Have You Seen Sheridan Wyoming’s Famous “Hamburger Louie” Statue?
I haven't spent a lot of time in Sheridan, Wyoming.
So, the fact that I didn't know about the "Hamburger Louie" statue located in downtown Sheridan wasn't a huge surprise.
But, being the Wyoming history buff that I am, I HAD to watch the video (I've included it at the end of the article) that told the story behind the life-size statue of a man holding a burger, with pickles in one hand and a spatula in the other.
And, I am so glad that I did, because true to form, the truth was more interesting than anything I could have come up with on my own.
"Hamburger Louie" is actually Zarif Khan who immigrated to the United States in 1907 from Pakistan. He lived and worked in several other places before he eventually made his way to Wyoming and a small town named Sheridan at the foot of the Big Horn mountains.
Khan was an entrepreneur and had a cart that he pushed up and down the streets as he sold hot food like hamburgers and tamales.
Eventually, he opened up a restaurant where he also added chili to the menu.
He was known all over Wyoming for his delicious hamburgers, and one story even shares how a group of ranch hands would ride over 70 miles each Saturday to eat his food.
Kahn was known for his antiracist views, including his willingness to allow Native Americans to eat in his restaurant.
Kahn was not only a thriving business owner but was also a well-known philanthropist.
Though the town never seemed to get it straight that he was Pakistani (he was written about in the paper often and several times he was described as being from Greece or Turkey) Kahn was very proud of his heritage.
He traveled back home often and eventually came back home with a wife, they had six children together.
On one of his trips back to Pakistan, Khan was murdered by a jealous relative, but his legacy still lives on.
Kahn and three generations of his family continue to live in Wyoming and own many successful businesses across the state.
It is because of "Hamburger Louie's" generous spirit and his dedication to Wyoming, that this statue was created and placed in Sheridan.
You can learn more about "Hamburger Louie" and hear his family and community members in Sheridan share stories about him in this video.