Harry E. Chrisman Cowboy Historian was born on his father’s ranch near Lillian in Custer County, Nebraska on February 7, 1906. He attended school in Broken Bow and graduated from Scottsbluff, Nebraska High School in 1921. On October 20, 1942 he married Catherine Bell in Scottsbluff. Later that year he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Pacific Theater, being discharged in 1945. After the war, he studied at the Rochester (New York) Institute of Technology, where he later received an Alumni Achievement Award, and he attended the University of Denver. In 1947 he worked briefly as a salesman for the Delta County Independent of Colorado. In 1948 he began selling ads for the Southwest Daily Times in Liberal. Chrisman wrote his first book Lost Trails of the Cimarron in 1961, which topped The Western Writers of America Rating Sheet. He retired in 1965 from the newspaper business and moved to Lakewood, Colorado to write full-time. His specialty was non-fiction westerns; writing, or collaborating on, eleven books. Another book to be rated first by the WWA was The Ladder of Rivers, The Story of I.P. (Print) Olive in 1962. Two other of his notable books were The 1001 Most-Asked Questions About the American West, 1982; and Tales of the Western Heartland, 1984. On December 17, 1993 Harry E. Chrisman died at the age of 87. His life was colorful, as he had many occupations. Among them were horse-wrangling, working as a cowhand, employment as a telephone lineman, working shipping clerk and being salesman.
Year inducted: 2006