#Lookback: Charles “Pinky” Hanscum

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    A series where we take a #lookback at the stories and history of our community,

    brought to you by Mick Pryor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.

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    The other week, County 10 readers looked back at John C. Hanscum, an original homesteader in Fremont County and his life in Dubois, WY. This week readers can continue looking at the Hanscum family, taking a peek at the life of John Hanscum’s youngest son Charles Wright “Pinky” Hanscum and the life he had in the Upper Wind River Valley.

    Charles “Pinky” Hanscum was born to John and Jenny Hanscum in August 1906 at their home up the Little Warm Springs Creek. The infamously ornery John “Jack” Cunningham originally registered the property in June 1903. A little less than three years later, the Hanscum family moved onto the Cunningham Place where Jenny gave birth to Charles. Today, the property is called “the Three Spear Ranch.”

    Pinky grew up in Dubois, going to school at one of the many one-room schoolhouses until sometime before 1918 when he attended the Green School. The Green school received its name from the couple who donated land for its establishment. Ironically, the school was painted white and had a fence built around it that schoolchildren painted a bright red color.

    Pinky attended the University of Wyoming from 1924-1925 before returning to Dubois and spending the summer of 1925 working as a field hand at the Cunningham Place. During this summer, he also worked as an outfitter and led groups of Eastern Dudes and other guests into the Wind River and the Gros Ventre Mountains.

    Pinky eventually went back to school, this time at the University of Michigan from 1929 to 1930, before returning to Dubois once again. His education in biology earned him a job at the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, but he continued to work as an outfitter and guide too.

    During the summer of 1930, Pinky was an announcer at the Dubois Rodeo where he and Lyle Leseberg performed trick roping demonstrations. Pinky was also a head wrangler at the CM Ranch and led several groups of dudes up to the Simpson Lake Cabins, originally called the Three Waters Fishing and Hunting Lodge.

    The image here shows the corrals at Simpson Lake during the 1930 summer season. Charlie Moore sits astride a dark horse in the background while Mable Hathaway, a summer dude, sits on the fence and watches as Pinky Hansum stands in the corral and works to catch a horse.

    The Simpson Lake cabins were listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, and underwent extensive restoration in the recent years. Charles Hanscum used his knowledge of the outdoors and biology and served as Deputy Game Warden, Supervising Deputy Game Warden, State Game Warden, and Deputy Director of the Wyoming Game Commission.

    He joined the House Staff of the Wyoming Legislature in 1979 before moving to the Senate. Still, one of his greatest legacies for the town of Dubois is the assistance he gave Mary Allison in the writing of Dubois Area History. Without him, a significant amount of history would be lost.

    Next up for the Fremont County Museums


    October 17th, 6:30pm at the Riverton Museum, “Haunted Tales of Fremont County” by Alma Law

    Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

    October 19th, 1-3pm at the Dubois Museum, “Halloween Pumpkin Carving”

    Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series

    October 19th, 5:30pm at the Riverton Museum, “Haunted Trek through Riverton”

    Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek

    October 25th & 26th at the Pioneer Museum, “Halloween Night at the Museum”

    Bailey Tire/Pit Stop Children’s Exploration Series


    Consider supporting The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander or the Riverton Museum with a monetary donation. The museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

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