Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park (SHP) was the site of a ceremony Jan. 16, presenting the Friends of Buffalo Bill $8,284 in unclaimed property. State Treasurer Don Stenberg returned the unclaimed property to group president Judy Herbst Brown.
“We are happy to present this check today to the Friends of Buffalo Bill so that the group can use the money to support its mission,” Stenberg said.
Herbst Brown was active in the Friends of Buffalo Bill from 1978 to 1996. In April 2013, she learned that the group had unclaimed property from the state, which was money that was raised by the group in the 1980s and put in a CD at a local bank.
Herbst Brown set out to find members of the group only to find it had disbanded from inactivity. After doing some research, she realized that she was possibly the last living member of the original Friends of Buffalo Bill. Herbst Brown then set out to reorganize the group through the Secretary of State’s office, recruited new members and filed the many documents necessary to claim the matured CD back for the group.
“This money was raised by the Friends, it was intended to go to the ranch and that is where it will go,” Herbst Brown said.
Through her efforts, the group now has 41 active members and will plan on organizing regular meetings.
The group plans to host a free public event at the Lincoln County State Historical Museum on Friday, Jan. 31, and will televise a live auction based in Cincinnati, OH, which has many photographs and memorabilia of Buffalo Bill. The photos are personal pictures that have been in the Cody family and show the Buffalo Bill Ranch in its early years. The group hopes to be able to purchase some of the photos with the reclaimed money during the live auction from cowans.com.
Buffalo Bill SHP features the restored 1880s house, barn and outbuildings of William F. Cody’s famous “Scout’s Rest Ranch.” Cody owned about 4,000 acres, and the park encompasses 25 acres of the original ranch.