Stepp Family

Alonzo, John Fee, William Gary, & Horace Greeley “Dutch” Stepp
LaBarge

Stepp Family

African Americans Alonzo and Esther Stepp brought their family, including sons John Fee and William Gary Stepp, from their home in Berea, Kentucky, to southwest Wyoming in the late 1890s. Another son, Horace Greeley “Dutch” Stepp, was born on the ranch in Wyoming. The Stepp family lived in a log cabin home and was lucky enough to own a lovely organ, which was a rarity at the turn of the century for struggling ranchers. The whole family loved music and Dutch took to playing the organ. All three Stepp boys were musicians and played for dances throughout the Green River Valley for many years. At first they were known as “The Stepp Family Jazz Band.” Later they were joined by Ralph Armstrong and were called “The Stepp and Armstrong Band.” The family was forced off their ranch when Fontenelle Reservoir was built. The story of the Stepp family was used to help set up the curriculum at the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture in 2006. The class, “Agriculture: Rooted in Diversity,” became a course model for infusing multiculturalism into the curriculum.