Oscar O. Winther Award

Oscar Osburn Winther (1903-1970) was University Professor of History at Indiana University, and the second president of the Western History Association. Born the son of Danish immigrants at Weeping Water, Nebraska, Winther grew up on farms in Nebraska and Oregon. He attended the University of Oregon (BA), Harvard University (MA), and Stanford University (PhD). He taught in the public schools of Oregon, and at Stanford University before joining the faculty of Indiana University in 1937. Among his many honors he served for three years as Editor of the Journal of American History, and was president of the Oral History Association and the Indiana History Teachers Association. His research interests included business and transportation history in the American West, and oral history.

As a tribute to this founding member, at the 1970 WHA Conference in Reno, Nevada, the Western History Association Council established the Oscar O. Winther Award for the best peer reviewed article to appear in the Western Historical Quarterly each academic year. Award recipients are selected by the WHQ Board of Editors.

Winther’s autobiographical essay appeared in the April 1970 issue of the Western Historical Quarterly, and an obituary note in the July 1970 issue.


2014: James David Nichols, "The Line of Liberty: Runaway Slaves and Fugitive Peons in the Texas-Mexico Borderlands," WHQ Winter 2013, 413-433.

2013: Susan Schulten, "The Civil War and the Origins of the Colorado Territory," WHQ Spring 2013, 21–46.

2012: Grace Peña Delgado, "Border Control and Sexual Policing: White Slavery and Prostitution along the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1903–1910," WHQ Summer 2012, 157–78.

2011: Alexandra V. Koelle, "Pedaling on the Periphery: The African American Twenty-fifth Infantry Bicycle Corps and the Roads of American Expansion," WHQ Autumn 2010, 305–326.

2010: Kent Curtis, "Producing a Gold Rush: National Ambitions and the Northern Rocky Mountains, 1853-1863, WHQ Autumn 2009, 275–297

2009: Benjamin Madley, "California's Yuki Indians: Defining Genocide in Native American History," WHQ Autumn 2008, 303–332.

2008: Marsha Weisiger, “Gendered Injustice: Navajo Livestock Reduction in the New Deal Era,” WHQ Winter 2007, 437–55.

2007: Kelly Lytle Hernández, “The Crimes and Consequences of Illegal Immigration: A Cross-border Examination of Operation Wetback, 1943-1954,” WHQ Winter 2006, 421–44.

2006: Peter Boag, "Go West Young Man, Go East Young Woman: Searching for the Trans in Western Gender History," WHQ Winter 2005, 477–497.

2005: Mark Fiege, "The Weedy West: Mobile Nature, Boundaries, and Common Space in the Montana Landscape," WHQ Spring 2005, 22–47.

2004: Eric V. Meeks, "The Tohono O'odham, Wage Labor, and Resistant Adaptation, 1900-1930," WHQ Winter 2003, 469–489.

2003: Louis S. Warren, “Cody’s Last Stand: Masculine Anxiety, the Custer Myth, and the Frontier of Domesticity in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West,” WHQ Spring 2003, 49–69.

2002: Daniel Belgrad, “‘Power’s Larger Meaning’: The Johnson County War as Political Violence in an Environmental Context,” WHQ Summer 2002, 159–77.

2001: Michael Lansing, “Plains Indian Women and Interracial Marriage in the Upper Missouri Trade, 1804-1868,” WHQ Winter 2000, 413–33.

2000: Brian Q. Cannon, “Power Relations: Western Rural Electric Cooperatives and the New Deal,” WHQ Summer 2000, 133–60.

1999: Joseph E. Taylor III, “El Niño and Vanishing Salmon: Culture, Nature, History, and the Politics of Blame,” WHQ Winter 1998, 437–57.

1998: Catherine Anne Cavanaugh, “‘No Place for a Woman’: Engendering Western Canadian Settlement,” WHQ Winter 1997, 493–518.

1997: Andrew H. Fisher, “The 1932 Handshake Agreement: Yakama Indian Treaty Rights and Forest Service Policy in the Pacific Northwest,” WHQ Summer 1997, 186–217.

1996: Alexandra Harmon, “Lines in Sand: Shifting Boundaries Between Indians and Non-Indians in the Puget Sound Region,” WHQ Winter 1995, 428–53.

1995: Donald J. Pisani, “Squatter Law in California, 1850–1856,” WHQ Autumn 1994, 277–310.

1994: Michael L. Goldberg, “Non-Partisan and All-Partisan: Rethinking Woman Suffrage and Party Politics in Gilded Age Kansas,” WHQ Spring 1994, 21–44.

1993: Carl Abbot, “Regional City and Network City: Portland and Seattle in the Twentieth Century,” WHQ August 1992, 293–322.

1992: John M. Findlay, “Far Western Cityscapes and American Culture Since 1940,” WHQ February 1991, 19–43.

1991: Gerald L. McKevitt, “Jesuit Missionary Linguistics in the Pacific Northwest: A Comparative Study,” WHQ August 1990, 281–304.

1990: Michael P. Malone, “Beyond the Last Frontier: Toward a New Approach to Western American History,” WHQ November 1989, 409–27.

1989: Kenneth R. Philip, “Dillon S. Meyer and the Advent of Termination:1950–1953,” WHQ January 1988, 37–59.

1988: Paula Petrik, “If She Be Content: The Development of Montana Divorce Law, 1865-1907,” WHQ July 1987, 261-91.

1987: David H. Dinwoodie, “Indians, Hispanos, and Land Reform: A New Deal Struggle in New Mexico,” WHQ July 1986, 291–323.

1986: William G. Robbins, “The Social Context of Forestry: The Pacific Northwest in the Twentieth Century,” WHQ October 1985, 413–27.

1985: Paul W. Gates and Lillian F. Gates, “Canadian and American Land Policy Decisions, 1930,” WHQ October 1984, 389–405.

1984: Douglas Monroy, “Like Swallows at the Old Mission: Mexicans and the Racial Politics of Growth in Los Angeles in the Interwar Period,” WHQ October 1983, 435–58.

1983: John J. Culley, “World War II and a Western Town: The Internment of the Japanese Railroad Workers of Clovis, New Mexico,” WHQ January 1982, 43–61.

1982: John L. Kessell, “General Sherman and the Navajo Treaty of 1868: A Basic and Expedient Misunderstanding,” WHQ July 1981, 251–72.

1981: Richard Jensen, “On Modernizing Frederick Jackson Turner: The Historiography of Regionalism,” WHQ July 1980, 307–22.

1980: Michael C. Steiner, “The Significance of Turner’s Sectional Thesis,” WHQ October 1979, 437–66.

1979: John Alexander Williams, “A New Look at an Old Field,” WHQ July 1978, 281–96.
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Norris Hundley, jr., “The Dark and Bloody Ground of Indian Water Rights: Confusion Elevated to Principle,” WHQ October 1978, 454–82.

1978: Clyde D. Dollar, “The High Plains Smallpox Epidemic of 1837–38,” WHQ January 1977, 15–38.

1977: Jackson K. Putnam, “The Turner Thesis and the Westward Movement: A Reappraisal,” WHQ October 1976, 377–404.

1976: John C. Ewers, “Intertribal Warfare as the Precursor of Indian-White Warfare on the Northern Great Plains,” WHQ October 1975, 397–410.

1975: Mark Wyman, “Industrial Revolution in the West: Hard-Rock Miners and the New Technology,” WHQ January 1974, 39–57.

1974: Llerena Friend, “Walter Prescott Webb and Book Reviewing,” WHQ October 1973, 380–404.

1973: Norris Hundley, jr., “Clio Nods: Arizona v. California and the Boulder Canyon Act - A Reassessment,” WHQ January 1972, 17–51.

1972: W. N. Davis, Jr., “The Sutler at Fort Bridger,” WHQ January 1971, 37–54.

1971: Charles S. Peterson, “'A Mighty Man Was Brother Lot': A Portrait of Lot Smith - Mormon Frontiersman," WHQ October 1970, 393–414.