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More Information:

The Mission of Westerners International:

To encourage and promote interest and research in the history of the American West.

Full Board of Westerners International

Executive Committee Biographies

Westerners International 100 Outstanding 20th Century Non-fiction Books on the American West, 1901-2000 by Year

Brief History of Westerners International:

The Westerners movement began in Chicago in 1944 by Leland D. Case, editor of The Rotarian magazine, and Elmo Scott Watson, a newspaperman and educator. Case had grown up in South Dakota and was fascinated by history as was Watson. Since the academic world did not seem to offer much for “history buffs” the two men decided to form a group open to anyone interested in the history of the American West. The members would promote the study and understanding of Western history and, at the same time, have fun and avoid taking themselves too seriously. The first local “corrals” and “posses” (names of the member groups) began organizing in 1945, after Chicago in 1944, and the movement has spread to include more than 138 such groups in the U.S. and overseas. Laypersons form the majority in most corrals. The corrals usually meet monthly for a meal and program about some Western history topic. Each group is rather loosely organized, with few rules and its own traditions. While Westerners are devoted to their historical interest, the main thing to remember is that membership in a corral or posse satisfies this interest in a spirit of fun and camaraderie.

The Purpose of Westerners International:

The purpose of the Westerners is fun and scholarship related to the North American frontier West. "Westerners share a dislike for stuffed-shirtism, over-seriousness, shiftless thinking, and above all ignorance," wrote the late Ray Allen Billington, historian. Western traditions prevail in all meetings of Westerners.

Who Can Join The Westerners?

Anyone who loves the lore and history of the North American West can join. Members range from local history buffs and readers and viewers of Westerns to professional historians. Nearly all Corrals and Posses are coed.