Nebraska Authors

Oscar Osborn Winther

Born 1903 Weeping Water, NE (USA)

Died 1970-05-22
Bloomington, IN (USA)

Oscar Winther was a well known historian who taught for many years at the University of Indiana. Like his brother, the great novelist of Danish immigration, Sophus Keith Winther, he grew up in Weeping Water, Nebraska. A distinguished historian of America's westward expansion, especially into "the Great Northwest," Oscar Winther was also the long-time editor of the The Mississippi Valley Historical Review who shepherded the transformation of that journal into the modern Journal of American History, the leading journal of the American Historical Association. He remained as editor of The American Historical Review until 1966, when his health began to fail.

The Indiana University Archives hold the Oscar Osburn Winther papers, 1913-1979, and the online guide to the collection includes a longer biographical sketch.


Places Lived

Weeping Water, NE
Eugene, OR
Cambridge, MA
Stanford, CA
Bloomington, IN

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


History--American; Oregon--History; Frontier and Western Expansion--History


Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, 1924, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Master of Arts Degree in History, 1928, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Ph.D. in History, 1934, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


College Dean

Places Worked

Stanford University, Stanford, CA
University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN


Fulbright Fellowships, 1952, 1965
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1959
Numerous research grants
The Western History Association Council established the Oscar O. Winther Award for the best article to appear in the Western Historical Quarterly each academic year


Brother of the great novelist Sophus Keith Winther


Express and Stagecoach Days in California : From the Gold Rush to the Civil War. 1936.
Via Western Express and Stagecoach. 1945. UN Press edition, 1968.
The Great Northwest. 1947.
The Old Oregon Country : A History of Frontier Trade, Transportation and Travel. 1950. Bison Books edition, 1969.
The Transportation Frontier: Trans-Mississippi West, 1865-1890. 1964.

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Oscar Osborn Winther

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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)