“With eighty men I could ride through the entire Sioux nation.” The story of the Fetterman Fight, near Fort Phil Kearney in present-day Wyoming in 1866, is based entirely on this infamous declaration attributed to Capt. William J. Fetterman. Historical accounts cite this statement in support of the premise that bravado and contempt for the fort’s commander, Col. Henry B. Carrington, compelled Fetterman to disobey direct orders from Carrington and lead his men into an ambush by an alliance of Plains Indians.
In the aftermath of the incident, Carrington’s superiors positioned him as solely accountable for the “massacre” by suppressing exonerating evidence. In the face of this betrayal, Carrington’s first and second wives came to their husband’s defense by publishing books presenting his version of the deadly encounter. Although several of Fetterman’s soldiers and fellow officers disagreed with the women’s accounts, their chivalrous deference to women’s moral authority during this age of Victorian sensibilities enabled Carrington’s wives to present their story without challenge.
Tuesday, April 23, 6 pm at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum, Shannon Smith, Executive Director, Wyoming Humanities will give a presentation on Women and the Myth of the Fetterman Fight. She is the author of “Give Me Eighty Men”: Women and the Myth of the Fetterman Fight, winner of the 2009 Wyoming State Historical Society non-fiction book award and is working on a biography of Frances Grummond Carrington, one of the officers’ wives who wrote about her experiences in Wyoming Territory.
In 2013, Shannon was selected as the sixth executive director for Wyoming Humanities, our state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and one of 56 state and territorial humanities councils. She grew up in Gordon, Nebraska, 15 miles south of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she received a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1982 and worked for two decades in the software industry in New York City, Boston, and Denver. Shannon returned to the University of Nebraska where she received a master’s in American History in 2001 and began her teaching and writing career focusing on women in the West and in Wyoming in particular. From 2002-2009 she taught at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum is located at 900 W 2nd Street in Gillette. This presentation is free, and open to the public.
"I have enjoyed hearing how the Gillette Area Leadership Institute has evolved since I was a part of it. I have always encouraged everyone to be a part of GALI, to learn about our fabulous community and all that it offers, as well as participating in the many networking and marketing opportunities that are available at an exceptional value to its members."
Not every G.A.L.I. class has had the opportunity to fly in a Black Hawk helicopter as part of the group's annual visit to the state legislature. This year's class got to visit the Wyoming Air National Guard Base in Cheyenne in February, but due to strong winds (in Wyoming? Who knew!), the choppers were grounded for the day.
Brigadier General Gregory C. Porter generously offered to bring the Black Hawks to Gillette later on in the year. On April 8th, G.A.L.I. students, both from the present class and past classes, were able to take a ride around the skies over Gillette. Thank you to the Wyoming National Guard for visiting us!
Click here to see more photos from the day➜
"I think it’s really important to educate our members and the community on the ability and success of the Chamber when it comes to advocacy. The support we’ve seen over the years from the Chamber in terms of advocating for the coal industry is incredible. I want our members and the citizens of Campbell County to understand the role the Chamber can play, and has played, in advocating for issues that matter to our community and businesses.
"Before being on the Board of Directors, I didn’t realize how much the Chamber did. Beyond the ribbon cuttings and gold bucks, there is so much more to the services and support that the Chamber provides. I do my best to educate members and the community on the great things the Chamber does for Campbell County. Cloud Peak Energy supports a number of programs in the area and encourages our employees to get involved as well.
"Cloud Peak Energy greatly benefits from having a voice at the table. The network the Chamber has provided with regard to exposure of industry issues and supporters has made a significant impact on our business."
The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.1% in December to 4.0% in January. Wyoming’s unemployment rate was the same as the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.0%.
From December to January, most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased. Jobless rates usually increase in January because of seasonal job losses in construction, retail trade, government, transportation & utilities, and other sectors.
From January 2018 to January 2019, unemployment rates decreased in 14 counties, increased slightly in eight counties, and remained unchanged in Lincoln County. The largest decreases occurred in energy producing counties. Campbell County’s rate fell from 4.9% to 4.0%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) increased from 276,100 in January 2018 to 281,300 in January 2019, a gain of 5,200 jobs (or 1.9%).
- Report courtesy the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.
"When I started working at the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, I kept hearing mentions of G.A.L.I.," writes Finance Director Brandi Brockmoller.
Brandi has been a Chamber employee since Fall of 2017, and joined the 2018/2019 Gillette Area Leadership Institute class this year. (Three of our six employees have already been through the program.) G.A.L.I. was started in 1986 to bring like minded individuals together who wanted to serve their community as a leader.
Each month the group spends at least one day touring entities and facilities within the community. They learn the inner workings of, and meet the individuals who are leading teams that work in the public sector. February was the annual class field trip to Cheyenne to meet with legislators (and our new Governor). Brandi and her class saw the signing of Senate Resolution 1, declaring a day to recognize the 150th anniversary of Wyoming Women's Suffrage.
She writes about her experience so far with the Gillette Area Leadership Institute:
Most of today's businesses were not around 50 years ago and most businesses that will be around 50 years from now don't exist today. That's one of the messages Jack Mason gave to the Energy Capital Economic Development FUEL Business Incubator members and guests at a breakfast meeting March 1 at the Energy Capital Economic Development Enterprise Center.
Jack became the chief operating officer of the University of Wyoming's Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship last fall. The institute seeks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship across the state. Jack was in Gillette last week to visit with local businesses, tour Campbell County and Gillette, and be introduced to the community.
He described the institute's role and resources to the FUEL members and explained how those resources could benefit them. He also emphasized how fast business ideas change and how flexible and innovative business people need to be in order to achieve success.
"We were so happy to have Jack come speak to our FUEL members and guests," Judith Semple, Volunteer Director of the FUEL Business Incubator, said. "As entrepreneurs, they need to know there is support for what they do as well as know about the resources that are readily available for their businesses."
Jack was accompanied by Dr. David Sprott, Dean of the University of Wyoming College of Business. This was their first visit to Gillette. In addition to speaking at the ECED FUEL Business Incubator, Jack presented to the Gillette Energy Rotary Club and the Kiwanis club. The tour of the community included a visit to the Campbell County Rec. Center, The Cam-Plex, Gillette College's Technical Education Center and Area 59, tours of Dry Fork and Atlas Carbon, and much more.
"Gillette warmly welcomed Jack and David," Phil Christopherson, CEO of ECED, said. "Everywhere they went the community members welcomed them."
[Story originally appeared in the Energy Capital Economic Development Newsletter. If you'd like to sign up and receive economic news from across Wyoming, click here.]
Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow applauds a new law that provides greater flexibility for Wyoming students to qualify for a Hathaway Scholarship.
“After years of work with industry and career and technical teachers, I am proud that Wyoming took one more step toward recognizing the viability of the trades and career readiness training,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
“With this bill, we can help deliver the skilled workforce that Wyoming industries need, no matter if that’s a four-year degree or specialized training. Whatever our cars will run on in the future, we’re still going to need mechanics with advanced skills to keep them on the road. We need welders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and wind turbine technicians. Also, with Wyoming leading the way in blockchain technology, there is a growing demand for computer coders, tech engineers, and developers.”
Senate File 43, signed into law on February 15 by Governor Mark Gordon, expands Hathaway Scholarship opportunities. Wyoming students with an aptitude and passion for specialty trades now have more options for meeting the Hathaway Success Curriculum requirements in high school.
For 2019 and 2020 high school graduates, students can take either the current Success Curriculum or the new amended curriculum. The new Success Curriculum will take full effect in the 2021 school year.
"In my time volunteering for the Chamber, I hope to ensure we address current issues that impact our local businesses. I also hope to expand our networking capabilities, and bring affordable education and training to our members, so they may grow in their businesses.
"Being on the Board has given me a different view of our community concerns, which allows me to see where my business might be helpful in areas I had not considered before. For example, working with staff on the Innovate & Grow Conference, allows me to educate small business owners that I might never reach otherwise.
"In my discussions with family, friends, and business acquaintances, I see how they can benefit from the Chamber's advocacy, education and support. I encourage businesses to be a part of the Chamber to help grow their visibility in the community and expand their networks."
Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums (CWAM) is excited to announce that Emily Graslie, The Field Museum’s Chief Curiosity Correspondent and host of the science YouTube channel The Brain Scoop, will be the keynote speaker at CWAM’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Gillette, Wyoming. The annual meeting will be held May 23 to 25 at CAM-PLEX, 1635 Reata Dr., and Emily will speak at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 24. Tickets will be available March 1 at CWAM-US.org.
Born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota, Emily has been a museum advocate since 2011, when she began volunteering at the University of Montana’s Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum. In 2013, she joined The Field Museum where she uses a variety of new media to communicate the importance of natural history museums with the world. Emily has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including the American Alliance of Museum's Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellence. She’s a six-time Webby Award honoree and nominee in the ‘Online Science/Education Channel’ and ‘Web Personality/Host’ categories; a member of the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 list in Education; and was named as a ‘Person of the Year’ in 2017 by the Chicago Tribune.
The theme for the Annual Meeting is “Energy for Impact,” focusing on re-energizing museum workers and volunteers and, in turn, energizing the public. On this topic, Emily will speak about the value of curiosity and its impactful role in museums.
Learn more about the Annual Meeting at CWAM-US.org. Tickets will be available March 1. Session proposals will be accepted through Feb. 1.
The CWAM 2019 Annual Meeting is generously supported in part by grants from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources; the Papers of William F. Cody; and the Campbell County Convention & Visitors Bureau.