Johanna Wickman

Johanna Wickman lives in Casper, Wyoming, where she is president of Wickman Historical Consultants, providing historical research, and exhibit design and collection services to museums and historians. She published her master's thesis in 2016 as Lost Forts of Casper, and published her biography of Kansas Senator Preston B. Plumb, The Forgotten Senator: The Life and Character of Preston B. Plumb in 2023. She was interviewed as an expert on the 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry for the award-winning documentary The Battle of Red Buttes in 2022.

Preston Plumb of Ohio, Kansas and, briefly, Wyoming was forthright, honest, tireless and fair. He founded an abolitionist newspaper. He smuggled rifles into Bleeding Kansas. As an army officer he served on the Kansas border and the Wyoming frontier. And as a U.S. senator, with great skill and persistence, he championed the interests of the West.

In 1913, department-store tycoon Rodman Wanamaker and photographer Joseph Dixon hatched the idea of a statue of an American Indian in New York harbor higher than the Statue of Liberty—as a memorial to what they saw as a “vanishing race.” Dixon subsequently toured and photographed 89 Indian reservations—including Wyoming’s Shoshone Reservation—leaving a valuable record.