Historical Details

Fallacies in Name Change

Courtesy of Library Costlow Collection, 11/30/-0001

The Lusk Herald Our Readers Say ?


Dear Editor:

This Letter is meant specifically as a reply to the recent news release concerning a proposal to change the name of our town from Lusk to Rawhide. I would very much appreciate it if you could arrange to publish this letter, in its entirety, in the next edition of the Herald.

There are several evident fallacies in the argument submitted by the proponents of this change. I should like to point out and elaborate a few of these.

First of all, it is slated that the geological tie-up with Rawhide Buttes would be advantageous, and particularly so as a naturally-endowed advertising promotion for the "Legend of Rawhide." I am sure we are all very much interested in promoting the Pageant as it is about our greatest single community enterprise. However, it has appeared to me that by naming the town Rawhide this could easily befuddle the layman tourist as to the subject matter of our famous pageant and really not help the situation at all.

The connection with the television program of the same name was mentioned. Do we want such a national connection of this program with our fair town? Do we want to be thought of as a rowdy, rough-tough western spot-in-the-road with nothing to offer but an unusual name? Do we want to be known as a bunch of "lionizers" that capitalize upon someone or something else's fame? I say absolutely not! I know that I personally, am getting rather exasperated at the teasing and good-natured jibes, since the recent news release, from the friends here at school who know I am from Lusk. Invariably these have some reference to this television program.

I now quote from the Lusk Herald, March 29, 1962: "The group felt that the biggest advantage of the change lies in the fact that Rawhide is a western name and one that sticks. They point to such names as Deadwood and Buffalo being more glamorous than Lusk." I won't deny that the name sounds "western", but actually, to many people, the name Rawhide for a town has a connotation of "out in the sticks of the wild, woolly west". Is this what we want? Also, does this town want to be remembered for a "glamorous" material name or for its accomplishments? I am sure everyone will agree for the latter. Lusk has built up an exceptional reputation for "doing things" and doing them well. This has been accomplished by both individuals and groups, by both young and old, in business, sports, politics, social organizations, youth groups, school activities, and scholastic attainment. This reputation has become a cherished heritage that each of us Luskites possesses.

The name - LUSK - is an established and cherished tradition. Last summer we celebrated our diamond anniversary - 75 years of struggle of promotion, of growing and "doing things". There is nothing wrong with the "unglamorous" name - Lusk. It has a lot of history behind it. Lusk - and the people in Lusk and from Lusk - is very widely known. I am not generally known as an advocate for the status-quo, but in this connection I say - Let's retain this established name! The advantages, if any, of the name change proposed simply don't merit the work, cost, and disadvantages concerned.

In conclusion, I would like to stress one last point. It doesn't appear, according to my information, that this proposal is sanctioned by a very large group at present. But, should this proposal acquire sufficient backing to be placed before the populace for a vote, I strongly urge everyone to go to the polls. As statistics now show, municipal and special elections in Lusk do not seem to draw a large amount of voters. In this current name-change proposition many people are simply sitting back and considering the whole thing as a joke, as a ridiculous idea. But, I would like to emphasize a fact for these people - an absurdity can become a reality when a minority is allowed to serve as the majority. Don't let it happen.

Respectfully submitted,
Shirley M. Thayer
Box 275
Nellie Tayloe Ross Hall
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming

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