James B. Minter


(Feb. 25, 2008)

James B. Minter, 77, Cody, died in the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 25.

An enthusiastic supporter of Cody and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Jim served his community with energy, dedication and pride from the time he arrived in 1963.

Jim was born in Chambersburg, Penn., the youngest of four children, to Henry and Clara Minton. He attended Lansdale (Pennsylvania) High School and Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Penn. He graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn., with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

In 1958, Jim married Marilyn Jacobs in Lansdale, Penn.

After an early career at a milk and ice cream dairy in Pennsylvania, Jim moved with his family to Cody, where they purchased the Sunset Motel (now the Sunset Motor Inn) and later, the Blue Haven Motel (now the Sunrise Motor Inn). In 1971, the Mintons purchased the Mariposa Ranch on Ishawooa Creek on the South Fork of the Shoshone River, where they raised Simmental cattle and registered quarter horses.

Jim joined the Cody Lions Club in 1963 and was instrumental in nearly every project the club has undertaken. He was proud to have established 10 Lions Clubs in Wyoming towns. He served as president of the Cody Lions in 1971 and 1972 and held the unique position of Wyoming deputy district governor in 1976 and 1977.

In 1985, Jim’s association with the Buffalo Bill Historical Center officially began when he was appointed to the Buffalo Bill Museum Advisory Board. His unwavering commitment to the center began much earlier. In the late 1960s, he played a key role in the manufacture and sale of over 100,000 Winchester Buffalo Bill Commemorative rifles and carbines. Each firearm sold, produced a royalty for the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, which allowed for the construction of the “new” Buffalo Bill Museum, dedicated in 1969.

Working with a citizens stamp advisory committee, Jim helped initiate the Buffalo Bill Cody Postage Stamp, a 15 cent U.S. stamp, issued in 1988.

Over the years, Jim served on board committees which focused on corporate membership, building, marketing and development. Jim was appointed to the Historical Center’s Board of Trustees in 1987.

Jim was a former director of Shoshone First Bank; a member of Scottish Lodge No. 21; AF and AM, Cody; Scottish Rite, Sheridan; Kalif Temple, Sheridan and Kefar Shrine Club, Cody. He was president of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce; vice president of the Cody Stampede Board; a life member of the Cody Elks, B.P.O.E. No. 1611 and commander of the Cody American Legion Post No. 20.

Jim is survived by his wife, Marilyn, Cody; daughters, Marybeth Jim, Kelly; Suzi (Mark) Dunning, Saratoga; granddaughter, Madison Dunning, Saratoga; sister, Emily Anders, Abington, Penn.; and brother, Clark Jim, Telford, Penn.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, John Carl; and sister, Dorothy Spicer of San Diego.

A memorial celebration is being planned. Memorial contributions can be made to the Cody Lions Club or the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.