On The Hunt: Betz and Rena

"Dearest Betz," the first of seven handwritten and undated letters began, and already before I finished reading the letter the words were out of my mouth, "who is Betz?" The seven letters addressed to Betz are in Folder 7, Box 21 of Grace Raymond Hebard's Papers held at the American Heritage Center at the University…

The Missing Diaries

On March 24th, 1924, Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard delivered a dedication to the new library building on the University of Wyoming campus. Her eight-page speech recalled the history and growth of the library from a three-book pyramid to a 55,000 book collection and closed by advocating for murals of Wyoming history to be painted on…

Maps and Memory

A piece of Wyoming history is coming into my care. The map, "The History and Romance of Wyoming" prepared by Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard and Paul M. Paine in 1928 and reprinted in 1936, was a gift to Wyoming flag designer, Verna Keays Keyes and now to me. One of Keyes' granddaughter, Rebecca Keays, is…

Rabbit Holes and Reputation

While writing my master's thesis, I spent a little over a week learning about calendars. You see, in his autobiography, Levi Sheftall double-dated the year of his birth 1739/40, despite the fact that he maintained his father's records of Savannah's Jewry which clearly put Levi's birth in 1739. With the appearance of several other double-dates…

“Our Buffalo”

Buffalo, Wyoming has the unique claim as the birthplace of the Wyoming State Flag and its designer, Verna Keays Keyes. The Bighorn Mountains stand in the backdrop of this photo, Verna's hometown of Buffalo nestled in its foothills. Verna grew up exploring, riding, and hiking near Clear Creek and the Bighorns. She fostered a love…