Medicine Bow in the News


Medicine Bow music teacher sings, plays, motivates - By Christine Peterson, Star-Tribune, Sunday, May 20, 2012


Medicine Bow Resident Tries to Raise Interest in Old Airport - Zachary Laux, Rawlins Daily Times, May 4, 2012


Wyoming coal-to-gasoline plant gets fuel buyer, Jeremy Fugleberg Star-Tribune energy reporter, Thursday, December 1, 2011


Virginian Hotel in Wyoming celebrates 100th anniversary - By the Star-Tribune staff, Friday, September 30, 2011


Man's quirky art could be what the small town needs - By Christine Peterson Star-Tribune staff writer, Sunday, July 17, 2011



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History of Owen Wister
Owen Wister (Born July 14, 1860 - Died in1938)

Worked in Boston as a bank employee until his health failed and came West in 1885. He went back to East to Harvard to become a lawyer.

Wister was a Harvard-educated lawyer from Philadelphia. He was originally from Pennsylvania.

1885 - Wister came West at the age of 25 for his health. He stayed at the Wolcott Ranch on Deer Creek, near Glenrock.

July 22, 1885 - Wister came to Medicine Bow with the owner of the ranch. As there was no rooms available so he slept on the counter of the General Store, South of the tracks, now known as the Owen Wister General Store.

Owen Wister Mechantile, Medicine Bow, Wyoming

Wister made several trips West, and the names and events over a period of the next 15 years were kept in a series of diaries. They contained a full and realistic account of his western experiences with cattle thieves, ranchers, cowboys, saloons and their keepers, and Indians. He used these colorful events to provide the material for his western novel "The Virginian," which was published in 1902. (The setting - Medicine Bow, Wyoming)

"The Virginian" was the first Western ever written. It brought world wide recognition to Medicine Bow and made famous the phrase "When you call me that, smile."

Legend has it that Owen Wister overheard these words when James Davis, one time deputy sheriff of Carbon County, was engaged in a poker game in Medicine Bow. One of the other players called Davis an "S.O.B." and Davis replied, "When you call me that, smile."

The T.V. show, "The Virginian" was introduced in the 1962-63 season, and was based on Wister's book. James Drury was the Virginian, Doug McClure was Trampas, and Lee J. Cobb was the Colonel.

Four movies were made prior to the T.V. series - Starring Dustin Farnum, Kenneth Harlan, Gary Cooper, and Joel McCree, respectively, as "The Virginian."

Owen Wister Cabin

Owen Wister Cabin in Medicine Bow, Wyoming

Built the early 1900's (approximately 1911 when Wister bought it), this cabin was Owen Wister's Hunting Lodge and Summer Ranch Home. It was located West of Moose, WY, in the Jackson Hole Area. The cabin was later moved to the R Lazy S Dude Ranch, in the Moose area, and used as a girls bunkhouse, Rec. Room, and Linen Storage. It was used for this purpose until the early 1970's, when it was dismantled (each piece being marked with a numbered metal tag and put in storage) in about 1972.

1975 - John Hunt, then part owner of the Virginian Hotel, read a published article that the cabin was going to be destroyed. Hunt brought it to the attention of the local Lions Club, and they decided to bring the cabin to Medicine Bow, as a Bicentennial Project. In the spring of 1976, the Lions Club brought the cabin, in pieces, by flatbed trailers to Medicine Bow where it was rebuilt over several years. The inside of the cabin sports small nameplates on individual logs, each bearing the name of the person or family that paid for the transport of that log. Continued improvements are being made on the cabin, which now houses an assortment of period pieces. The main room on the lower level is open for viewing.
Owen Wister Monument

The Owen Wister Monument was erected in 1939 and was made of Petrified Wood, most of which came from the Petrified Forest, 40 miles North of Medicine Bow.

It was constructed by Bill Griffith in 1939 and a dedication ceremony was held.

It was erected as a tribute to Owen Wister and his book that made our town famous.
Owen Wister General Store

Built in the middle of the 1800's (Still standing South of the railroad tracks). One of 29 buildings in Medicine Bow in 1885.

Wister was staying at the Wolcott Ranch on Deer Creek, near Glenrock, for his health. He came to Medicine Bow with the ranch owner to confer with his Lawyer & pick up a shipment of fish from the Railroad (trout & bass for stocking).

On July 19, 1885, at 5:30 P.M., after nineteen hours of driving, and a night in the mountains they arrived in Medicine Bow. The train carrying the lawyer and fish was due to arrive on the midnight train. Owen Wister caught a few hours sleep, from ten to twelve-thirty P.M. on the counter of the General Store, until the train arrived

The short nap must have made a big impression on him, for the episode was featured prominently 17 years later in his world famous book "The Virginian."

1931 - The General Store was closed and moved North of the tracks. It was housed in the Bow Mercantile building East of the Post Office. The State Bank, which had set attached to the General Store South of the tracks, was also moved into what is now the present Post Office building.