Story, video: Honorary Dutchman, Heritage Award winners recognized

Lyle and Jan Gallagher of the Apache Junction Mounted Rangers accept the 2018 Honorary Dutchman Award. At center is Sandie Smith, 1987 recipient of the award. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newspapers)

(Above is a 5:15 video of the announcements Jan. 11 of the Honorary Dutchman, Heritage Award winners. Video by Richard H. Dyer)

Two Apache Junction Mounted Rangers and a business were honored Jan. 11 for their roles in the success of the annual Lost Dutchman Days rodeo and associated events.

The awards were announced at the kick-off dinner for the Lost Dutchman Days volunteers committee. It was held at the Elks Lodge, 2455 N. Apache Trail in Apache Junction.

Honorary Dutchman

Lyle and Jan Gallagher of Apache Junction received the 2018 Honorary Dutchman Award.

The Honorary Dutchman award is given to longtime volunteers, Lost Dutchman Days committee chairman Denny Walter said.

Jeanette “Jan” Gallagher has been a member of the Apache Junction Mounted Rangers for more than 12 years, she said after the presentation. She has lived in Apache Junction for 17 years.

“I do mostly the southwest gate at Lost Dutchman Days,” checking in the vendors and providing traffic control.

She also volunteers at other Apache Junction Mounted Rangers events. “Anything we get called out in duty for. Walmart is a big one. But I also help with the website,” she said.

She was surprised when she and her husband received the award.

“Yes, totally. Did not expect it at all. Very proud to be recognized for something as neat as what we do,” she said.

Apache Junction Mounted Rangers Capt. Lyle Gallagher also said he was surprised to win the award.

“Actually I was. I guess I don’t think I stand out, I just muddle along and do what I do,” he said after the presentation.

In addition to the group’s captain, he has been chaplain, treasurer, internal affairs, mounted training officer and served on the board a couple times, he said.

“Captain is basically the leader of the body, that guides our body, keeps us on course, keeps us focused,” he said. “Ours is keeping your mind on kids. We’re not cops. We can have fun with guns. We can have fun with horses. We can have fun with quads. But that’s ain’t what we do. What we do is raise money for kids and that’s the focus.”

The Apache Junction Mounted Rangers and Superstition Mountain Promotional Corp. put on the annual Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo.

As captain, “My thing is to have everything set up gate wise, security wise. Basically the biggest thing we do is we walk around with these uniforms on and people think twice before they do something wrong. We don’t arrest people — we don’t do any of that stuff — but we’re a second set of eyes. Every Ranger has (Apache Junction Police Department’s) phone number in their pocket. When something happens we call their front desk. If it’s really bad, we call 911. We’re not cops. We don’t try to be cops,” he said.

Heritage Award

Brown and Brown Carnival received the 2018 Heritage Award.

“Every year the committee of Honorary Dutchmen and women get together and we come up with a Heritage Award. Basically it’s someone who’s been here quiet awhile, been working with the Lost Dutchman Days for a long period of time and someone that we really appreciate,” Mr. Walter said at the Jan. 11 kick-off dinner.

“We do appreciate them. They do a great carnival,” he said of Brown and Brown Carnival. “Even though they are there to make money for themselves, they do donate every year back to us.”

A representative of the local business was unable to attend the Jan. 11 kick-off dinner. It is to be presented to the business at a later date.
This year’s Lost Dutchman Days rodeo is Feb. 23-25. For more information, visit the event website,

Honorary Dutchman Award winners

Previous winners of the Honorary Dutchman Award include: 1977, Kenneth Miller (deceased); 1978, unknown; 1979, Ray Parent (deceased); 1980, Larry Liversedge; 1981, Jim Andrews; 1982, William McDaniel; 1983, Kermit Bressner (deceased); 1984, Ross Greves (deceased); 1985, Earleen Andrews; 1986, Thomas Kollenborn; 1987, Sandie Smith; 1988, Ruby Forsberg (deceased); 1989, Bob DeBow Sr. (deceased); 1990, Gary Mulholland (deceased); 1991, Bob DeBow Jr.; 1992, Bob Bogart; 1993, Brenda Kirkland; 1994, Jeff Bell; 1995, Ruth Abbott; 1996, Judy Daniels; 1997, Paul Connolly (deceased); 1998, Lanna Mesenbrink; 1999, Doug Dobson; 2000, Shirley Keeton Baer; 2001, Dena Olson; 2002, Sandie Russell; 2003, Sam Buckingham; 2004, Dick Virgil; 2005, Hux Russell (deceased); 2006, Mike Mills; 2007, Bob Lamb (deceased); 2008, Corey Olson; 2009, Robin Williams; 2010, Rocky Govert; 2011, Ron Knies; 2012, Rich Sterba; 2013, Calvin Williams; 2014, Don Van Driel; 2015, Denny Walter; 2016, Debbie Russell; 2017, Tom Kain; and 2018, Lyle and Jan Gallagher.

Heritage Award winners

Previous winners of the Heritage Award include: 2002, Buster Webb; 2003, Ray Harlan; 2004, Bob Bogart; 2005, Gary Mulholland (deceased); 2006, Sue Verley; 2007, Clay Worst; 2008, Greg and Bonnie Carr; 2009, Bob Schoose; 2010, Dick Parks; 2011, Rene Lesieutre; 2012, B&B Feed Store; 2013, Mo Russell, Hux Russell (deceased), Sandie Russell, Yvonne and “Cowboy” Dan Knodl; 2014, Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce; 2015, Paula Smith; 2016, Apache Junction Elks Lodge No. 2349; 2017, Robinson Golf Cars (Wild West Golf Cars); and 2018, Brown and Brown Carnival.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment