Empire: The Pioneer Legacy of an American Ranch Family
Released: November 2020
Recently nominated as a Will Rogers Medallion Award Finalist in the category of Western Biography
A collage of characters shaped the west of the nineteenth century. Large and powerful cattlemen, backed by eastern and European investors, flooded the prairie with herds often numbering 50-80 thousand head. They had visions of doubling or tripling their money quickly while their cattle grazed on the free grass of the open range. Others, like Martin Gothberg, wisely invested in the future of the young frontier. Starting with a humble 160-acre homestead in 1885, he continued to expand and develop a modest ranch that eventually included tens of thousands of acres of deeded land.
Gothberg's story parallels the history of open range cattle ranches, cowboys, roundups, homesteaders, rustlers, sheep men and range wars. It does not end there. As the Second Industrial Revolution escalated in the late 1800s, so did the demand for petroleum products. What began with a demand for beef to feed the hungry cities of the eastern United States fostered the demand for wool to clothe them and graduated into a demand for oil to warm them in winter and fuel the mechanized age of the twentieth century. All were a critical part of shaping American history. Through the lens of this family saga-a part of the history of the West comes to life in the hands of this storyteller and historian.
About Author Jefferson Glass
Jefferson Glass relocated to central Wyoming from Oregon in 1981. He was the founder and former chair of the Evansville Historical Commission, a Certified Local Government (CLG) for the town of Evansville, Wyoming. He later served on the board of directors for the Cadoma Foundation, a non-profit historic preservation organization based in Casper, Wyoming. He is a relentless researcher with specific interests in the Rocky Mountain and Northern Plains regions of the United States. He has written several articles for Annals of Wyoming, True West Magazine and WyoHistory.org. Mr. Glass' 2014 book, RESHAW - The Life and Times of John Baptiste Richard, was awarded best non-fiction book by the Wyoming Historical Society in 2014 and received the prestigious Spur Award for best first non-fiction book from Western Writers of America in 2015. In 2016, Mr. Glass was the subject of an article "Beyond the Horizon with Author Jefferson Glass," in True West Magazine and hosted the bus tour for authors and publishers to Fort Laramie as part of the 2016 Western Writers of America annual convention in Cheyenne. Jefferson was a judge for the Wyoming Boys and Girls Club's annual Cowboy Ethics Essay Contest in 2016 and 2017 and was a Spur Award judge in non-fiction and biography categories for Western Writers of America in 2017 and 2018.
Empire: The Pioneer Legacy of an American Ranch Family is set on the historic Gotherberg Ranch in Casper, Wyoming. It follows the history of Martin Gothberg who founded the ranch. The ranch facility has a varied and colorful history. After the deaths of Martin and his wife Enid in the mid 1940s, it passed thru an assortment of owners before being acquired by the current owners in 1999. The restoration process continues currently.