Nebraska Authors

Nellie Snyder Yost

AKA: Mrs. Harry Yost, Mrs. Lydic

She always wrote under the name "Nellie Snyder Yost." She survived both her husbands.

Born 1905-06-20 North Platte, NE (USA)

Died 1992-01-16
Lincoln, NE (USA)

Nellie Snyder Yost was born in a sod house in Lincoln County in the Nebraska sandhills in 1905. She grew up on her parents' ranch in McPherson County. Yost began to write in her late 40s, and her first book, Pinnacle Jake, recounted her father's stories of life in the early West. She wrote biographies and local and regional histories focusing on western Nebraska. Her books included a biography of Buffalo Bill, for whom her father had broken horses. She received numerous awards for her writing, including a 1970 Golden Spur Award for Boss Cowman: The Recollections of Ed Lemmon 1857-1946, a collaboration with famed South Dakota rancher Lemmon, who had lived on the Little Blue in Clay County Nebraska as a boy and had worked on and managed ranch businesses in Nebraska throughout his career. She was the first woman appointed to the Nebraska State Historical Society board, where she served from 1966 to 1986. She left the board in 1986 after a controversy with then Director James Hanson. Her mother, Grace Snyder, gained considerable fame as a quilt maker, and Synder Yost's books based on her mother's life story played a role in the revival of interest in quilt making in the second half of the twentieth century. The mother's quilts have been featured in an exhibition at the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery in Lincoln.


Places Lived

North Platte, NE
Lincoln County, NE
McPherson County, NE

Author Of

  • Biography
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction


Ranching History; Cattle Industry; History; American West; Biography; Pioneers; Sandhills


Graduated, 1923, Maxwell High School, Maxwell, NE


Rural School Teacher
Writer for the North Platte Telegraph

Places Worked

Nebraska Poet Laureate Commission
Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission
North Platte Telegraph


Awarded the Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame
Spur Award Winner, Western Writers of America, 1970 for her collaboration with Ed Lemmon, Boss Cowman.
Golden Saddleman, June 1975
Nebraska Foundation Pioneer Award, 1982
Induction into the Ak-Sar-Ben Western Hall of Fame, 1982
Past President and Life member of the Nebraska Writers Guild
Past Secretary-Treasurer of the Western Writers of America
Nebraska 150 Books honor for No Time on My Hands, 2017


Appointed to the Nebraska State Historical Society Board 1966 - 1986 (First woman board member)
Western Writers of America
National Cowboy Hall of Fame
Lincoln County Historical Society
Western Heritage Center
Member of Ars Poetica and Midwest Chaparral
Member of the Nebraska Writers Guild
Children's author Billie Lee Snyder Thornburg, sister.


Pinnacle Jake. 1951. (revised ed., 1991)
No Time on My Hands (as told to her by Grace Synder). 1963.
The West That Was. 1965.
The Call on the Range. 1966.
Boss Cowman: The Recollections of Ed Lemmon, 1857-1946. 1969.
Medicine Lodge. 1970.
Pioneer Paths. 1975.
Trails of the Iron Horse. 1975.
Before Today, the History of Holt County. 1976.
Buffalo Bill: His Family, Friends, Fame, Failures and Fortunes. 1979.
A Man as Big as the West. 1979.
Nebraska Sandhills Cattleman. 1980.
Trails of Yesterday. 1980. (introduction by Yost)
The Women Who Made the West. 1980.
So You Want to Be a Beauty Queen. 1981.
Back Trail of an Old Cowboy. 1983. (edited by Yost) 1983.
Keep on Keeping On. 1983. (with Betty Ann Herrick) 1983.
Voices of American Homemakers. 1985.
Evil Obsession: The Annie Cook Story. 1991.

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Nellie Snyder Yost

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)