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Archives On The Air 7: Mary O'Hara—"My Heart Is In Wyoming"

American Heritage Center
Portrait of Mary O'Hara sitting at a typewriter, undated. Mary O'Hara photo file.

Could successful screenwriter and socialite Mary O'Hara exchange her glitzy lifestyle for that of a Wyoming ranch wife? Her friends did not think so.

But by 1930 Mary had hit her mid-forties and was fed up with her gilded life.

She and her husband traveled from New York to Wyoming in 1930. They lived on the rustic Remount Ranch near Laramie for fifteen years.

That first summer Mary came upon the most beautiful sight she had ever seen: a band of wild horses. Observing the horses became a daily routine.

Those wild horses inspired her well-known novels: My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, and Green Grass of Wyoming. The trilogy spans two generations of horses beginning with the wild mare Flicka and ending with Flicka's colt, Thunderhead.

All three novels were soon made into popular Hollywood motion pictures.

To learn more about Mary O'Hara, visit UW’s American Heritage Center where you can see O'Hara's personal photographs, scrapbooks, and other interesting items related to her life and career.