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U.S. Cavalry presentation at museum this Sunday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

From 1865 to 1890, the Plains Cavalry protected American settlers, railroaders, wagon trains, businesses, gold seekers and others from Indian attacks.

Join the Phillips County Historical Society Sunday, Sept. 9 as they present “The U.S. Cavalry,” featuring Gary Lancaster.

Meet at the Phillips County Museum for a 2 p.m. presentation on the lives, duties and activities of the horse soldiers and how they fit into the development of the American West.

Twenty years ago, Lancaster was visiting family gravesites in Laramie, Wyo. on Memorial Day when he came across the grave of Alex McCune, and the headstone read “Sergeant, 7th Kansas Volunteers, U.S. Cavalry.” He didn’t realize until that moment his great-grandfather (on his mother’s side) had been a Cavalry soldier.

Since that time Lancaster has studied the horse soldier. He doesn’t consider himself an expert on the U.S. Cavalry or the soldier, but considers himself a very serious student. He has acquired the uniform and various pieces of equipment used by the Cavalry soldier.

Born and raised in Laramie, Lancaster attended University High School, graduating in 1957. He attended University of Wyoming as a student in animal husbandry and was a member of the Wyoming National Guard.

The 1022nd Engineer Battalion of the Wyoming Guard was called to active duty in 1962 in response to the Berlin Crisis. Lancaster was with the 1022nd as a second lieutenant in Headquarters Company and served as a heavy equipment platoon leader.

While on active duty, he applied for and was accepted into training as an Army Aviator. He completed U.S. Army Aviation School in the fall of 1963 and returned to Wyoming as a pilot in his unit of the Wyoming National Guard.

Also, in the autumn season of 1963, he married Betty, his wife of 49 years. After they were married, Lancaster returned to the University of Wyoming and completed his degree in animal husbandry.

He spent 15 years in ranch management and 23 1/2 years with CSU Extension, serving as an Extension agent, most of that time in Sedgwick County.

The couple raised three children, Teresa, Gayle and Clint.

Lancaster has been retired for seven years. He serves on the board of directors of Premier Farm Credit, and for hobbies he enjoys art in the form of graphite and pen and ink work and the study of classic cars. He is president of Sedgwick County Rotary.


Holyoke Enterprise September 6, 2012