“Our volunteer trustees around Montana vote on nominations that come from the district in which they reside,” said Jeff Bolstad, MCHF & WHC President. “It gives the local communities a strong voice in who will represent them in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. 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.”
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 2017 inductions allowed the election of up to one Living Inductee and two Legacy Inductees from each of the 12 districts.
The 2017 inductees into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame are:
· District 1 (Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, & Valley Counties): Living Award – Mary Louise (Hovendick) Helland, Glasgow. Legacy Award – B. M. Bower, Glasgow, and Eugene Joseph “Gene” Martin, Wolf Point.
· District 2 (Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, & Wibaux Counties): Living Award – Jim Baisch, Glendive. Legacy Award – Lorin Abarr, Sr., Fallon, and Orlando Shepard “Doc” Drake, Wibaux.
· District 3 (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, & Treasure Counties): Living Award – John L. “Jack” Bailey, Forsyth. Legacy Award – Jersey Lilly Bar and Café, Ingomar, and Bob & Helen (Fulton) Askin, Ismay.
· District 4 (Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, & Liberty Counties): Living Award – Nicholas Bernard “Nick” Faber, Chinook. Legacy Award – John & Fay (Vercruyssen) Stuker, Chinook, and Ed & Orah (Young) Massie, Great Falls (formerly of Chouteau County).
· District 5 (Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, & Toole Counties): Living Award – Norma Ashby, Great Falls. Legacy Award – Brian F. Connolly, Browning, and Daniel Charles “Dan” Boggs, Heart Butte.
· District 6 (Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, & Wheatland Counties): Living Award – Edgar E. Lewis, Lavina. Legacy Award – Melvin L. Cheney, Stanford, and White Wolf of the Judith Basin, Stanford.
· District 7 (Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, & Yellowstone Counties): Living Award – David Herman Branger, Roscoe. Legacy Award – Saint Paul Case, Hardin, and John Otis “Jack” Hash, Roscoe.
· District 8 (Broadwater, Jefferson, & Lewis and Clark Counties): Living Award – Governor Judy (Morstein) Martz, Helena. Legacy Award – Robert F. “Bob” Cooney, Helena, and James J. “Jim” McLucas, Helena.
· District 9 (Gallatin, Meagher, & Park Counties): Living Award – Ernest “Ernie” Briggs, Clyde Park. Legacy Award – John Leonard “Jack” Short, White Sulphur Springs, and Montana FFA Association, Bozeman.
· District 10 (Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, & Sanders Counties): Living Award – Ray & Shirley Jacobs, Eureka. Legacy Award – Roy B. King, Arlee, and Billy Schall, Arlee.
· District 11 (Mineral, Missoula, & Ravalli Counties): Living Award – Jack Keith Ward, Hamilton. Legacy Award – Father Antonio “Anthony” Ravalli, S.J., Stevensville.
· District 12 (Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison, & Powell Counties): Living Award – Bobbie Jean (Meine) Mussard, Dillon. Legacy Award – Maurice G. “Bud” Weaver, Drummond, and Hitched Horsehair & Braided Horsehair, Deer Lodge.
The MCHF & WHC will honor these inductees during the annual Circle the Wagons gathering February 2-3, 2018, in Great Falls at the Best Western Heritage Inn. More information on this event will come later in the year.
Since the initial round of inductions to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008, including this year’s inductions, 310 inductees have been honored. 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.