The Kenfields, Petrified Wood Gallery, Ogallala, NE
At a young age, Harvey & Howard Kenfield moved to
the Ogallala area from eastern
Nebraska. After graduating from high school, they began working at a local
In the early 1950's, they were both drafted into the Army and served together
with the 24th Infantry Division in Korea in 1951. Receiving Honorable
Discharges, they returned to their previous jobs. During hours of relaxation,
they began collecting Indian Artifacts in 1953 which led them to collecting
petrified wood and the "rock hobby" - the art of cutting and polishing
From 1954 through the present time, many years have been devoted to grinding and
polishing rocks. Many gem and mineral shows were attended and vacations were
spent hunting petrified wood in western Wyoming.
In 1976, each purchased one acre of land south of
Ogallala, built homes for their families and the first Petrified Wood Gallery.
After 42 years of employment, Howard and Harvey both
retired in 1980 and the Gallery was opened to the public from May through
In 2000, the Kenfields donated their collection to
the Western Nebraska Community Foundation with the stipulation that it stay in Ogallala. At that time, the
owners of the famous Front
Street, built an addition to the Front Street structure to house the
Petrified Wood Gallery....the collection had found a new home. Over the years,
additions were made to the collection and in spring of 2011, the Gallery moved
to a larger facility across the street, 418 East 1st Street.