History of the Association
On New Year's Day, 2008, the National Association for Outlaw and Lawmen History (NOLA), formed in 1974, and the Western Outlaw-Lawman History Association (WOLA), founded in 1990, joined in the formation of the Wild West History Association (WWHA). These two history groups, with a worldwide membership, created the primary Wild West history organization in the world.
WWHA Focus & Goals
Wild West History Association is dedicated to providing publications and forums for the enlightenment and enjoyment of its members, facilitating and encouraging research, study, writing, presentation, and preservation of the history and lore of the people, events, and places that made the American West "wild" in the last half of the nineteenth century.... the lawmen, outlaws, gunfighters, rustlers, vigilantes, feuds, shady ladies, saloons, cowtowns, and mining camps.... along with recognizing and honoring those individuals and institutions that make significant contributions to the knowledge and preservation of Wild West history and lore.
2013 WWHA Board of Directors
President Pam Potter, Mountain Center, CA
Pam Potter is a native Californian with a B.A. in sociology. She lives with her husband, 4 horses and 4 dogs. She was a member of WOLA and on the board of NOLA as well as on the steering committee regarding the merge of the two organizations. She is a member of the Single Action Shooting Society and Western Writers of America.
Pam first became interested in Western history when she learned her great grandmother was the sister of Tom and Frank McLaury who were killed at the gunfight near the OK Corral.
First Vice-President Jim Dunham, Cartersville, GA
Growing up in the 1950s I was greatly influenced by the Western radio dramas and later television "Oaters" that dominated TV in the 60s. I determined to follow in the footsteps of my artist mother and get a college art education. In 1961 in enrolled as an Art Major at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.
I continued my love of Cowboys and Indians through reading and by taking every history and anthropology course that dealt with the American West. I also got hooked by theatre and acted in over a dozen plays at the University between 1962 and 1966. I also put together a program about fast and fancy gun handling tricks from both history and the movies and spoke to a bunch of service clubs and church groups about my hobby.
In 1967 I was hired by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation in Hollywood to perform in their studio tour stunt show and to teach movie stars the finer points of fast draw and gun spinning. When Westerns went out of vogue I took my act on the banquet speaking circuit and to the tourist business in Colorado and later Arizona.
I was offered a job with the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, while it was still in the planning stages. I started in April of 2001 and immediately went to work on interpreting the art and writing labels.
A year ago my wife, Suzanne accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Intergraded Broadband Systems (IBBS) in Cartersville and we moved here and I cut my commute by a hundred miles a day. After five years my enthusiasm has not waned a bit and I still love everything about the Old Wild West as much as when I stood in front of the TV and tried to outdraw Gunsmoke's Matt Dillon. By the way I did beat him.
Second Vice-President Marshall Trimble, Scottsdale, AZ
Marshall Trimble began his career as a folk singer in the 1960's and after Doubleday published his highly successful book, "Arizona" in 1977, he returned to the stage, this time as a storyteller, cowboy poet and singer. He is today, one of the state's most sought-after speakers and performers. He taught Arizona History at Scottsdale Community College for more than thirty five years and helped create the Southwest Studies Program for Maricopa Community Colleges. He's been director of that program since 1977.
This multi-talented historian can deliver everything from a serious history lecture to forty-five minutes of stand-up comedy. He appears frequently on radio and television as a goodwill ambassador for the state, and has opened for such acts as Rex Allen, Waylon Jennings, and the Oak Ridge Boys. "Trimble's Tales" are heard daily on radio stations around the state. He hosts the weekly television show, "Arizona Backroads." The show received a regional Emmy nomination in 2004.
Marshall is a spokesman for several commercial enterprises including Saba's Western Stores and Prescott's famed Palace Restaurant and Saloon. He answer's questions about the Old West from readers all over the world in True West Magazine's column, "Ask the Marshall."
This native Arizonan is the author of nineteen books on Arizona and the West, including the award-winning "Arizona: A Cavalcade of History" and "It Always Rains After A Dry Spell." His recent books include, "Law of the Gun," "Never Give A Heifer A Bum Steer," "Arizona 2000," and "Pulling Legs Attached to Tenderfeet."
In recent years Trimble has been the recipient of many honors. In 1999 he was inducted into the Phoenix College Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2000 he was selected as one of Arizona's representatives in the Library of Congress' "Local Legacies." In 2002 he received the first "Copper Star Award" from the State Society of Arizona in Washington D.C. That same year, Governor Janet Napolitano appointed him co-chairman of the countdown to the state's centennial. The following year he received the Scottsdale Jaycees "Distinguished Service Award," In 2004 the Daughters of the American Revolution honored him with their Medal of Honor for leadership and patriotism. That same year he was inducted into Scottsdale's Hall of Fame, and the Arizona Veteran's Hall of Fame. In 2007, the Arizona Office of Tourism presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service to the state.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona's official state historian.
Secretary Elizabeth Weathers, Springdale, AR
Elizabeth Earp Weathers is a native of Springdale, AR and attended the University of Arkansas. She is a retired owner of an Independent Insurance agency.
She is a recipient of the Charlotte Patterson Insurance Woman of the Year award for the state of Arkansas. She is past pres. Of Altrusa International of Fayetteville, AR, and current Foundation board member. She was past pres. of United Way Foundation board and was a board member of Arts Center of the Ozarks for several years. She is active in the First United Methodist Church.
She and her husband Sam have 2 children and 4 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. Her primary interest is in Wyatt Earp.
Treasurer Tom Todd, Arkadelphia, AR
Tom Todd was born in Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas. While in the seventh grade his family moved him to Milwaukee but they didn’t take the rebel out of the southern boy. Three of his great grandfathers fought for the southern cause, and he is an active member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and has been recently selected to serve as the first Commander of the newly formed camp in his home town, Show Low, AZ. After graduating from South Division High School in Milwaukee, he joined the Navy and retired twenty years later. After his retirement, Tom used his GI Bill and earned a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration.
Tom remained in the aerospace industry and spent two years with the McDonnell Douglas Company and one of those years was spent in Saudi Arabia providing instructions to the Royal Saudi Air Force on the F-15 fighter plane. He then worked for three different helicopter companies, not that he was like an old west marshal moving from town to town, but the name of the company kept changing while he never left his desk. Hughes Helicopter Company became McDonnell Douglas, which became Boeing, and Tom continued supplying foreign militaries with the world's finest attack helicopter, the AH-64 Apache, and traveling the world doing so. After more than 20 years, he again retired. One of the highlights of his retirement was attending George W. Bush's second inauguration.
Tom and his wife Judy moved to Show Low in the White Mountains of Arizona and he learned he was just a few miles from Fort Apache where John Wayne and Geronimo fought so many battles. Tom combined his fascination with old cemeteries with his love of travel and love of the old west. He has traveled extensively throughout the west in his efforts to visit the places that he has read about and then finding and photographing the graves of the people that made Old West history so fascinating. He has also traveled much of the east and walked many of the Civil War battlefields. These travels turned into “Trip Reports” that were sent to family and friends. The trip reports turned into articles for a local magazine and people began to ask for a book. He is now working on Volume Two and forming plans for a volume on the War for Southern Independence.
Tom says that he is definitely thrilled and excited to have been nominated and elected to the WWHA Board.
Past President Robert McCubbin, Santa Fe, NM
Born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Bob became interested in the outlaws and lawmen of the West when he was a teenager. He read every book he could get his hands on and wrote every author whose address he could find. (There was no internet then.)
Graduating in engineering from Oklahoma State University, he worked for El Paso Natural Gas Company for thirty six years. His work took him frequently all across the West, as well as to Algeria for two years. He served as Chairman of the Operating Section of the Pacific Coast Gas Association. During that time he also produced (with help from two wives) four children, who themselves have now produced six (plus one on the way) grandchildren for him. He retired from EPNG in 1999 as Vice President of Operations and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
His interest in the Wild West has never waned. His addiction to collecting books and original photos on the subject has lasted over fifty five years. He and his collections have been featured in Cowboys & Indians, Fine Books & Collections, Wild West, and True West magazines. His photos can be found in many books and they have been used in several documentary TV programs and movie DVDs. Bob has contributed Introductions and Forewords to several books, the earliest in the 1961 edition of John Wesley Hardin's autobiography and the latest being Lee Silva's second volume of "Wyatt Earp; A Biography of a Legend" and Howard Bryan's "Santa Fe Tales & More".
In 1999 Bob and two friends purchased True West magazine and he served as Publisher for seven years. Now retired from the magazine, he is now designated as "Publisher Emeritus". He has served on the Advisory Board of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center McCracken Research Library for five years. A long time member of NOLA and WOLA, Bob has received the Lifetime Achievement award from WOLA and the Best Magazine Article award from NOLA. He participated in the investigation of the possibility of merging WOLA and NOLA and took part in the initial planning of WWHA, serving as president of the new organization for it's first three years. He is co-author of a book with Michael Wallis titled "The Wild West" in Abrams Publisher's 365 series.
Past Treasurer Herb Marsh, Lincoln, NM
When I first set foot in Lincoln, NM, I knew I was hooked. The history there just drew me in. I made many history friends as a result of Lincoln (and Billy the Kid), including many members of WWHA.
I have a deep interest in the old west and the Civil War. Collecting what I can of old west and civil war memorabilia is also a passion. Two terms as president of the Lincoln County Historical Society gave me an even deeper appreciation of the history and mystique of the place. When a recent attempt was made to dig up the Kid in Fort Sumner, I served as co-counsel in the case to keep that from happening, and happy to say it was a successful effort.
My career was spent as a lawyer and judge in Texas. Since retirement, I now live in Lincoln and continue to absorb the history.
It was a pleasure to serve on the Board and as Treasurer of such a tremendous organization.
I am a native Californian, born and raised. My interest with the Old West started when I was a little kid and my father first introduced me to it. It was after reading Triggernometry by Eugene Cunningham that the early interest really took off. It was mainly because Cunningham had such a poor opinion of the Earps, and I wanted to find out more. To this day, my favorite focus is still the Southwest and the Earps. Besides being an avid collector of Western books and memorabilia, I work at a art gallery/framing store where we frame art for collectors, museums and the general public. I also enjoy fishing and the outdoors. I have been a member of WWHA since its beginning coming over from WOLA.
Dennis Garstang was a member of NOLA and WOLA for many years, serving on the WOLA Board and the Merge Committee than worked to combine those groups into the WWHA of today. Dennis retired from the practice of optometry in 2008 to devote time to grandkids and studying history, especially Old West history. He is currently the sheriff of the Kansas City Posse of the Westerners. Dennis and his wife, Mimi enjoy attending the Round-Ups and visiting with their many friends. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.
Kurt, a Texan, has been involved in many history related organizations including Past President of TGCA, Director of NBSSCA, Director, Colt Collectors Association where he has also been Editor for 8 years, Benefactor of NRA, Director of Former Texas Ranger Foundation, has published over 70 scientific articles and 6 books on natural history, western history, anthropology and collecting. He personally founded the American Fan Collectors Association (1980) and published the newsletter for 6 years, is an Honorary Lifetime Member #1 and elected to Hall of Fame in 2004. He is a member of various collecting associations and professional societies and continues to do research and publish in his fields of interest.
Ronald S. Ligon (Cody Kid) was born, raised and has always lived in Tennessee.
His business career has been in banking, real estate and travel attraction. The travel attraction was Christus Gardens of Gatlinburg, located in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, which he operated for 48 years. Christus Gardens told the story of the life of Jesus Christ by life-sized dioramas.
Hobbies are hunting, fishing, Cowboy Action Shooting and western history, etc. As a young child, his Dad put him to bed with "Buffalo Bill" stories instead of nursery rhymes.
He found out about NOLA and WOLA through the Single Action Shooting Society and joined both. Carroll Moore (former WOLA director and WWHA director) got Ligon to his first WOLA meeting.
Ronald is married to Marty Ligon ("Buxom Boo"), and they have five children and seven grandchildren. They live in a 120 year-old house in Franklin, Tennessee.
Ruth McWhirter, Collierville, TN
My name is Lily Ruth McWhirter. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and now reside in Collierville, Tennessee, a town just east of Memphis. I attended the University of Tennessee, my major being history. My husband and I have four daughters and seven grandchildren.
As a young adult my interest in history began to zero in on the Old West, and particularly outlaws. Saloons of the Old West have also captured my interest, ever since I learned I had a great uncle who owned and managed one in Hagerman, Idaho.
Another of my passions is archeology, mainly the Southeast part of our country. I work on a volunteer basis at the University of Memphis in the department of Earth Sciences. I've done field work, lab work, record keeping and other. The one phase I enjoy most is "hands on" research of ancient pottery.
I exercise regularly, play a lot of golf (I'm President of my ladies golf group) and like vacations. Last but not least I'm a huge fan of University of Memphis basketball.
Roy B. Young, Apache, OK
Roy is married to the former Charlotte Brown. They reside in Apache, Oklahoma.
They have three married sons:
John Faron and Chrisie Young and their sons Cole, Ryan, and Evan
Brian Evan and Kristy Young and their sons Jackson, Brady, and Griffin
Roy Brent and Amy Young and their daughter Lillian and son Lucas
Roy is a graduate of Southeast High School and Oklahoma Christian University, both in Oklahoma City. He did his graduate work at Oklahoma State University.
For the past 20 years he has been minister of the Oak Street Church of Christ in Apache.
A former high school history teacher, Roy has authored numerous books, many of which deal with the outlaw-lawman history of the American West.
He served three years as president of the Western Outlaw-Lawman History Association as well as ten years on their board of directors. For four years he served as editor of the association’s quarterly and newsletter. He also served three years as president of Oklahombres, an organization dedicated to the history of lawmen and outlaws of Oklahoma and the twin territories.
He is the former editor of the Journal of the Wild West History Association, a position he held since the formation of the organization in 2008.
Roy is the recipient of the 2013 WWHA “Lifetime Contributions” Award, presented at the Boise Roundup.
WWHA Advisory Board
Robert De Arment
WWHA Focus and Goals
WWHA Board of Directors
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