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World War One and Wyoming: People

Learn about Wyomingites who fought "over there" and those who stayed on the homefront during the Great War. This guide also includes a bibliography and where to find additional information on Wyoming and World War One.

Acting Governor Frank L. Houx

(WSA Sub Neg 2108, Frank L. Houx)

Frank L. Houx became acting-governor February 26, 1917 following the resignation of Governor John B. Kendrick, who had resigned to seek the US Senate seat.  Nearly two months later, the US was at war with Germany and the Austrio-Hungarian Empire.  Houx's duties as governor were magnified as he oversaw the mobilization of the state's residents and resources for the war effort.


General John J. Pershing


Pershing was general of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe.  In 1905 he had married Helen Francis Warren, daughter of Wyoming US Senator Francis E. Warren.  It is believed that as chairman of the US Military Appropriations Committee, Warren may have used his influence to advance Pershing's military career.

John B. Kendrick

(WSA Sub Neg 2278)

John B. Kendrick served as Governor of Wyoming from 1915 until 1917, when he resigned to become one of Wyoming's US Senators. 


Edith K.O. Clark

(WSA Sub Neg 1625, Edith KO Clark)

Edith Clark had a long history in education as a school teacher, county superintendent of schools and state superintendent of public instruction.  Though elected as state superintendent in 1915, Clark served with the YMCA in France during the war.


  • Edith K.O. Clark biography, Wyoming Blue Book Wiki (accessed Jan. 2016)
  • Edith K.O. Clark diaries, 1904-1936, Collection #12580, American Heritage Center.
  • Edith K.O. Clark Collection, C-1063, Wyoming State Archives. 
  • Ginny Kilander editor, "Over There with the YMCA": A Wyoming Educator in French Canteen Service," Annals of Wyoming 82 (Spring 2010), 2-13.

Col. Burke H. Sinclair

Burke H. Sinclair had previously worked as a newspaper man in Omaha and Cheyenne and in the publicity department of Great Western Sugar, and had been a major during the Mexican border crisis in 1916-1917.    When America entered the war, Sinclair was a lieutenant colonel of the Third Wyoming Infantry.  He was later sent to artillery school at Fort Sill and then to France.  Following the death of Col. J.W. Cavender, Burke was promoted to colonel and made commander of the 148th Field Artillery.

Colonel J.W. Cavender

J.W. Cavender was an attorney and county attorney in Cody and  was a major in the national guard, serving with distinction during the Mexican border crisis of 1915-1916.  Following America's entry into World War I, he was promoted to colonel of the 148th Field Artillery.  Cavender was killed in action in September 1918.

Captain William A. Sawtell

A prominent Park County resident, Sawtell served was a captain in Company C of the Wyoming militia, and during the war, the 148th Field Artillery.  By the war's end, he had been promoted to major.  A personal account of his service can be found in the Powell Tribune of May 9, 1918, page 6. 

Sgt. George Osterman

Sgt. George N. Osterman of Sheridan designed the bucking horse emblem used by the 148th Field Artillery during World War I. The design, a picture of his horse Red Wing painted on a drum head, won the regimental emblem design contest. Following the war, the men from Wyoming brought the design home with them and its popularity spread. 

World War I soldiers with 155mm gun

Additional Resources

  • Osterman, George N., "The Beginning of a Great Emblem." Annals of Wyoming, October 1958, p163-167.


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