Residents explain why they love North Big Horn County

David Peck

Enthusiastic members of the North Big Horn County community spoke about how they came to move to and enjoy living in the area during the annual “Why Lovell, Why Byron and Why Cowley” luncheon at the Mustang Café on June 17.

First up were Wayne and Kimmy Curtis. Kimmy said she grew up with Maryann Bischoff in Livingston, Montana, and the couple knew her late husband, Max, as well. They said they would often visit Wyoming before deciding to move here, moving from the Colorado Springs area (Falcon, Colorado) in 2020.

Wayne is a cement contractor by trade, and Kimmy has an extensive military background, serving for 20-plus years in the U.S. Air Force. Both say the Lovell area is a great place to live.

“We moved here and fell in love with it up here,” Wayne said. “I’m in Heaven. Everybody’s friendly. This is great.”

“God does things. He brought us here,” Kimmy said. “We’re thankful. I love that people take care of each other every day. We’ve made great friends. Two of our kids have moved here. It was the right move for us.”

Both are members of the Lovell Rodeo Club board.

Next on the program were John and Tammy White, who moved to Lovell from Missouri. John said he hunted in the Big Horns for many years and got tired of the drive to do so. He loves the lifestyle and even volunteers to help at brandings and the like. For the Whites, it’s been a perfect fit.

“The people are the biggest factor,” John said. “I can be kind of a knot head, so they must be pretty special. We’ve met so many decent, hardworking people.

“It feels good to go into a store and be called by your first name, or driving through town and seeing the flower baskets. Those make an impression.”

“There are all kinds of smalltown things we appreciate, like the newspaper, and kids riding bicycles down the street doing what kids should do.  We feel so welcomed. We feel blessed to be here every day.”

Representing Cowley was Jacob Haslem, who owns and operates Kodiak Pest and Lawn. Haslem said he grew up in Greybull, started his career in California and also lived in southern Utah. But he said Big Horn County was always home.

Haslem said this is his sixth summer in North Big Horn County, and he has doubled the number of his employees from four to eight.

“We’re like a gangly teenager – tall but not filled out,” he said. “We pride ourselves in being able to respond quickly. I’d like to be here a long time.

“My wife is from Modesto (in California), a city girl. She cried when I said I wanted to move back to Wyoming. But now she loves the hometown feel. We have four boys age 4 to 14.”

Pam Hopkinson also spoke on behalf of Levi and Leah Shetler of Byron, who were slated to be on the program but were unable to attend. Hopkinson said they love the fact that Byron is quiet, even living in the middle of town, and they hope their children will move to Byron, as well.