Historian | Author | Speaker Jefferson Glass

Empire Reviews

EMPIRE Book Reviews

EMPIRE - The Pioneer Legacy of an American Ranch Family

Book Reviews: EMPIRE by Jefferson Glass

“…it really brings the dynamic shifts of America home…it is the story of a changing industry, a changing world, through the eyes of one man, and those closest to him.  To me, this takes the macro world presented in books like Christopher Knowlton’s Cattle Kingdom and brings it to the level of the personal.  You get to know the real-life characters intimately, and that intimacy heightens the understanding of what the changes in their lives – in the American West – meant to the men and women who lived and worked there…”

Matthew Kerns, author of “Texas Jack: America’s First Cowboy Star”

“This history by award-winning author Jefferson Glass introduces readers to Martin Gothberg, a German immigrant, who came to Wyoming in the 1880s to be a cowboy.  Through the years, he built an empire through investing in ranching and oil.   Not only is Gothberg’s story an inspiring tale of a self-made man, but it also weaves his life through past range wars, bank robbers like Butch and Sundance, severe weather, and fellow cowboys who rode both the range and with Buffalo Bills’ Wild West.  Not only will Gothberg’s hard-won success inspire you, but various stories about his friends, family, enemies, and partners also reveal how Wyoming earned its nickname, the cowboy state.” 

Jeremy M. Johnston, Historian at Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Empire is the sweeping story of the Martin Gothberg family and other settlers of central Wyoming. The saga stretches from the open range of the late nineteenth century well into the developments of the twentieth, chronicling the day to day lives of regular people, their births, marriages, deaths, their hopes, dreams, and efforts to create better lives for themselves and their families. Day to day chores are interspersed with tragedies of nature, robberies, and murder. As people strove to transform Wyoming to become more productive, the land brought out the best in many of them.”

Bill Markley, author of “Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson: Lawmen of the Legendary West” and “Billy the Kid and Jesse James: Outlaws of the Legendary West”

October issue of True West Magazine – “Martin Gothberg arrived in Wyoming Territory in 1880 at the age of 16, intent on finding adventure and opportunity. He initially worked a variety of odd jobs, before finding work in Denver at Elitch’s Restaurant. But the lure of open spaces drew him back to Wyoming. He worked for a time at Fort Laramie, before beginning ranch and cowboy work. Years as a range rider gathering cattle on the open range while working for several ranchers led to the opportunity to homestead in central Wyoming. In Empire: The Pioneer Legacy of an American Ranch Family (TwoDot, $26.95), Wyoming author Jefferson Glass follows the intricate details of Gothberg’s life—which parallels the rise and expansion of both Casper, Wyoming, and the oil industry in the state. Glass is a master researcher, and it’s clear he dug deeply into the archival record to write this biography of a man, his family and also a place.

Candy Moulton, author of “Legacy of the Tetons: Homesteading in Jackson Hole”

Gothberg Ranch, Casper, Wyoming
The Historic Gothberg Ranch
EMPIRE cover

The Historic Gothberg Ranch started as a homestead in 1885 by Martin Gothberg. A new book was released in the fall of 2020 by Jefferson Glass called Empire: The Pioneer Legacy of an American Ranch Family  tells that amazing story. Today the Gothberg Ranch is home to the Haines family who undertook the massive restoration of the ranch starting in 1999 with the purchase of the crumbling ranch. They have dedicated the past twenty plus years to the painstaking process of restoring the ranch and saving its rich history for future generations.

The ranch also offers a limited amount of rustic historic lodging for travelers escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life to recharge and rest. The Gothberg Ranch is located at the foot of Casper Mountain and serves as a reminder of a bygone era!