Lola West, Cheyenne African American Entrepreneur

Sub Neg 23565, LOLA WEST, OWNER BLACK & TAN CLUB

Lola West, owner of the Black and Tan Cafe, standing with an unidentified man. Wyo State Archives Sub Neg 23565

Lola West was the owner of the successful Black and Tan Cafe, a popular destination for African American Cheyenne residents and Fort FE Warren soldiers. She was a key witness in the 1944 case against Mayor of Cheyenne Ira L. Hanna, Chief of Police Jess B. Ekdall, Captain Gerald J. Morris and Sergeant E.K. Violette of the Cheyenne police force for soliciting and accepting bribes. Her eye witness testimony and her foresight in marking down the serial numbers of the bills she used to pay one of her $100 “protection” money payoffs were instrumental in the conviction of these men.

West was born on January 3, 1892, in Arkansas. We know Lola came to Wyoming with her husband William H. West sometime around 1925. The couple is first mentioned in the 1926 Cheyenne City Directory. West is marked as the head of the house in the 1930 Federal Census and the 1940 Federal Census. It is unclear what happened to William. We don’t know if he died, the most likely scenario, or if he and West separated.

Lola West 1940

West is entered as head of the household on line 27 of the 1940 Federal Census.

West became embroiled in Mayor Hanna’s bribery scandal on March 1, 1944. West was a key witness for the prosecution. She testified that on March 1 Ekdall and Morris came to her establishment, the Black and Tan Cafe, and said, “they were going to open up the town.” They asked her if she wanted to get in on it. At the time West was boarding soldiers’ wives at the Black and Tan where she had 14 rooms to rent. West was part of a small community of African Americans who all lived on the West side of Cheyenne. Due to Cheyenne’s subtle segregation, West’s soldiers’ wives were, most likely, African-American. West’s establishment would have been one of the only places in Cheyenne where they could live.

When West disclosed this information to Morris he told her to “get some women open the doors, start some gambling and get some liquor.” She was also told if the soldiers’ wives living with her wouldn’t “hustle” to throw them out and get some girls who would. Morris and Ekdall left but then returned around 7 p.m. to ask her how much she could pay. They needed to make a report to the Chief and the Mayor. West was told to have money ready, and “no arguments either,” and to bring her money to W.C. (Pop) Grimes’ Porters and Waiters Club. Grimes was also a key witness for the prosecution. West testified the payment “wasn’t a fine. It was like a tax. It was a payoff.”

West made payments of $100 each on March 4 and March 17. Lola said all four of the defendants were in the room for the transactions. She claimed when she asked what she was paying protection money for the reply was it would allow her to have liquor, gambling, and prostitution at her establishment without a license.

Unbeknownst to Mayor Hanna and his partners West was approached by three federal investigators from the Alcohol Tax Unit to help with a sting operation. L.D. Parker and Fred M. Taylor, two of the investigators with the Alcohol Tax Unit, testified to witnessing a $100 payoff from West. Parker and Taylor were concealed in a room in the Porters and Waiters’ Club and saw Lola West count out the money and place it on the desk in Grime’s office. Sergeant Violette picked it up, and Mayor Hanna said he would count it later.

Parker testified that earlier in the evening he saw West and Grimes talking to Violette and Morris. She complained the $100 was too steep a price and she wanted to speak to the Chief or the Mayor before she paid that much money. Hanna and Ekdall arrived later around ten. Ekdall asked Lola what the trouble was and she told him she didn’t have any ‘girls’, no gambling or liquor and she couldn’t afford to pay the $100. Lola also said she was told she would only have to pay $50. Lola did admit to the federal investigators she sold beer without a license.

West was an African-American businesswoman who challenged the powerful white men of Cheyenne. After the trial, she moved on with her life in Cheyenne. There is hardly anything in the historical record that mentions West before or after the trial. Her name did show up in a 1950 court docket. She was fined for selling liquor without a license. Lola West died at 83 years old on August 24, 1975. According to the notice in the Wyoming State Tribune Lola left behind a large family: six children, 20 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. She is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne.


Resources

Casper Star Tribune, May 4, 1944

Casper Star Tribune,  May 7, 1944

Laramie County District Court CR 8-222, The State of Wyoming V Ira Hanna, Jess B. Ekdall, Gerald J. Morris, E.K.Violette
Laramie County District Court CR 8-223, The State of Wyoming V Ira Hanna, Jess B. Ekdall, Gerald J. Morris, E.K.Violette
Laramie County District Court CR 8-226, The State of Wyoming V Ira Hanna, Jess B. Ekdall, Gerald J. Morris, E.K. Violette
Laramie County District Court CR 8-227,The State of Wyoming V Ira Hanna, Jess B. Ekdall, Gerald J. Morris, E.K.Violette
Laramie County Distirct Court CR 8-228, The State of Wyoming V Ira Hanna, Jess B. Ekdall, Gerald J. Morris, E.K.Violette
Laramie County District Court CR 8-229, The State of Wyoming V Ira Hanna, Jess B. Ekdall, Gerald J. Morris, E.K.Violette

Wyoming State Tribune, March 20, 1944

Wyoming State Tribune, March 21, 1944

Wyoming State Tribune, May 3, 1944

Wyoming State Tribune, August 25, 1975

 

 

 

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Filed under Black History, Cheyenne Mayors, Crime and Criminals, Eyewitness to History

Wyoming Digital Archives Adds One Millionth Digital Document

The Wyoming State Archives is delighted to announce that we have accepted the one millionth document into our Digital Archives!  We are celebrating the exponential growth of this secure storage method for the state’s valuable records.

In 2013, the Wyoming State Archives began working in collaboration with the state’s Enterprise Technology Services experts on the best solution for safely and securely housing the state’s digital public records.  We found the solution in the Wyoming Digital Archives, a military-grade storage database for public records, the documents that reflect the work of Wyoming’s government. This includes both permanent records and other documents with long-term value, which were either “born digital” (not created on paper) or digitized. 

To date, the Digital Archives boasts one hundred licensed security levels, allowing customized access for a variety of users, from the Governor to staff in government offices across Wyoming at the state and local level. At a nominal cost, it provides agencies a way to preserve and manage their electronic records in much the same way the State Records Center and State Archives preserve and manage paper records.

Documents added to the Digital Archives are available to the agency’s staff using a web interface with keyword search ability, drastically decreasing the time needed to access older records. Access restrictions can be set by agencies to protect confidential documents and information as needed and to document changes made to the files. The system also includes a page where anyone can search for publicly accessible documents.

  “It took us over four years to add the first half a million documents, but only two years to make it a million.  The Wyoming State Archives appreciates the opportunity to make public employees’ lives easier and put the information they need securely at their fingertips when they need it!” says Kathy Marquis, Wyoming State Archivist. 

Wyoming Digital Archives by the numbers:

  • 7 years
  • 1,000,000 records
  • 190 individual users in:
  • 19 state agencies
  • 12 county offices
  • 1 municipal office (Sundance, coming soon!)
  • 1st documents added by the Secretary of State
  • 1,000,000th document added by the Department of Environmental Quality Air Division

For further information, check out our website at wyoarchives.wyo.gov; or contact Kathy Marquis, State Archivist at the Wyoming State Archives, 2301 Central Ave, Cheyenne WY 82002.  You can also call 307-777-8691 or message her at Kathy.marquis@wyo.gov.

 

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Ed Warren Cheyenne’s Vaudeville Mayor

By: Jessica Cosgrove, Wyoming State Archives

Ed Warren deputizing Miss Frontier

Ed Warren pinning police star badge on honoree, Miss Frontier Mary Magor. 1933. Cheyenne Police Chief T. Joe Cahill watching. (WSA Brammer Neg 1890A)

Ed Warren was elected mayor of Cheyenne in 1940 and served two terms. Prior to being mayor Ed Warren was a successful  vaudeville performer. At the pinnacle of his career Ed played the Palace Theater in New York City.

Ed and his two sisters were introduced to show business when they were children by one Fred Stone. Stone was a top notch circus performer, a star of vaudeville, a Broadway musical stage actor who played the scarecrow in the 1903 stage musical of the “Wizard of Oz” and eventually he starred in movies such as “The Duke of Chimney Butte,” “Billy Jim,” and “Johnny Get Your Gun”, to name a few.

The show business bug bit Ed and his sisters and they started performing vaudeville acts; they sang, danced and did acrobatics. At one point Ed adopted the stage name Ed Warren. His full name was Ed Warren Leisenring, but he felt his last name was too much of a mouthful so he dropped it. For the first few years of vaudeville performing Ed and his sisters were accompanied by their parents, but as the children got older they began to perform on their own. Ed lost a member of his troupe when one of his sisters became Mrs. Peter Appel Sr. of Cheyenne. In 1915 he lost his most prominent scene partner, Lillian, when she married a Chugwater rancher by the name of Curtis Templin.

After he lost his sisters to marriage Ed continued performing on his own, but sometimes he would join his act with Charles O’Brien or Dill Templeton’s performances. Some of Ed’s favorite performing memories were playing the Palace Theater in New York  and sharing review honors with May Irwin, a Canadian vaudeville star.

Due to his time on the stage Ed came away with friends such as baseball star pitcher Cy Young, player Bill Donovan, pitcher Ed Walsh and boxers Bob Fitzsimmons, John Mcgraw, and Abe Attell. He was also good friends with comedian Fred Allen who would tease Ed in letters about his love of cigars.

In 1909 Ed’s vaudeville act played the old Atlas Theater on 16th street in Cheyenne. Something about Cheyenne captured Ed’s imagination, and he decided to make the town his home. He would return during the summers, and eventually he moved there permanently. In addition to being elected mayor he was a former city commissioner and he sold Cheyenne real estate.[1]

The Wyoming State Archives has in its holdings some of Ed Warren’s sheet music for his performances with Charles O’Brien.

According to the November 14, 1939 Casper Star Tribune Ed Warren was the third Mayor in Cheyenne history who had been on Broadway. The article did not name the previous two mayors who had bathed in the lights of Broadway.[2]

Mayor Ed Warren died by suicide in 1963.[3]


1.“Ed Warren, Former Mayor had Successful Career on Stage”, Kirk Knox
2. Casper Star Tribune, November 14, 1939
3. Casper Star Tribune, April 15, 1963

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The Sedition Act of 1918

By: Robin Everett, Wyoming State Archives

Schweder pg 3

Throughout history, when governments have perceived threats from within, they have taken measures to protect their sovereignty. Unfortunately, there is ancillary damage along the way – innocents caught in the process because of who they are and what their heritage is.  One such measure is a US federal law passed just after entry into WWI, the Espionage Act of 1917. An extension of the Espionage Act came a year later, when Congress passed the Sedition Act of 1918, which covered a broader range of offenses, notably speech. The Act forbade the use of “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the US government.    

During WWI, invoking the interests of national security, US authorities required non-naturalized citizens to register as “enemy aliens”.  The action targeted several nationalities, but focused mainly on non-citizen German born residents. Women born in the US, married to such individuals were also included.  

 

Schweder pg 1

The State Archives has a small collection of enemy alien registrations from some cities, district courts and the US Department of Justice.  Like many records created for one purpose, they now serve another: genealogical research. If your ancestors might have been included in this group, read on:   In 1920, Congress authorized the destruction of these records, but some have survived. The National Archives has some from Missouri, Arizona and Kansas. Strewn across the country in various state/local archives and libraries, are more records.  These records contain biographical information, a physical description, and usually a photograph. The form also asked about loyalties to the US or sympathies to the enemy. Registrants were expected to provide names of friends and family members serving in enemy armed forces.  The documents reproduced here show the registration of a Henry Schweder of Sheridan County, Wyoming, and includes listings of his wife and daughter, a photo – and the notation that he was blind. 

Schweder pg 2To determine whether these records may contain some of your ancestors, start with the Federal Census prior to and following WWI.  Information contained on the 1910 federal census can assist you in determining an ancestor’s citizenship prior to WWI Enemy Alien Registration.  As a follow-up, the 1920 census specifically asks the year of naturalization. Through deciphering information from both returns an ancestor’s 1918 citizenship status may be determined.  All open U.S. census returns are available via AncestryLibrary.com in all Wyoming libraries. 

Basic research of WWI era Wyoming newspapers Schweder pg 4provides reports of actions being taken not only locally but in other countries and across the US.  In April 1917, various Wyoming newspapers reported how New York police officers directed all enemy aliens to turn over all firearms. An October 1917 Park County Enterprise reports how many American women, through marriage were now perceived as potential enemies, – even Gloria Vanderbilt. In December 1917, a Newcastle man was held for federal authorities, after making seditious talk.  Various April and May 1920 Laramie newspapers reported on a German born male, who had registered as an enemy alien and had illegally voted in a local election.

 

 


   

For further reading

“Featured Story: Rights Amid Threats” from online exhibit, “Documented Rights.”  National Archives and Records Administration, https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/documented-rights/exhibit/section3/rights-amid-threats.html, accessed August 16, 2017. 

“Civil Liberties in Wartime,” from Share America online exhibit by the Bureau of International Information Programs, United States Department of State, https://share.america.gov/civil-liberties-wartime/   accessed August 16, 2017.

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1010: Electronic Records Day 2019

Electronic Records Day 2019 logo

We are happy to be joining our colleagues around the country to celebrate another Electronic Records Day! 

What is a born digital record?

Simply put, something is “born digital” if it was created on a computer, not as a physical format. It could be printed out, but most likely it will never exist as a hard copy. Born digital content is different from content that has been digitized. Examples of born digital content include word processing documents, spreadsheets, emails, and original images produced with digital cameras.

Why are we discussing born digital content?

Born digital content is the future of records management and the future of archives as well. According to research done by the New York State Archives 90% of today’s records are created electronically (born digital) and 70% of paper records were also created electronically and printed out. 

With this in mind, archivists and records managers across must make plans to address these record formats, including word processing documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, databases, scanned images, email and attachments, presentations, photos, websites, social media, audio recordings, videos, electronic publications, Geographic Information System (GIS), Computer Aided Design (CAD) and more.

How do records managers and archivists preserve these born digital records created by these varying media systems? 

The same way we preserve paper documents: with care and knowledge of the medium. One of the challenges found in preserving born digital records is how quickly new technologies are born — and die. These born digital records must be monitored. Documents may need to be migrated to new equipment and/or file formats, or they risk becoming inaccessible, unreadable, or obsolete and lost to the world.

Other challenges archivists and records managers are facing in the struggle to preserve born digital records.

Digital record loss posterStorage — It may take up less physical space, but digital space is not free! It costs money to store such vast quantities of data on servers, just as it costs money to store paper records now. 

Continuous Changes — Some applications require constant updating and changing, like websites, social media and GIS. How then do we keep up with media that are almost always in flux? The Wyoming State Archives (WSA) does have a strategy for capturing state websites.

The WSA is partnering with the Internet Archive’s Archive-It Program to selectively capture, preserve, and make accessible websites created by Wyoming’s state agencies and officials. The Archive-It Program allows the capture of relevant web content and ensures its long-term access through the Internet Archive’s website. The Archive-It Program selectively crawls either web domains or individual web pages, taking a snapshot of the page, and storing a copy in the Internet Archive. The web page is then made publicly accessible on the Archive-It partner page. The web content collected reflects the administrative functions of Wyoming state government.

Bit Rot — Digital data is susceptible to loss, called “bit rot”. Much like the deterioration of paper or photographs, this loss degrades the quality of files and images, sometimes to the point that they are no longer readable.

How does the WSA manage born digital records?

Our archivists work with state agencies and county governments to help them maintain and preserve records, both paper and born digital. The born digital records include state websites, word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, reports and a plethora of other documentation. These documents and more can be found within the Wyoming State Digital Archives. The State’s emails and attachments are maintained by ETS (Enterprise Technology Service) the State’s IT department,  not by the WSA.

The process to incorporate born digital records for state agencies is simple. As long as the various state agencies follow their records retention schedules then they will know when to either pass the records onto the WSA or to get rid of the records. Agencies can also transfer inactive records to the Digital Archives first and then our records managers delete them when their retention period is up. Born digital records also come to us in all forms: floppy discs, CDs, via email, on servers, hard drives, USB drives, etc. When sending in born digital records our preferred formats are:

  • Image: jpeg, jpeg-2000, tiff
  • Text: txt, html, xml, PDF/A, Open Office XML
  • Audio: afif, wav
  • Video: mp4, avi
  • Databases: xml or convert to csv

Governor Gordon’s Office and Digital Records

Governor Mark Gordon’s office understands the challenges of born digital records. The Office of the Governor has reached out to the WSA for tips on how to manage and preserve the records being created every day in the course of the Governor’s work for Wyoming. Soon, the Governor’s staff may begin uploading digital files into the Wyoming Digital Archives for preservation – right from their own computers to the WSA.

Looking to the Future

Born digital records are the future of records and archives. This means records managers and archivists must plan and act now to ensure these records are properly cared for and accessible to future generations.

The Federal Government has mandated that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) cease accepting paper records from the various Federal Agencies after December 31, 2022. While the State of Wyoming has not officially made this leap, that day will come. And the work we and other stakeholders do today will ensure that the Wyoming State Archives will be ready when it does.


Additional Resources

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Welcome to Archives Month 2019!

Archives Month 2019 poster

October is American Archives Month, and the Wyoming State Archives is excited celebrate our collections, services, and hard-working staff.  We take pride in our mission to “provide access to Wyoming’s history, guidance in record keeping, and assistance in the management and preservation of public records.”  Throughout the month of October, keep watching this blog, as well as our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest feeds for great stories, pictures, and a look behind-the-scenes at the work we do to make this happen.

Since this is the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming, our Archives Month poster features the original legislation granting this right to women in Wyoming Territory in 1869.  You can visit our reading room at 2301 Central Aveune in Cheyenne to learn more about this momentous act.

Ask An Archivist Day October 2

Have a question for us?  You can ask any time, but on October 2, archivists at the State Archives will join our colleagues around the county in responding to questions via Twitter (@WyoArchives) for Ask An Archivist Day, sponsored by the Society of American Archivists.  Use the hashtag #AskAnArchivist and challenge us!

Electronic Records Day 2019

Electronic Records Day is on 10.10.19. Sponsored by the Council of State Archivists, Electronic Records Day raises community awareness of the need to manage and preserve our digital heritage. This year, we will be sharing more about how we preserve electronic records of state government with our Wyoming Digital Archives.

And, on Tuesday, October 15, at 6:30 p.m., Rick Ewig, Cheyenne historian and former Associate Director of the American Heritage Center, will present “Ira Hanna: Cheyenne’s Around-the-Clock Mayor.” Ewig’s free talk will explore bribery, corruption, and gambling by the mayor of Cheyenne and its chief of police, culminating in a 1944 trial and prison sentence for all involved.

The Wyoming State Archives is proud to preserve the history of our wonderful state. We welcome you to visit and explore in person or online all year long.   

Kathy Marquis
Interim State Archivist

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They Would Not Be Denied: Wyoming’s 1st (and only) NFL Game

Advertisement for football game

Uncle Sam was enlisted to promote the game. (Wyoming Tribune September 10, 1944)

75 years ago today, Wyoming became a part of NFL history. On September 10, 1944 the Brooklyn Tigers, a professional football team in the National Football League, played the Fort Warren Broncos at Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Broncos team was comprised of active duty servicemen stationed at Fort Warren (now Warren Air Force Base) during World War II. This game was the first and only time an NFL team played in the state of Wyoming during the league’s 100 year history. 

Legendary sports announcer and commentator, and Wyoming native son, Curt Gowdy covered the game for the local Wyoming Eagle. He described the game as “[slated to be] a battle of the pros’ power and experience against the spirit and hustle of the quartermasters. It turned out just that way. A team that won’t be beat, can’t be beat.”[1]

Bleachers in the stadium

The Warren Bowl was an large multi-use sports field on the east side of Fort Warren (beside what is I-25 today). The sunken oval track and infield were surrounded by wooden bleachers, which had been expanded for this game. The press box and radio room also received upgrades. (WSA Stimson Neg 4756, Warren Bowl, 1930 by J.E. Stimson)

The game kicked off at 2:00 P.M. at the Warren Bowl with 3,000 to 4,000 in the bleachers, including 1,200 Cheyenne civilians. Enlisted personnel attended for free, while civilians paid $1.75 or $2.75 admission.[2] The low turnout among Cheyennites was partially blamed on predictions that the professional team would steamroll the Broncos. Bronco coach Captain Willis M. Smith remained optimistic, proclaiming the Broncos would give a good showing against the professional team. [3]

The naysayers were correct, but for only one quarter of the game. The first quarter belonged to the Tigers. The Tiger’s offense routinely smashed through the Broncos’ defensive line allowing for long gains on the ground. After a 49-yard march down the field Tiger’s halfback Frank Sachse lateraled to star fullback Pug Manders who then plunged into the endzone from the 12 yard line. Kicker Bruiser Kinnard’s extra point kick was good. The first minute of the second quarter saw another Tiger score. Ray Hare broke through the Broncos’ defensive front for an easy score. Kinnard’s extra point was good and the Tigers were up 14 points on the Broncos.

Photos of the football game from the newspaper

The Broncos, in their new red, white, and blue uniforms, stand out against the Tiger’s black and orange. (WSA Wyoming Eagle September 12, 1944)

The Bronco defense settled down and dug in, not allowing the Tiger’s into the endzone through the rest of the second quarter and all of the third quarter. The Tiger’s offense did do some scoring of their own in the second and third quarters but penalties called the touchdowns back.

The fourth quarter opened with the Broncos still trailing the Tigers by two touchdowns. The Bronco offense came alive in the closing quarter of the game to score 21 unanswered points. The Tigers came back and scored a third touchdown in the final minute of the game. The Tiger kicker, Kinard, missed the extra point by sailing it high over the upright as the clock ticked to zero. If the game was played to college rules the kick would have been good, but professional rules stated the kick must go between the uprights. The final score was Broncos: 21 Tigers: 20. [4]

Final game box scores

(WSA Wyoming Tribune September 11, 1944

Bronco coach Captain Smith told the Wyoming Tribune after the game, “I am very pleased with the showing my team made. Everyone on the club who saw action did a remarkable job. The Tigers did everything we expected them to do and a little more.”

Brookly Tiger coach Pete Cawthorn lauded the tenacious Fort Warren Broncos. He told the Wyoming Tribune, “The Fort Warren team played a fine game after being behind two touchdowns. They made a swell showing and Captain Clifford Long (Bronco back) turned in an outstanding game… The credit shouldn’t go to any one Fort Warren player, however, as the entire Bronco team deserves credit equally for beating us.”

When asked if he could have changed anything about the game, Coach Cawthorn said he would have kept his starting line up in longer. “We probably took our first string out of the game too soon, early in the second quarter, but Fort Warren wasn’t to be denied.”

The 1944 season was the last season for the Brooklyn Tigers (whose name changed from the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944.) Not surprising for a team in dead last with no wins during the regular season. Franchise owner Dan Topping announced he was joining the new All-America Football Conference, so the NFL canceled his franchise and merged the team with the Boston Yanks.[7]

The Fort Warren Broncos brought the confidence gained from beating the professional squad into their next game against University of Colorado at Boulder on September 23. The Broncos won this game 7-6.  Despite ended the season with an average record of 5-4-1, this football club is rumored to lay claim to an extraordinary feat in football history: the Fort Warren Broncos are the only independent team to ever defeat a professional football team and a major college program in the same season. [7]

ViewScan Premium PDF ouputIn his post-game commentary, Gowdy asked what “intangible something” underdogs possess that enabled them to pull off the unexpected. “That intangible something is team spirit… That team spirit must originate within the players themselves” and be fostered by the coaches. Gowdy’s credit started at the top with the fort’s commanding officer Brigadier General H.L. Whittaker for fostering participation in team sports on base and continuing to the coaches, who he praised for preparing the team to tackle what he argued was “one of the toughest schedules in the entire nation.” He ended with lavish praise of the team themselves:

To single out an outstanding player… would be doing an injustice to the Fort Warren eleven. They were jittery, out manned, and badly outplayed… and all fought together in one of the most perfect examples of team play you’ll ever hope to see. There were captains, lieutenants, enlisted men and players of different races hustling and winning side by side. Think that through. Isn’t that truly the democratic way of life?[8]


1. “Curt Comments”, Wyoming Eagle September 12, 1944 p12. Born in Green River in 1919, Curt Gowdy began his career in journalism covering sports for his high school newspaper. Graduating with a degree in journalism and 3 letters in both tennis and basketball, Gowdy enlisted in the Army hoping to become a fighter pilot. It was not to be and he was medically discharged from the Air Force in 1943. That year he began calling high school and local sporting events in Cheyenne and covering sports for the Cheyenne radio station and Wyoming Eagle newspaper while he recovered from back surgery. By 1945, he was in Oklahoma covering and calling minor league and college sports. His distinctive style got him a job with New York Yankees in 1949. In 1951, he began calling for the Boston Red Sox. During his over 30 years on the national stage, Gowdy covered professional and college games in both football and baseball, including several noteworthy moments and numerous post-season games in both sports. He also called all of the Olympic Games televised by ABC from 1964-1988 and hosted or narrated several television shows.

2. “Fort Warren Broncs Vs. Brooklyn Tigers”, Wyoming State Tribune September 10, 1944
3. “Tough Broncs Trim Brooklyn Pros, 21 to 20.” Wyoming State Tribune, September 11, 1944, p. 5
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. “NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers.” Pro Football Hall of Fame https://www.profootballhof.com/news/nfl-s-brooklyn-dodgers/ (retrieved May 2019)
7. “Curt Comments”, Wyoming Eagle September 12, 1944 p12.
8. This claim is not corroborated. We would love to hear from anyone with more information.

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Happy Electronic Records Day!

electronic_records_logo_2017_materials.jpgEvery year on 10/10, as a part of Archives Month, archives around the nation promote awareness of electronic records. Today is a great day to think about how you use digital records and how you manage them.

Electronic records surround us everyday, just as paper records do. Every text or email you send, online form you fill out, tweet you share, website you visit, and photo or video you take on your phone is a digital record. While some of the same basic principles for organizing paper records apply to digital, it can be daunting to manage and preserve all of these born digital materials.

Council of State Archives (CoSA) has provided tips for how to start discussions about topics like:

Pennsylvania State Archives poster "Preserve Your Digital Archives" with Aunt Edna

Or you can take Aunt Edna’s advice on how to start preserving your personal e-records (a big thanks to the the Pennsylvania State Archives for passing on the latest advice from Aunt Edna!)

 

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We’ve Had a Facelift! How Do We Look?

Just in time for Archives Month, we are pleased to announce our long awaited and much improved website. It’s the same web address, but it looks and feels very different! Help us celebrate by exploring this new window into the resources we have to offer you at the Wyoming State Archives.

We gave some thought to what people ask us for, and then we re-organized the site around those needs and requests:

  • How can I find what I need for my research?
  • How do I get a copy of my transcript / court case / cool photo I saw on your site?
  • What do you have and how do I find it?
  • I’m a government employee; how can you help me organize my records?
  • What do I need to know before I visit the Archives?

And if none of those work, just click on the button and we’ll see how we can help you!

We invite you to wander through the site to see what treats we have for you: Look through LUNA, a searchable database that includes photos, maps, and oral histories. Try out the links to “finding aids” (descriptions and lists) for state government records and papers of individuals and groups connected to Wyoming history. Explore the online version of the Wyoming Blue Books, an encyclopedia of state history. And check out the many types of records we have for discovering your family history – or the history of your house.

While you’re exploring, write down anything that doesn’t work (always a few bugs in the system, right?) or that you think is missing or could work better. Of course we’d also like to hear about what you loved or were surprised to find. Make our day! We want to make the site better and make sure it works for you. Tell us how and we’ll get to work.

— Kathy Marquis, Wyoming Deputy State Archivist

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Make Tracks to the WSA this Archives Month!

October is Archives Month, the time when archival institutions around the country make a special effort to promote the important work archives do in preserving and providing access to America’s documentary heritage.

Wyoming Archives Month 2017 Poster. Make Tracks to the Archives

Here are the things we at the Wyoming State Archives will be doing to celebrate the month:

  • We are pleased to kick the month off by launching our new website later this week. The new design has been many months in the making and its goal is to provide users easier access to information about the State Archives, the services we provide, and our collections. We are very excited about the changes and I hope you will visit the site and let us know what you think.
  • We will join archivists from around the country on Twitter October 4 for #AskAnArchivist. I encourage everyone to jump on Twitter and ask us any of those lingering, burning, nagging Archives questions.
  • October 10 is Electronic Records Day (#ERecsDay), so watch this space for an update on what the State Archives is doing to help state agencies and political subdivisions manage and preserve their electronic records. We will also pass along some good information on preserving electronic records from the Council of State Archivists.
  • Rick Ewig, a historian who has recently retired after a distinguished career as an archivist at the State Archives and the American Heritage Center, will be the State Museum’s fall lecture series speaker in October. Rick’s presentation titled, “Settling the Sterile and Desolate Plains: The Founding of Cheyenne and Then Some” is at 7pm, October 12, at the Wyoming State Museum. Rick published a book about the history of Cheyenne this summer. In researching the book, Rick used documents and photographs from several archives in the area, including the State Archives.

Our Archives Month activities always remind me what a privilege it is to be the Wyoming State Archivist. The staff, the collections, and our constituents make the job so rewarding. The State Archives provides valuable records management and imaging services to state agencies and political subdivisions. Our archival collections are a treasure trove for genealogists and historians and they help people resolve issues that come up in their daily lives. From photographs and historic documents to school transcripts and court records, the documentary heritage we preserve is incredibly diverse and important.

And with that, make tracks to the Archives and help us celebrate Archives Month!

— Mike Strom, Wyoming State Archivist

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Filed under Archives Month 2017, Events, Welcome