Friday, February 13, 2015

Well-known western historian Tom Buecker dies

by Larry Miller

Tom Buecker was well known across the High Plains region – especially in the Nebraska panhandle, where he served 26 years as curator at the Fort Robinson Museum located at Fort Robinson State Park west of Crawford.

Tom Buecker (1946-2015)
Buecker died last week (2/2/15) while shoveling snow at the Kennard House in Lincoln, where he had served as curator for the Nebraska State Historical Society since leaving Fort Robinson in 2011.  He was 66 years old.

We first met Buecker a decade ago while doing some research at the historic western Nebraska fort.  He was most accommodating and helpful – a trait we later learned was something of a hallmark for Tom.  Our Spearfish neighbor, David Wolff – a long-time history professor-turned-administrator at Black Hills State University -- also spoke highly of Buecker, telling us about the excellent Fort Robinson History Conferences that were co-sponsored by the historical society and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for many years.  Tom Buecker was a key player in the success of those conferences.  Alas, they are no more.

When Tom Buecker was transferred to Lincoln in 2011, Dawes County and the panhandle lost a superb advocate of Old West history.  Not only had Buecker established himself as a top-notch researcher, he was also a superb author – publishing two volumes that focused on the history of the old Army outpost at Fort Robinson from 1874 to 1948.  Fort Robinson is now among Nebraska’s best-known State Parks.  

Buecker’s most recent book, “A Brave Soldier & Honest Gentleman” was published last year.

Omaha World-Herald  "The Guy was a Giant"