Awards for Montana The Magazine of Western History

Wrangler Award Winners

The National Cowboy Museum and Heritage Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, holds an annual awards ceremony and gala each spring. One of their awards honors the best nonfiction magazine article on any western history topic. Montana has won seven Wranglers since 1991.

2010 John H. Monnett, “ ‘My heart now has become changed to softer feelings’: A Northern Cheyenne Woman and Her Family Remember the Long Journey Home” (Summer 2009)

2009 Dan Flores, “Bringing Home all the Pretty Horses: The Horse Trade and the Early American West, 1775–1825” (Summer 2008)

2006 Jeffrey V. Pearson, “Tragedy at Red Cloud Agency: The Surrender, Confinement, and Death of Crazy Horse” (Summer 2005)

1996 Paul Andrew Hutton, “Showdown at the Hollywood Corral: Wyatt Earp and the Movies” (Summer 1995)

1994 Raphael Cristy, “Charlie's Hidden Agenda: Realism and Nostalgia in C. M. Russell’s Stories About Indians” (Summer 1993)

1993 Peter H. Hassrick, “Western Art Museums: A Question of Style or Content” (Summer 1992)

1991 Jerry Keenan, “Yellowstone Kelly: From New York to Paradise” (Summer 1990)

Spur Award Winners and Finalists

The Spur Awards, given annually by the Western Writers of America for distinguished writing about the American West, are among the oldest and most prestigious in American literature. Montana The Magazine of Western History has been recognized as either an award winner or finalist for Best Western Short Nonfiction ten times since 1990.

2016 Michael M. Miller, “Cowboys and Capitalists: The XIT Ranch in Texas and Montana, 1885–1912” (Winter 2015).

2011 Lee I. Niedringhaus, “The N Bar N Ranch: A Legend of the Open-Range Cattle Industry, 1885–99” (Spring 2010).

2010 (Finalist) Michael A. Amundson, “These Men Play Real Polo: An Elite Sport in the Cowboy State, 1890–1930” (Spring 2009)

2009 (Finalist) Clyde Ellis, “ ‘More Real Than the Indians Themselves’: The Early Years of the Indian Lore Movement in the United States” (Fall 2008)

2009 (Finalist) Dan Flores, “Bringing Home all the Pretty Horses: The Horse Trade and the Early American West, 1775–1825” (Summer 2008)

2006 Paul Hedren, “The Contradictory Legacies of Buffalo Bill Cody’s First Scalp for Custer” (Spring 2005)

2005 Judy Daubenmier, “Empty Saddles: Desertion From the Dashing U.S. Cavalry” (Autumn 2004)

2004 (Finalist) Paul Schullery and Lee Whittlesey, “Yellowstone’s Creation Myth: Can We Live with Our Own Legends?” (Spring 2003)

2003 Kerry R. Oman, “Winter in the Rockies: Winter Quarters of the Mountain Men” (Spring 2002)

2000 Elliott West, “Golden Dreams: Colorado, California, and the Reimagining of America” (Fall 1999)

1990 Valerie S. Mathes, “Helen Hunt Jackson and the Ponca Controversy” (Winter 1989)

Other Awards

Inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame
2014 Montana The Magazine of Western History

Arrington-Prucha Prize from the Western History Association
2012 Becky Mathews, “Changing Lives: Baptist Women, Benevolence, and Community on the Crow Reservation, 1904–1980” (Summer 2011).

Mountain-Plains Museums Association, Publication Design Competition, First place award, $250,000+ budget category
2010 Montana The Magazine of Western History

Westerners International Coke Wood Award for Best Article
2009 John H. Monnett, “ ‘My heart now has become changed to softer feelings: A Northern Cheyenne Woman and Her Family Remember the Long Journey Home” (Summer 2009)

Western History Association Ray Allen Billington Award
2009 Dan Flores, “Bringing Home all the Pretty Horses: The Horse Trade and the Early American West, 1775–1825” (Summer 2008)

Wild West History Association Award, Best Article published in a Western magazine
2009 Tiffany Clay, “A Call to Order: Law, Violence, and the Development of Montana’s Early Stockmen’s Organizations” (Fall 2008)

Wyoming State Historical Society Award, For the promotion and preservation of Wyoming history in the field of publications, magazines, and newspapers.
2009 Michael A. Amundson, “These Men Play Real Polo: An Elite Sport in the Cowboy State, 1890–1930” (Spring 2009)

Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award
2005 (Finalist) James E. Potter, “Hunting in the Frontier Army: ‘The Great Source of Amusement’ ” (Fall 2005)

Envirotech Award
2003 (Finalist) Michael J. Yochim, “Snow Machines in the Gardens: The History of Snowmobiles in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks” (Autumn 2003)

Forest History Society Theodore C. Blegen Award
2003 Alice K. Wondrak, “Wrestling with Horace Albright: Edmund Rogers, Visitors, and Bears in Yellowstone National Park” (Autumn and Winter 2002)

Forest History Society Theodore C. Blegen Award
2002 Sara E. Dant Ewert, “Evolution of an Environmentalist: Senator Frank Church and the Hells Canyon Controversy” (Spring 2001)

Western History Association Michael P. Malone Award for State History
2002 Frederick Allen, “Montana Vigilantes and the Origins of 3-7-77” (Spring 2001)

Western History Association Arrell M. Gibson Award, Best Essay on Native American History
1998 Elliott West, “Called Out People: The Cheyennes and the Central Plains” (Summer 1998)

Vivian Paladin Award Winners

Every magazine likes to win prizes, but we confess our delight in giving them too: each year the editorial board of Montana The Magazine of Western History selects the best article published during the previous year as the winner of the Vivian A. Paladin Award. The Montana Historical Society Board of Trustees created the award in 1978 to honor the career achievements and high editorial standards of legendary editor Vivian A. Paladin who served the magazine for twenty years (1958–1978). We present the award at the annual Montana History Conference. Here is the list of authors who have won this award.

2014 Michael Wise, “Killing Montana’s Wolves: Stockgrowers, Bounty Bills, and the Uncertain Distinction between Predators and Producers” (Winter 2013)

2013 Catharine R. Franklin, “Black Hills and Bloodshed: The U.S. Army Invasion of Lakota Land, 1868–1876” (Summer 2013)

2012 Brian Leech, “Protest, Power, and the Pit: Fighting Open-Pit Mining in Butte, Montana” (Summer 2012)

2011 Andrew R. Graybill, “Helen P. Clarke in ‘the Age of Tribes’: Montana’s Changing Racial Landscape, 1870–1920” (Spring 2011)

2010 Dawn Nickel, “Dying in the West: Hospitals and Health Care in Montana and Alberta, 1880–1950” (Autumn 2009 and Winter 2009)

2009 Clyde Ellis, “ ‘More Real than the Indians Themselves’: The Early Years of the Indian Lore Movement in the United States” (Autumn 2008)

2008 (Two articles tie) Megan Benson, “The Fight for Crow Water, Part 1” and “The Early Reservation Years Through the Indian New Deal, Part 2”(Winter 2007 and Spring 2008) and Dan Flores, “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses: The Horse Trade and the Early American West, 1775–1825” (Summer 2008)

2007 Kenneth N. Owens, “Frontiersman for the Tsar: Timofe, Tarakanov and the Expansion of Russian America” (Autumn 2006)

2006 Melody Graulich, “Monopolizing The Virginian (or, Railroading Wister)” (Spring 2006)

2005 Paul Hedren, “The Contradictory Legacies of Buffalo Bill Cody’s First Scalp for Custer” (Spring 2005)

2004 William E. Farr, “Going to Buffalo: Indian Hunting Migrations across the Rocky Mountains” (Spring 2004)

2003 Christine K. Erickson, “ ‘Kluxer Blues’: The Klan Confronts Catholics in Butte, Montana, 1923” (Spring 2003)

2002 Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith, “World Champions: The 1904 Girls’ Basketball Team from Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School” (Winter 2001)

2001 Brian Dippie, “‘Flying Buffaloes’: Artists and the Buffalo Hunt” (Summer 2001)

2000 Liping Zhu, “No Need to Rush: The Chinese, Placer Mining, and the Western Environment” (Autumn 1999)

1999 Ellen Baumler, “Devil’s Perch: Prostitution from Suite to Cellar in Butte, Montana” (Autumn 1998)

1998 Michael C. Steiner, “Frontierland as Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Architectural Packing of the Mythic West” (Spring 1998)

1997 Quintard Taylor, “From Esteban to Rodney King: Five Centuries of African American History in the West” (Winter 1996)

1996 Liping Zhu, “ ‘A Chinaman’s Chance’ on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier” (Autumn/Winter 1995)

1995 James P. Ronda, “A Moment in Time: The West-September 1806” (Autumn 1994)

1994 William E. Farr “Troubled Bundles, Troubled Blackfeet: The Travail of Cultural and Religious Renewal” (Autumn 1993)

1993 John Phillip Reid, “Certainty of Vengeance: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Retaliation in Kind against Indian Offenders in New Caledonia” (Winter 1993)

1992 Brian W. Dippie, “Photographic Allegories and Indian Destinies” (Summer 1992)

1991 Paul A. Hutton, “ ‘Correct in Every Detail’: General Custer in Hollywood” (Winter 1991)

1990 Albert L. Hurtado, “Public History and the Native American” (Spring 1990)

Friends’ Choice Award Winners

Each year the Friends of the Montana Historical Society, the organization of MHS volunteers, vote for their favorite article in Montana The Magazine of Western History. Established in 2004, this award represents the opinion of a diverse group who have a strong interest in Montana and western history. The following is a list of award recipients thus far.

2013 Tom Ferris, “Luck and Details: Photographing the Work of Charles M. Russell” (Autumn 2013)

2012 Martha Kohl, “And the Bride Wore . . . Montana Weddings, 1900–1960: An Exhibit from the Montana Historical Society” (Winter 2012)

2011 Joseph M. Hartmann, “ ‘Our Snow Covered Trail’: A Montana Freighter Recalls the Hard Winter of 1906-1907” (Winter 2011)

2010 Lincoln Bramwell, “When the Mountains Roared: The 1910 Northern Rockies Fires” (Autumn 2010)

2009 Ellen Baumler, “Montana Deaconess School to Intermountain: A Centennial of Restoring Hope for Children, 1909–2009” (Spring 2009)

2008 Dan Flores, “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses: The Horse Trade and the Early American West, 1775–1825” (Summer 2008)

2007 Fredric Quivik, “The Tragic Montana Career of Dr. D. E. Salmon” (Spring 2007)

2006 Seena B. Kohl, “Love, Valor, and Endurance: World War II War Brides Making a Home in Montana” (Autumn 2006)

2005 Ellen Baumler, “The Masonic Apron of Meriwether Lewis and the Legacy of Masonry in Montana” (Winter 2005)

2004 Aaron Parrett, “Montana’s Worst Natural Disaster: The 1964 Flood on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation” (Summer 2004)