Wild BillWilliam “Wild Bill” Mancell Clower, 64, passed away at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Denver on June 8th from injuries sustained from an automobile accident. He was born August 22, 1950 in Memphis, Tennessee to Joan (Ambrose) Clower and William M. Clower Sr.

Although his formal education came from Leland High School in Mississippi, four years at Delta State University, four years in the National Guard, and Mississippi College School of Law, he believed his real learning came from working in the cotton gins and plowing the fields of the Mississippi Delta during his formative years, during which he also earned his Eagle Scout Award in Troup 42 in Leland.

After 15 years of working in the legal profession, Wild Bill burned his suits and moved to the Rocky Mountains where he wrote for the Copper Cable and The Ten Mile Times, in which his four-part series of the Timothy McVeigh Trial in 1997 was considered worthy by some of a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

In 1999 he moved to Leadville and transformed an empty building into what is now the Leadville Hostel, which he ran with Catherine Hacking, his wife of the past fifteen years while continuing to write about his lifelong adventures. Guests of the Hostel, many who now are “regulars,” knew they would hear a tall tale of two from their enthusiastic host. Wild Bill loved the blues and reading “the soul searching words of Hodding Carter, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner.” His love of travel took him to 46 of the 50 United States, to Europe and to exotic islands to experience explorations in scuba diving and historic sites, and he was an avid and vocal fan of the New Orleans Saints and Ole Miss. He was a frequent skier and climber of mountains, but anyone who knew him would say his greatest pleasure was sharing good food and swashbuckling stories with his family and friends.

Wild Bill was preceded in death by his father, William Mancell Clower Sr.

He is survived by his mother, Joan (Ambrose) Clower of Millington, Tennessee, his wife, Catherine Hacking of Leadville, his brother John R.H. Clower of Millington, Tennessee and his wife, Laura, his brother Howard E. Clower of Leadville, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.



Wild Bill’s legacy continues on and the hostel is still operating!




The Leadville Hostel & Inn, located in beautiful Leadville, Colorado, is situated in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain wonderland. With clean beds and lots of hot water, the hostel is an ideal resting place for the road-weary explorer. We have a large common room for quiet reading or socializing with fellow pilgrims, and the hostel gives its guests the feeling of a home on the road.

  • Overnight stays ranging from $25 to $60
  • Group rates are available
  • Trailhead shuttles and pick-up service
  • Friendly recreation and common rooms
  • Large, fully equipped kitchen
  • Meals can be provided if needed
  • Movies on large screen television
  • Dogs welcome!

You will find our fully equipped, large kitchen and dining room makes meals easy to prepare and share with other wayfarers. Movies are available nightly on a big screen TV while you wait for your clothes to come clean in the laundry room.


We hope that you will consider staying at the Leadville Hostel & Inn, and if you know of groups that might be interested in our type of accommodations, please let them know about us. If you have any questions or want to make a reservation, contact us. We hope to hear from you soon.

Your hosts,
— Wild Bill and Cathy, Leadville Hostel & Inn