about Wyoming HIstorian Jeremy Johnston

Growing up in Wyoming

Jeremy M. Johnston was born in Powell, Wyoming. He was fortunate to be raised near his paternal and maternal grandparents, as well as two great-grandmothers who resided in Cody, Wyoming, and a great-grandfather who lived in Arizona. Johnston’s maternal grandparents, the Bevers, homesteaded on the Garland Division of the Shoshone Irrigation district in 1913. His paternal grandparents, the Johnston and Spaulding families, settled near Cody, Wyoming, in the late 1890s. His great-great-grandfather was John B. Goff, a hunting guide for Theodore Roosevelt in Colorado who later managed Buffalo Bill’s Wapiti stage stop located on the Cody to Yellowstone road. As a young boy, Johnston listened to numerous stories about his family’s past experiences and began to see how their past experiences tied him to Wyoming and how the history of the region shaped current sociopolitical issues and the culture of the State of Wyoming. This experience led him to become a professional historian.

Jeremy near the Devil's Beef Tub in Scotland, where his Scottish ancestors hid their rustled cattle.

From Wyoming to Scotland

Jeremy Johnston graduated from Powell High School in 1989. Johnston’s interest in a history career deepened, thanks to the influence and support of his high school history teacher Gene Lenhard. After graduation, Johnston majored in history at Northwest College in Powell for one year and then transferred to the University of Wyoming and earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts Degree. After earning his Bachelor’s degree, Johnston began teaching history at Northwest College, where he worked for fifteen years before starting a new career at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West as Managing Editor of The Papers of William F. Cody. Later Johnston served as the Ernest J. Goppert Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum.

Johnston earned his Ph.D. in American Studies through the University of Strathclyde, located in Glasgow, Scotland, a task that allowed him to view Wyoming and the West from more of an international perspective. His doctoral dissertation examined the personal and professional relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, soon to be published by the University of Oklahoma Press under the title Two Rough Riders. Currently, Johnston serves the Center as the Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair of Western History and continues to manage The Papers of William F. Cody. Throughout his ongoing professional career, Johnston enjoys sharing the history of the American West to a broad audience, connecting them to the stories of the American West.