Manley grew up near Whitney, NE. She attended Chadron State Teachers College and taught in rural schools. In 1934 and again in 1937-8, she taught school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She then worked for the Nebraska State Employment Service in Fremont, and served as Dawes County Nebraska Superintendent of Schools from 1966 until her death in 1971.
During her stay on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1930s, Manley compiled her Lakota Primer, but despite repeated attempts, could not get it published. In 1936 she was formally adopted by the Sioux, and given the name Waze Wash-te, or Beautiful Leaves. She was still living when the Lakota Primer was published in 1971, the year of her death, as the only line by line English-Lakota text in print. She was able to publish an edition (photocopied) of 500 copies because of an order by the Office of Economic Opportunity. There was a tape recording of the book, made by Pine Ridge Sioux Sam Bearkiller. Her other books were collections of poems.
The Nebraska State Historical Society has a collection of Bonnie G. Royal Berry Manley papers, inclusive dates 1937-1940 with correspondence with Addison Sheldon.
Paul Austin Johnsgard is a Nebraska scientist, ornithologist, artist and professor emeritus at UNL. As he closed in on the publication of 75 books with his survey of the Yellowstone ecosystem (in 2012), he was already the most most published ornithologist of all time, the most published author in the history of the University of Nebraska, and the most prolific of all Nebraska authors, of fiction or non-fiction.
Johnsgard is one of Nebraska's most famous scholars. He is a world authority on waterfowl behavior and on several other bird groups such as grouse and cranes. His Handbook of Waterfowl Behavior (Cornell University Press, 1965) is considered the classic reference work on the subject. His book Grouse and Quails of North America received a Wildlife Society honor and Waterfowl: Their Biology and Natural History received honorable mention from the Wildlife Society and many other awards. His publications in professional scientific journals exceed 150.
Johnsgard is also famous for his world surveys of the major bird groups, which, appearing regularly over some 40 years, have finally made him the most prolific of all ornithological writers. He has written books on regional natural history, on the Platte River, on Teton and Yellowstone wildlife, and classic natural histories of special interest to Nebraska readers, among them: This Fragile Land: A Natural History of the Nebraska Sandhills, 1995, The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity, 2001, The Niobrara: A River Running Through Time, 2007, and a collection of essays, Seasons of a Tallgrass Prairie: A Nebraska Year, 2014.
He has written several books in the genre of literary appreciation of aspects of nature, including books on the Sandhill crane and the snow goose. One of these, Song of the North Wind, was translated into Russian and and Latvian. With his daughter Karin, Johnsgard wrote a whimsical book on dragons and unicorns. Many of his books are illustrated with his own sketches and artwork.
Johnsgard has been awarded four national conservation awards in recognition of his ornithological writing and conservation work and has been a Ames Reader in the Heritage Room in 1996, 2004, and 2007. Videos of readings are available.
Gillian Klucas, "A Beautiful Mind," Nebraska Magazine Summer 2002, Vol. 98, No. 2.
James L. Hayward, "Beguiled by Birds," Living Bird Autumn 1994 Vol. 13 No. 4.
The artist grew up on the Mignery ranch near Bartlett, Nebraska, where his family has ranched for over 100 years. It was assumed he would be a rancher, but instead his childhood interest in drawing led him into a career in art. He was employed as an illustrator in the army and on leaving the army in 1963, he began a career commercial art. He would pursue a parallel career in the fine arts, and eventually he devoted himself entirely to the fine arts. An experiment with casting bronze sculpture in 1973 led him to pursue a career as a sculptor. His knowledge of working ranch life and his interest in the history of the West have guided his very successful career as a sculptor in bronze, specializing in working cowboys, ranch hands and their horses. He has numerous bronzes in private, corporate and public collections around the country. Some of his sculptures may be seen in Central Park Mall in Omaha, and he has also donate bronzes to the town of Bartlett, Wheeler County, Nebraska. His sculpture for the Neihardt Center in Bancroft Nebraska shows the poet John Neihardt taking notes during his interviews with Black Elk on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1931.
Mignery continues to draw, with works including book illustrations, calendar artwork, greeting cards and other media, and a series of comic cowboy cartoons that have appeared regularly in Western Horseman magazine since 1985.