The Wyoming Historical Society announces recipients of its 2020 Lola Homsher Research Grants. Grant monies are drawn from a fund established by the late Lola Homsher, a noted historian and state archivist who spearheaded establishing the Society in 1953. After her retirement, Miss Homsher made a major donation to the WHS that is used to help fund Society programs. The WHS is a nonprofit, membership driven educational organization with chapters across the state.

Leslie Waggener, chair of the Homsher Grant Committee, noted that seven out of nine applications were approved for a total award of $6,942. She said the committee was very impressed with the research projects that people throughout the United States are pursuing. “Each application described a unique aspect of Wyoming’s history. I’m sorry we couldn’t fund each and every one of them.”

Waggener added, “The work done by amateur and professional historians through these grants supports the Society’s mission to make Wyoming’s past accessible to present and future generations.” She added, “Providing funds for researcher travel and for research-related costs such as scanning can make all the difference in completing a project. Creating opportunities for original research is a mainstay of the Homsher Grant program. The grant funds do not support the purchase of equipment and/or software, construction of exhibits, contract labor, or publication costs.

Members and non-members alike, amateur and professional historians, and students are eligible to apply for Research Grants aimed at projects with tangible results. Members of the committee, besides Waggener, includes Patty Kessler, Kem Nicolaysen, and Doug Cubbison. The recipients for the 2020 round of research grants are:

  • Christian Lewandowski, Alfred NY, $200 for research regarding Sherman Coolidge, an Arapaho Episcopal priest and long-term resident of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.
  • Rodger McDaniel, Laramie, $1500 for research geared toward a project titled “Profiles in Wyoming Courage.”
  • Moya McGuill, Albuquerque NM, $1500 for research related to Heart Mountain, Wyoming, the WWII Interment Center.
  • Kathryn McKee, Hillsborough NC, $630 for research related to the use of bears in advertising Yellowstone.
  • Jocelyn Moore, Pinedale, $1413 for research relating to the Civil War Cavalry in pre-Territorial Wyoming.
  • Laura Ruberto, Piedmont CA, $1500 for research related to art, creativity and community during WWII, especially as it relates to murals painted by Italian Prisoners of War.
  • Powder River Energy Corp, Sundance, $199 toward costs related to the 75-year history of Powder River Energy.

Applications for Homsher Research Grant funds are due each year on the last day of February. For details, and to see previous recipients, visit