sun Dance to Light” by Trisha Tamblyn, Cody.

Nominated by Park County Historical Society for creating a website highlighting the loss of Native American beliefs. The young historian’s website uses three interviews, as well as other historical documents to help show this loss.

Third place, “Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot Aims for Equality” by Emily Hollingshead, Cody.

Nominated by Park County Historical Society for writing an essay on Annie Oakley, and her role in equality for women. The young scholar presents that Annie Oakley helped push for women equality while staying feminine, at a time that many women were not in the West.


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