Local Oral History Interviews

Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Historical Records Advisory Group Board (CHRAB) and the gargantuan efforts of Librarian Jacqueline Keller and Custer County Historical & Genealogical Society Board Member Claudia Cole, local oral history interviews on cassette tapes dating back to the ’60s have been digitized and saved.  These invaluable stories feature people who lived in all parts of the county and cover topics such as ranching, farming, mining, railroads and everyday life of the pioneers and their families. Many of the descendants still live in the valley.  Our deep gratitude goes to Jacqueline, Claudia and CHRAB for preserving this priceless local history for researchers, descendants, history buffs and generations to come.

Here are some of the interviews for your enjoyment. More will be added here in the near future, and researchers may also find them in the library’s online PastPerfect local history databasePlease note that all oral history recordings listed below, as well as those available in the PastPerfect online database, are copyrighted by the West Custer County Library District and may not be used without written permission.

Segments of Interviews (5-6 minutes):

Pauline Beardsley (Recorded in 1966)
George and Zara (Benson) Reis (Recorded in 2001)

Full Interviews (about 1 hour):

Myrtle Cody interviewed by Irene Francis
Arno Hartbauer
Velda MacIntosh on Menzel family
Archie Hess interviewed by Arlie Riggs
Art Hibbs
Helen Hibbs
Lila Hobby
Bud Hurley & Mildred Hall interviewed by Irene Francis and Dorothy Weigel
Marie Wagner Jones interviewed by Irene Francis
Helen Kattnig
Mary Kiesler, Dorothy Parker and Angelica Kempton
Van Kelly interviewed by Stan Francis
Bet Kettle composition on history of ranching in the Valley and Ruth Stinemeyer – will be back soon!
Bet Kettle on Frances Kettle
August Kitzman interviewed by Arlie Riggs
Pauline MacGregor interviewed by Ted James
Betty Munson and Earnest Sparling
George and Zara Reis
Dan Riggs speaking at a Fremont/Custer Historical Society Meeting
Dick and Russell Vickerman interviewed in 1967