Cheryl O’Brien, chair of the Wyoming Historical Society’s Homsher Committee, announces the six recipients of research grants for 2023. They are:

  • Matteo Pretelli of Florence, Italy received $1500 for his project titled “Rock Springs, Wyoming: A Multi-Ethnic Community in a Small American State in WWII.” His research will focus on the mining town of Rock Springs, a multi-ethnic community made up of people of European and Asian backgrounds that had been affected by wartime’s mobilities.
  • Nancy Small of Laramie, Wyoming received $1250 for her project about Wyoming women’s sense of identity, specifically Estelle Reel. 
  • Eliana Chavkin of Evanston, Illinois received $1500 for project titled “In Gratitude to the Women: Commemoration of Women’s WWI Service in the Equality State.”
  • Rebecca Keays of Urbana, Illinois received $1150 for her project titled “Verna Keays Keyes and Wyoming’s State Flag: 1916-1982.”
  • Kay Kuhlmann of Guernsey, Wyoming received $960 for her project titled “Carrie and Bill: How an Artist Captured a Native Son’s Love for a Mining Community.
  • Lea Schoenewald of Thermopolis, Wyoming received $640 for her project titled “The Story of Coal in Gebo, Crosby, and Kirby, Wyoming.

The committee recognizes amateur and professional historians through these grants that support the Society’s mission to make Wyoming’s past accessible to present and future generations. O’Brien said, “The Homsher Grant program provides great opportunities for original research about Wyoming’s fascinating history.” 

Grant monies are drawn from a fund established by the late Lola Homsher, a noted historian and state archivist. One of Homsher’ s most significant contributions to preserve Wyoming history came when she spearheaded establishing the Wyoming State Historical Society in 1953. After her retirement Miss Homsher made a major donation to the Society that has been used as an endowment to help fund Society programs.

Members of the Homsher Committee are Cheryl O’Brien, Dubois, Patty Kessler, Laramie; Sara Davis, Cheyenne, and Brigida Blasi, Laramie. Applications and rules for Homsher Research Grants can be obtained by visiting the Society’s website at, and then by selecting “Homsher Endowment.” Please contact the Wyoming Historical Society at 307-322-3014 or for more information. Electronic proposals are due February 28, 2024.