An historic rifle, and a Cold War UW project in Afghanistan

This month, we feature a little-known member of the Wild Bunch and Wyoming’s part in a national program to help Afghanistan.

Robbing a bank with Butch Cassidy

A Winchester rifle at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum reportedly belonged to Wild Bunch member Bub Meeks, who participated in the famed Montpelier bank robbery, escaped prison twice and an insane asylum once and after a final scrape with the law died in 1912 in the Wyoming State Hospital. Read more in Dick Blust’s article, “Bub Meeks and a Wild Bunch Winchester.”

Teaching agriculture in Afghanistan

Under a Cold War-era U.S. government program, University of Wyoming faculty taught vocational agriculture and engineering at Kabul University and other schools in Afghanistan, and Afghan exchange students studied in Laramie. At least one personal account survives, a shrewd, engaging memoir by faculty wife Ruth Southworth Brown. Read more in our latest article, “The University of Wyoming’s Afghan Project, 1953-1973.

Calendar Events

Campbell County Rockpile Museum
Dave McKee, president of the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association, will speak on the history and future of the Bozeman Trail on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyo. Today segments of the original wagon trail ruts across northeastern Wyoming mark this colorful and dynamic period of history.  The Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association and Our Montana have begun a new journey to obtain formal listing of the Bozeman as a National Historic Trail.

McKee, recently retired from a 32-year career with the U.S. Forest Service as an archaeologist, tribal liaison and recreation program manager on the Medicine Bow, Black Hills and Bighorn national forests, will provide an overview of the National Historic Trails process and an update on the effort. 
Click here for more information on McKee’s presentation, “The Historic Bozeman Trail: A New Journey.”
National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
On Nov. 6 and 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center will hold its first-ever Trails History Harvest. Trails Center experts and volunteers will photograph documents and record oral histories brought in by the public. Both days will also feature presentations by Trails Center park ranger Kylie L. McCormick and Casper College Western History Center librarian and archivist, Hanz Olson.
McKormick will share the story of Alfred J. Adams and the rediscovery of his 1859 diary, which until recently was kept in a private family collection. Olson will give a workshop on at-home archiving, sharing the best practices for preserving treasured family records. Olson will define archival concepts to help identify, arrange and preserve materials. Participants are encouraged to bring their own physical or digital photos or documents to learn hands-on.
For more information about Trails History Harvest, contact Kylie L. McCormick at or call the Trails Center at 307-261-7700. Or visit the NHTIC home page.