Today the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) announced the 12th 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.
“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,” said Bill Galt, MCHF & WHC President. “Our volunteer trustees around Montana vote on nominations that come from the district in which they reside. This process gives the local communities a strong voice in who will represent them in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.”
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 2019 inductions allowed the election of one Living Inductee and one Legacy Inductee from each of the 12 districts.
The 2019 inductees into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame are:
- District 1 (Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, & Valley Counties): Living Award – Arvid Joseph & Linda Joy (Lee) Eggen, Plentywood. Legacy Award – Benjamin F. Stevens, Dodson.
- District 2 (Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, & Wibaux Counties): Living Award – William ‘Bill’ & Alice Cullinan, Glendive. Legacy Award – Martha Magnuson Kempton, Terry.
- District 3 (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, & Treasure Counties): Living Award – John L. Moore, Miles City. Legacy Award – Joseph H. ‘Proc’ Proctor, Forsyth.
- District 4 (Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, & Liberty Counties): Living Award – Arthur Wade Bickford, Havre. Legacy Award – Charles Leon ‘Charlie’ Floyd, Havre.
- District 5 (Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, & Toole Counties): Living Award – Wylie Galt Gustafson, Conrad. Legacy Award – Belknap ‘Ballie’ Buck, Choteau.
- District 6 (Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, & Wheatland Counties): Living Award – Virginia (Mortensen) Howell, Roundup. Legacy Award – Z6 Ranch – J.C. Jensen, Inc., Lavina.
- District 7 (Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, & Yellowstone Counties): Living Award – William E. ‘Billy’ Greenough, Fromberg. Legacy Award – Ruth E. (French) Smith Cure Weber, Dry Head/Laurel.
- District 8 (Broadwater, Jefferson, & Lewis and Clark Counties): Living Award – Donald Edward ‘Don’ Blixt, Helena. Legacy Award – Hester Ann (Allemand) Rea, Helena.
- District 9 (Gallatin, Meagher, & Park Counties): Living Award – James Eugene ‘Jim’ Carrig, Bozeman. Legacy Award – Theodore ‘Ted’ Hamilton Thorpe, Livingston.
- District 10 (Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, & Sanders Counties): Living Award – Walter J. ‘Walt’ Vermedahl, Polson. Legacy Award – Quirk Cattle Company – 101 Ranch, Eureka.
- District 11 (Mineral, Missoula, & Ravalli Counties): Living Award – Walter E. ‘Wally’ Congdon, Missoula. Legacy Award – Alex Nixon ‘Alec’ Ogilvie, Florence.
- District 12 (Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison, & Powell Counties): Iola ‘Olie’ Else, Dillon. Legacy Award – Pleasant View Ranch/Jackson Morgan Horse Ranch, Harrison.
The MCHF & WHC will honor these inductees during the annual Circle the Wagons gathering February 7-8, 2020, in Great Falls at the Best Western Heritage Inn. More information on this event will come later in the year.
Full biographies for past inductees are available on the MCHF & WHC’s website, http://www.montanacowboyfame.org. This year’s inductees will be added to the website soon.
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. To learn more, visit www.montanacowboyfame.org