Don Rowlison is a Sheridan county resident and native, being born in Hoxie, Kansas on March 18, 1950 to Johnny and Elda (Barr) Rowlison. Don is a fourth generation cowboy in Kansas and he grew up with cowboys while his father operated a feed store. After attending school in Hoxie he went to Colby Community College and later to Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison. He transferred to Kansas State University where in 1972 he obtained a B.S. in Anthropology with an emphasis on Archeology. In 1973 he went to work for the Kansas State Historical Society as an archeologist. After a stint of managing a ranch in the Flint Hills, he returned to doing archeological work for the KSHS. In 1976 he received a Master’s in Education from Kansas State and became a project archeologist for the KSHS until 1980 when he became the first State Public Archeologist for Kansas. In May of 1985 he married Pratt, Kansas native Mellanie Nossaman who also studied archeology at Kansas State. They have a son Ian who was born in October 1993. He has been at the Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site in Sheridan County since 1985 and is currently Site Curator. Don has spent many hours in the saddle as a working cowboy at the Historic Site and in the Flint Hills. He was first a cowboy and later developed an interest in cowboy history during his University studies. He is a member of the Friends of Cottonwood Ranch and the Morland Community Foundation. He coordinates the Annual Sheep Dog Trials, the Barbeque Contest, Christmas at Cottonwood and the Cottonwood Ranch Trail Ride.
Year inducted: 2008