History & News

A Reliance mother and her son, a future county sheriff

Frances Stark and her son Jimmy in their award winning garden in Reliace in 1926.Jim stark holds Annie Stark from behind dressed in a navy uniform.Jim Stark stands in a suit and tie.

Photo #1 - Frances Stark and her son Jimmy in Reliance, 1926


Photo #2 - Jim and Annie Stark, 1943


Photo #3 - Sweetwater County Sheriff Jim Stark in 1987, the year he retired



(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - May 21, 2022)     In the 1920s, garden contests were very popular in Sweetwater County coal camps like Winton and Reliance. Diane Butler, a Sweetwater County Historical Museum volunteer, recently discovered in museum archives a very special Reliance garden photo from 1926. Museum staff identified the two people in the photograph as Frances Stark and her nine-year-old son Jimmy; the occasion was Mrs. Stark winning second place for her Reliance garden that year.

“Jimmy” was Jim Stark, who went on to have a distinguished law enforcement career in Sweetwater County. He attended school in Reliance and Rock Springs, where he graduated high school. Stark enlisted in the U.S. Navy in May, 1941, and fought during the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7. He married Rosamond Annabelle “Annie” Paterson in Rock Springs in 1943. A champion boxer, he joined the Rock Springs Police Department in 1946, going on to serve with the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office first as a deputy sheriff, then undersheriff from 1955 to 1977, when he was appointed Sheriff of Sweetwater County after Sheriff John Zakovich retired. Stark served as Sheriff until 1987, with his own retirement at age 69.

Sheriff Stark died in 2000 and Annie passed away in 2014. Their son Stephen Stark, a Navy corpsman, was killed in action while serving with a Marine Corps unit in Viet Nam in 1968.

Stark’s badge, on loan from retired Sweetwater County Sheriff Gary Bailiff, is currently on display at the museum. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is no charge for admission.

Nearly a dozen Green River streets were named for servicemen

an illustrated street map showing the Rancho Subdivision in Green River. All the streets were renamed for serviceman who died during the course of their military service in World War II or the Korean War.

Map Graphic #1 - The Rancho Subdivision in Green River. Its original street names were changed in 1952; “Astle,” for instance, was once “Overland,” “Hoover” started out as “Powell,” and “Andrews” was originally “Ashley.”

 Photo 2 Paul Andrews

Photo #2 - Paul Andrews

 Photo 3 Floyd Hoover Donovan Astle Ernest Pelser

Photo #3 - Floyd Hoover, Donovan Astle, Ernest Pelser

 Photo 4 Derrell Barnhart

Photo #4 - Derrell Barnhart

 Photo 5 Robert Bramwell

Photo #5 - Robert Bramwell

 Photo 6 Leonard Clark

Photo #6 - Leonard Clark

 Photo 7 H. Bert Jensen

Photo #7 - H. Bert Jensen

 Photo 8 John Logan

Photo #8 - John Logan

 Photo 9 Norman Nolan

Photo #9 - Norman Nolan

 Photo 10 Howard Schultz

Photo #10 - Howard Schultz


(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - April 22, 2022)     11 streets of Green River’s Rancho Subdivision, south of the Green River and east of Uinta Drive, were named for servicemen who died during the course of their military service in World War II or the Korean War, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum said in a special release on Saturday.

The streets originally bore names that included those of explorers and pioneers such as Ashley, Powell, and Bridger, but in 1952 the Green River Town Council passed an ordinance that changed them to those of servicemen who died while serving their country from 1942 to 1945, plus one soldier who was killed in Korea in 1951.

These men, in alphabetical order, were:

Paul Andrews

Sergeant Paul Andrews, an infantryman in the United States Army, was killed in northern Italy on May 15, 1945, in a vehicle crash. Only a few days before his death, he had written his aunt in Green River, Mrs. Fred Pitchford, about the fighting in the closing days of the European war. In civilian life, he’d worked as a callboy for the Union Pacific Railroad. (Railroad callboys were responsible for ensuring that train crew members were on hand for their regular runs.)

Donovan Astle

2nd Lieutenant Donovan A. Astle, a bomber navigator in the U.S. Army Air Corps, was killed in action on September 3, 1943, during the Italian campaign. His body was found in the waters off  the coast of Italy by a fisherman named Emidio Giorgini, who recovered it and brought it ashore. Giorgini later wrote a poignant letter to Astle’s parents in Green River about finding their son, who was interred in an American military cemetery in Italy. Prior to his enlistment, Astle worked as a telegraph operator for the Union Pacific Railroad.

Derrell Barnhart

Private Derrell Perry Barnhart, United States Marine Corps, was killed in action on Iwo Jima on March 11, 1945. A rancher and railroad switchman before his enlistment, he graduated high school in Green River in 1938 and married Agnes Bernice Bahan in 1941.

Robert Bramwell

Robert James Bramwell, United States Army, died after a brief illness at the Wyoming General Hospital in Rock Springs on September 17, 1943. He grew up in Green River and was home on furlough at the time of his death at age 40.

Leonard Clark

Private First Class Leonard W. Clark, 24th Infantry Division, was killed by a mortar barrage in Korea on July 13, 1951. He attended high school in Rock Springs and Green River before being inducted into the Army in 1950. Prior to this military service, Clark worked as a mechanic and machinist’s helper at the Union Pacific roundhouse in Green River. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat  Infantryman's Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Floyd Hoover

United States Army Air Corps Staff Sergeant Floyd Hoover, a B-17 tail gunner, was killed in action on June 14, 1943, on a bombing raid over Europe. Hoover graduated high school in Green River in 1941, and was “one of the very first Green River boys to leave for intensive training - Floyd left Green River in Sept. 1941 as a member of the Military Police company of the 41st Division. He later transferred to the air corps and served in North Africa and in England.”

Bert Jensen

1st Lieutenant H. Bert Jensen, an Army infantry officer, was killed in action on New Guinea on July 24, 1944. Along with Floyd Hoover, he was among the first men from Green River to enlist during World War II; in fact, he and Hoover left Green River to begin their service together, in September of 1941. In December of 1944, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the American military’s third-highest decoration for valor in combat.

John Logan

Private John E. Logan, United States Army, died in Germany on May 25, 1945, of cerebral hemorrhage. Born in Rock Springs, he was a member of the Green River High School Class of 1942. Valedictorian of his class, he attended the University of Wyoming School of Engineering for one term prior to enlisting in May, 1943.

Norman Nolan

Army Corporal Norman L. Nolan, a graduate of the Green River High School, died in a military hospital on May 4, 1945, as the result of wounds received in combat on Okinawa. He enlisted after studying law at Creighton University and was assigned to an infantry company.

Ernest Pelser

Army Technical Sergeant Ernest Pelser was killed in action near Metz in northeast France on November 2, 1944. A tank driver, he’d been a rail worker in Green River before enlisting.

Howard Schultz

Corporal Harold L. Schultz, U.S. Army, 32, was killed in action in Germany on February 23, 1945. He attended high school in Green River and, at the time of his enlistment with the Corps of Engineers in December of 1942, was employed as a Union Pacific locomotive fireman on the run between Green River and Evanston. 

A special display honoring the 11 servicemen can be found on the ground floor of City Hall in Green River at 50 E 2 N Street.

Museum staff expressed their special thanks to Jason Brown, GIS Analyst for the City of Green River, for his help in preparing this article.

The Sweetwater County Historical Museum is located at 3 E. Flaming Gorge Way in Green River. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is no charge for admission.

“Obituary Scrapbooks” donated to the Sweetwater County Museum available for viewing


Photo #1 - Sweetwater County Clerk Cindy Lane and Sweetwater County Historical Museum Executive Director Dave Mead with the two “Obituary Scrapbooks” the clerk’s office donated to the museum on Tuesday


Photo #2 - The scrapbooks’ timeline runs from 1972, when this page was created, to 2010


Photo #3 - This page, from 1996, chronicles the passing of singer Ella Fitzgerald and high-profile attorney Melvin Belli as well as seven Wyomingites, including Mary Mead, the daughter of former Wyoming Governor Cliff Hansen


(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - April 12, 2022)      Two special “Obituary Scrapbooks” donated to the Sweetwater County Historical Museum by the Sweetwater County Clerk’s Office provide a unique, if melancholy glimpse into events in Sweetwater County from 1972 to 2010.

Sweetwater County Clerk Cindy Lane explained that among a Wyoming county clerk’s office’s responsibilities is keeping track of deaths in the county to ensure that county residents who have passed on are removed from the voter rolls.

In 1972, a number of deputy county clerks began clipping Sweetwater County obituaries, pasting them into special scrapbooks. The practice continued until 2010, resulting in two very large scrap journals containing many hundreds of obituaries, not only from Sweetwater County, but around the world, primarily those of celebrities.

Lane contacted the museum not long ago about donating the books in order to preserve them and Executive Director Dave Mead took possession of them on behalf of the museum Tuesday.

Mead said the museum is making the “Obituary Scrapbooks” available for those who wish to examine them. Located at 3 E. Flaming Gorge Way in Green River, the museum is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. There is no charge for admission.

A Rock Springs man’s film career

6 youngsters sit sideways on a beam facing the camera. Rock Springs native Mickey Daniels, sits second from left, with other Our Gang cast members from the original silent film series.A grumpy man in a hat stares at a younger man holding a bottle pointed at the angry man. A couple looks on from the background with a confused expression. The scene depicts Mickey Daniels, the young man with the bottle, in 1932's Too Many Women.A movie poster for the 1935 film Roaring Roads, with Mickey Daniels receiving prominent billing. Text reads: 'Roaring motors and racy romance! William Berke presents: Roaring Roads. With David Sharpe, Gertrude Messinger, Mickey Daniels, Mary Kornman. Directed by C. Edward Roberts and Raymond Nazarao. Distributed by Ajax Pictures Corporation.' The top drawing depicts Mickey Daniels with a young women in a hat with her arm around him making a kissing face. The bottom image depicts a man with racing googles as an older women leans over him.The city of Rock Springs is pictured with a prominent image of the Rock Springs coal sign in the top left. The Rialto Theater, circled at right, circa 1930, as evidenced by the featured film Up the River, starring Spencer Tracy and Claire Luce. Now long gone, the Rialto was located on South Main Street in Rock Springs just west of South Main’s intersection with C Street.

Photo #1 - Rock Springs native Mickey Daniels, second from left, and other Our Gang cast members from the original silent film series


Photo #2 - Mickey Daniels, second from left, in 1932's Too Many Women


Photo #3 - Daniels received prominent billing for Roaring Roads (1935)


Photo #4 - The Rialto Theater, circled at right, circa 1930, as evidenced by the featured film Up the River, starring Spencer Tracy and Claire Luce. Now long gone, the Rialto was located on South Main Street in Rock Springs just west of South Main’s intersection with C Street.


(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - April 9, 2022)     One of the hardworking volunteers at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River recently came across a portrait of a young man named Mickey Daniels and inquired about who he was. Daniels, from Rock Springs, was a prolific film actor in the 1920s and 1930s

In 2019 museum staff prepared an article about Daniels and his career, which was the subject of a special updated release on Saturday.

Rock Springs native broke into the movies in 1922

At least one Rock Springs native was able to break into the movies, and he did it after appearing at the Rialto Theater in the early 1920s.

Mickey Daniels, born Richard Daniels, Jr. in Rock Springs on October 11, 1914, was the son of Richard Daniels, himself an actor born in Wales, and his wife Hannah. Mickey started performing young, and he was spotted by a talent agent during a performance at the Rialto Theater on South Main Street in 1921. (Like many theaters of the time, the Rialto offered live entertainment as well as films.)

By the next year he’d been signed by producer Hal Roach for the groundbreaking Our Gang series, whose stars were a group of loveable, ragtag kids.

Daniels appeared in over 100 short and feature films between 1922 and 1941. Film buffs in particular remember him as Mickey the Truant Officer in 1933's Fish Hooky, one episode of the Our Gang series later syndicated on television.

Daniels left acting in the 1940s and died in San Diego, California, in 1970.

A YouTube video about Daniels and his film career can be found at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECSRz-9UOko .