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Kent Hargraves Discusses The Disastrous United Air Crash of 1935

Kent Hargraves Discusses The Disastrous United Air Crash of 1935

The Wyoming State Archives hosts a presentation and Q&A session titled, "Colly Collison: A Pilot Lost in Time," by Kent Hargraves on Thursday, February 9th at 7 p.m. in the Wyoming State Museum classroom, located at 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne.

This will be a live, in-person event with an option for participating virtually. For those not able to attend in-person, registration to attend the event online is through Eventbrite at This free public event is part of the Archives’ monthly second Thursdays evening speaker series.

On October 7, 1935, a disastrous airline crash befell Cheyenne Wyoming. Word spread of this tragedy throughout the world. Newspapers from London to China described the tragedy.

How did Cheyenne become a major hub for air traffic and what did the Union Pacific Railroad have to do with this? How did a bicycle shop in Cheyenne contribute to Cheyenne aviation and the 1917 Great Automobile race? What was Hubert Hoover’s involvement along with a mystery convict in regards to this airline crash? This presentation will cover these questions and a brief history behind the Boeing 247.

Kent Hargraves is a native Wyomingite that graduated from Cheyenne’s Central High School and attended Western Wyoming Community College. He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) for 35 years. He started his career with UPRR as an equipment operator and eventually became the director of track maintenance for Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. He dealt with landslides, floods, snowstorms, and much more. His interest in Colly Collison and the United Air crash of 1935 was piqued by the discovery of some crash debris on his family’s ranch.

The WSA Speaker Series hosts talks at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. The Wyoming State Parks Presents series will occur every other month and feature speakers from a different historic site. The alternating months will be our traditional historical topics. Upcoming topics include Alexis Pratt presenting on Quebec01 on March 9th and on April 13th Rodger McDaniel will be talking about his book Profiles in Courage, Standing Against the Wyoming Wind and specifically the chapter he wrote on Lester Hunt, with others scheduled throughout the year. To view upcoming events, check out the Wyoming State Archives events calendar at A recording of this talk will be available on the WSA YouTube channel the week following the talk.

The Wyoming State Archives collects, manages, and preserves Wyoming state public records that have long-term administrative, legal, and historical value. These records document the history of our state and the activities of Wyoming Government offices. The Archives also collects non-government records that contribute to the understanding of the state’s history.

For more information, contact Sara Davis, Wyoming State Archivist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the WSA at 307-777-7826.

The Wyoming State Archives is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you require special assistance, please contact the Wyoming State Archives at 307-777-7826.