Thank you, George Womble!
By Cody Berry
Since January, Julie Syler and I have been working hard to properly catalog and digitize the many, many artifacts and photographs in the Gann Museum’s collections. We’ve come across some amazing things. One of the artifacts we discovered is an old Winchester rifle; however, this is no ordinary gun. The model 1873 Winchester is one of the most famous guns in the world. Known in its day as the “Gun that Won the West,” the model 1873 Winchester was based on the famous Henry repeating rifles used in the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. The Winchester was manufactured in New Haven, Connecticut and it is designed for .38-40 rounds.
This gun was donated to the Gann Museum in 1992 by the family of Walter Monroe Warford whose family has lived in Saline County for more than three generations. When Julie and I first pulled the gun out of the museum’s closet it was in good condition, but it was dirty and had a few missing screws. We wanted someone to look it over and clean it up for us. Arielle Wilson, of the Saline County Library and United States Air Force veteran, suggested that we ask her uncle George Womble, a gunsmith, to inspect and clean the Winchester.
George Wade Womble is a Vietnam veteran. He was on active duty for two years and was honorably discharged from the United States Army. After leaving the army, he worked as an engineer for the railroad, until he retired. The Gann Museum and the Saline County Library would like to thank Mr. George Womble for his service to this country and for his work on our 1873 Winchester rifle.