Legends of Cheyenne Frontier Days, Part 5: ‘Taco’ John Turner
The Taco John's fast food chain now operates over 400 restaurants in 25 states, but it all started with a small food truck down the street from Cheyenne Frontier Days.
John Turner was an officer in the United States Air Force. After serving in the Korean War, he was stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne.
Turner was also an aspiring entreprenuer. In 1968, he approached local realtor James Woodson to help him find a property for his new restaurant, the "Taco House". Woodson had a friend and business parter who built campers and travel trailers.
Just in time for Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1968, they launched a food truck selling tacos and burritos.
It was an instant hit. Eventually, they opened another location, then another, then another.
The next year, Turner sold the business to Woodson and his associate Harold Holmes, who changed the name to "Taco John's".
In 2004, Turner died at the age of 73. Holmes and Woodson succesfully expanded the company up until their deaths in 2008 and 2012. Both the Holmes and Woodson families remain on the company's board of directors.