Press Release

January 2, 2024

Media Contact: Christy Stensland, Executive Director, (406) 653-3800,

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame to celebrate 2024 inductees and Saddle of Honor Awardee February 10 in Great Falls

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame will celebrate the 16th class of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Saturday, February 10 at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls. 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.

There is still time to register for the Inductee Recognition Ceremony Brunch, which begins at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate accomplishments and lasting legacies of the inductees to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Class of 2024. Pre-registration is $30 per person. Call today to reserve your seat.

Nomination criteria established by the board for the Class of 2024 inductions allowed the election of one Living Inductee and one Legacy Inductee from each of the 12 districts. 

The 2024 inductees into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame are:

District 1 District 1 (Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, & Valley Counties): Living: Henry “Gary” Danelson of Scobey; Legacy: David C. Funk of Frazer.

District 2 District 2 (Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, & Wibaux Counties): Living: Harold Lee Isaacs of Jordan; Legacy: Donald Goodman “Don” Holt of Sidney.

District 3 (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, & Treasure Counties): Living: Wayne M. Morford of Miles City; Legacy: World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale of Miles City.

District 4 (Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, & Liberty Counties): Living: Leon LaSalle of Laredo; Legacy: Clarence Basil Cuts The Rope of Hays.

District 5 (Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, & Toole Counties): Living: Alvin “Dutch” Lunak & Stuntmen of Blackfeet Country of Valier; Legacy: Joe De Yong of Great Falls.

District 6 (Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, & Wheatland Counties): Living: Durl J. Gibbs of Buffalo; Legacy: Donald Elton “Don” Abarr of Grass Range  

District 7  (Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, & Yellowstone Counties): Living: Lynn “Jonnie” Jonckowski of Billings; Legacy: Elmer E. “Slim” Kobold of Kirby. 

District 8 (Broadwater, Jefferson, & Lewis and Clark Counties): Living: Lenore McKelvey Puhek of Helena; Legacy: Paul B. Hart of Helena.

District 9 (Gallatin, Meagher, & Park Counties): Living: Delbert & Janice High of Bozeman; Legacy: Raymond P. “Ray” Ansotegui of Livingston. 

District 10 (Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, & Sanders Counties): Living: Betty Mae Wemple Schall of Arlee; Legacy: Alvin Garth “Al” Merritt of Pablo.

District 11: (Mineral, Missoula, & Ravalli Counties): Living: Paul Zarzyski of Missoula; Legacy: William E. “Bill” Mytty of Lolo. 

District 12: (Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison, & Powell Counties): Living: Walter Elroy “Walt” Shaw, Sr. of Cardwell; Legacy: John William “Pat” McDonald of Philipsburg.

Attendees are encouraged to wrap up their day with The Cowboy Ball and Benefit Auction, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. that evening, February 10. The 2024 Saddle of Honor recipient, 2018 MCHF Inductee Bud Griffith, Montana’s Gentleman Cowboy, will be honored and receive a bronze sculpture of Charlie Russell’s saddle created by Jay Contway. This event features a brisket buffet dinner and live Western music by Big Sky Country. A silent and live auction will feature unique Western items. If you wish to donate to the auction, please contact us. Pre-registration to the Cowboy Ball is $75 per person.

Pre-registration to events is required by calling (406) 650-7460.

Full biographies of all inductees are available on the MCHF & WHC’s website

For further information, contact the MCHF & WHC at 406-653-3800 or email HYPERLINK

The opening of the new MCHF Gallery, at the Charles M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, will be held Saturday February 10 at 3:30 PM, at no charge to the public. 

To learn more, visit