Scroll down or click on any of the following names!
Archacan, Steve (Hyde) New
Ardill, R.W. (Dick)
Baker, Pat & Charlie
Bonner, Veera (Witte)
Cornwall, S and H
John Dodd New
Jesson, Robert P (Bob)
Jocko Creek Ranch
Kerr, Helen (Schneider)
McLeod, P and L
Maiden Creek Ranch
Paxton, Alex & Anne
Perry, Joan & Dave
Pooley Ranch New
Pozzobon Family New
Puhallo, Mike New
Ramstad, Larry New
Reaugh, William H (Kinik)
Ross, Mary Ann
Sahara, "Butch" Robert
Siebert, Rosalie & John
Smith, Lloyd "Cyclone"
Stewart, Pat & Bill
Teer, Frank New
Williams, Archie New
Jimmy McDonnell "He worked on good ranches, broke a 'jillion' colts,
rode broncs, and trained world-calibre cutting horses. He was ranch cowboy, rodeo cowboy,
horseman, and showman: a combination unheard of in today's world of specialization. They
don't make 'em like Jimmy anymore - a cowboy in everyones eyes!" is what Canadian Cowboy
Country Magazine said about Jimmy in its June 2000 issue. In 1933 he was breaking horses
for Jack Dubois and over the years worked for many different ranches including: Gang Ranch,
BC Cattle Co., 105, Willow, Nicola, Guichon, Semlin, and Douglas Lake. Jimmy passed away
on March 19th, 2000, in his home in Armstrong BC, at age 86.
Dude Lavington was inducted into the BC Cowboy
Hall Of Fame for artistic achievements in recognition of his two great books depicting
his life; Nine Lives of a Cowboy, and Born to be Hung. Dude was also a working cowboy
and cattle rancher. He and his brother, Art, carved a pioneer ranch out of the wilderness
west of Quesnel. Raised on a ranch in Alberta, Dude and Art came to BC to pursue their
dreams, build their ranch and raise their families in the Cariboo. Dude's books captured
a splendid and little known piece of our western heritage.
Few know cattle like Slim Dorin. Cowboy, rodeo competitor, and
Cow Boss to Order Buyer. He was born in the Wetaskiwin area of Alberta in 1913.
At the age of 14 he had his own bundle
team on a threshing crew. The love of rodeo and the possibility of as much as $35
per month lured Slim to BC in the 1930's. He competed in calf roping, saddle bronc,
steer wrestling, and team roping before he took the job as Cow Boss at Douglas Lake Ranch.
Slim did lots to help rodeos such as Merritt, Cloverdale, and Williams Lake, achieve their
professional status. In 1952 Slim started as field man, lining up cattle to buy and sell,
for the Cariboo Cattlemen in Williams Lake (the fore runner of BC Livestock). In 1959 Slim
became head buyer in BC for Canada Packers, retiring in 1973. He has been honored several
times for the contributions of his time and talent to rodeo, and in turn the cattle
industry of BC. Slim passed away in May, 2001!
Roy Hines Born May 31, 1902 at Adel, Montana, Roy moved to Canada
with his parents in 1905. At Rockyford, near Strathmore, Alberta they, with their 500 head
of Herefords, purchased the "Dam Ranch" with 1000 cattle on it. After about 15 years they
moved northeast to establish the "KM" near Morwayne, Alberta. It took 88 railcars to move
the 1500 head of cattle, horses, cowboys, and family. During the latter part of the Great
Depression, Roy, his wife and children moved to Pinantan Lake, BC and started raising sheep.
Later when cattle prices started to look better, he went to calf crop sharing with the
Frolek Ranch and for about 10 years looked after two to three hundred head. His wife Mary
passed away in 1965 and Roy moved from Pinantan and started cowboying for other people. At
nearly 70 he started punching cows for Charlie Frolek up Lac Du Boix way. He remarried and
did some travelling but always returned to animals of some sort and finally hung up his
saddle for good at the age of about 80!
At five foot one inch, Helen (Schneider) Kerr has been called
"one of the best" by some of Canada's finest cowboys! She can spot a good looking
animal in any herd and she has the rare ability to detect the slightest sign of
sickness when riding the range. She can also doctor the animals with a knowledge that
comes from a lifetime of experience riding on the range! Helen was born on her parent's
ranch at Upper Hat Creek. She married Alvin Kerr in 1949. Helen is respected by all who
have had the privilege of knowing her!
Mike Ferguson worked as the cowboss at Douglas Lake Ranch for 38 years!
Born in Kamloops in 1918, Mike's knowledge of cattle came naturally. His maternal Great
Grandfather was Johnny Wilson, former cattle king of BC, who owned land from Savona to
Westwold in the late 1800's. Mike started working cattle at the age of nine when he worked
summers for his Uncle Harry Ferguson. In 1949 he started as a cowboy for Douglas Lake for
$90 a month. His first cowboss was Slim Doran (see 1998 Hall of Fame). In 1951 he started
as cowboss. Mike was known as a leader, a keen judge of an animal's health, weight and
finish, and had an amazing ability to sort cattle with concise uniformity!
Born in Shelby Nebraska on Oct 30th 1899, Herb Matier was a hard
man to beat in a saddle! He was also a hard man to get to know as he was loner.
He began his rodeo career at the age of 13 and hit the height of his rodeo fame in the
1920's. In 1925-26 he was the Cariboo saddle bronc champion, and in 1927 was the
saddle bronc champion of BC! As well as being known in places like Cheyenne, Pendleton,
Denver, and New York (some of the worlds best rodeos), he was also known as a top horse
breaker and trainer. Herb rode for both Douglas Lake Ranch and the Gang Ranch and was
known as "quite a horseman and a good cowboy". He passed away in 1975.
Veera (Witte) Bonner, with the help of her two sisters, took on the
enormous task of compiling the history of the Chilcotin and putting it into a book -
"Chilcotin: Preserving Pioneer Memories." The book started in a small form called
"History and Legends of the Chilcotin" in 1958 and was compiled by five Chilcotin
communities but was out of print and needed to be expanded. Veera was inspired by the desire
to record the history of her Grandfather, Tom Hance. He was the first permanent,
independent fur trader to settle among the Chilcotin Indians.
Cecil Chase represents one of the finest examples of the living pioneer
spirit in the province of BC. Born in Chase on April 1st, 1917, Cecil began developing
a life long commitment to the pioneer and cowboy spirit. The village of Chase was named
after his Grandfather, Whitfield, who purchased the land from the crown. In the 1960's Cecil
got a name as a tamer of wild horses. He was known to spend every weekend chasing these wild
horses. He worked as a logger, mill worker, and cowboy all of his working life. During the
70's and 80's Cecil ran cattle on his leased property located on Neskonlith Lake, near Chase.
William Twan's skill with horses and cattle was known throughout the
Cariboo. One of 12 children, Bill was born at Alexandria on Dec 8th 1913. At the age of 13
Bill stopped school and went to work, spending most of his life at Alkali Lake ranch. He
worked as both manager and cow boss and his ability to train horses was obvious in the
cutting work shown by the horses that he rode day to day. A 1950's CBC documentary called
"The Lazy Cross" (named after the ranch brand) was mostly focused on Bill working cattle. He
also raced horses and competed in roping, riding, Roman racing, and chariot racing. In the
late 1940's and early 1950's he always cleaned up in the Stake and Roman races. He always
said "You are no kind of cowboy at all if you ever look after yourself before your horse
at the end of the day." Bill died Nov 8th 1988, a cowboy to the end.
Leonard Palmantier became known as one of the best bareback-bronc
riders that ever climbed on a horse during the early years of the Williams Lake stampede.
He won and re-won the title of bareback-bronc champion of the Cariboo. In the early 1920's
it is said that after winning a championship he made an exhibition ride on one of the
meanest bucking horses at the Stampede. This ride was different - Leonard rode
facing backwards! He spurred the whole time and stayed with her not only 'til the
whistle blew but until she was too tired to buck any more! Leonard settled in the
Cariboo in 1919. To raise some extra cash he would ride bucking horses to entertain
the train passengers at Williams Lake - This was the beginning of the Williams Lake stampede!
At nearly 75 he died Oct 24th, 1963.
Shirley Field decided at a young age that there would be no wasted
time in becoming an "important cowgirl"! An exceptionally talented yodeller, Shirley has
performed with the likes of Loretta Lynn, Marty Robbins, and Rex Allen. When she was nine
she listened to Jimmy Rogers at the neighbours and said "I'm gonna be a yodeller!" Shirley
hosted a live radio program called The Cowboy's Sweetheart Show in 1948, 49, and 50. At a
contest in Vancouver, judges Wilf Carter and Emmett Kelly awarded her Top Western Vocalist
and Canadian Champion Yodeller at the PNE. 1962 saw Shirley in Nashville and Aug 4th
1962 she sang at the Grand Ol'Opry. Since 1991 Shirley has recorded eight tapes and
three CD's. Shirley never retired and has been at it for 55 years! "I don't intend on
quitting until I have to" she said. We are happy to have Shirley perform again this
Frederick Nichol was born in 1907. At the age of 14 he left school
to start ranching full time. From 1928 to 1935 Fred looked after cattle for the Hull
Estate in the North Thompson Valley. He married Violet in 1935. A 35 year relationship
with Bob Cahilty was started when Fred was asked if he would go to Monte Creek and
break horses for the Bostock Ranch. In 1948 Fred began to show his own cattle and also
started the Pinantan 4-H club. He spent many years as a 4-H leader. Fred retired in
1988 and died in 1997. He is remembered as "a man of great humour and a wonderful
story-teller...a great humanitarian who will always be fondly remembered by all those
who knew him."
R.W. (Dick) Ardill was born Sept 3, 1926 in Pouce Coupe, BC.
Dick and his brothers and sisters grew up on a family ranch west of Fort St.John
where he and his wife Irene stayed and raised 4 children. At the age of 12 Dick was
doing field work with 4 horse teams and at 13 he graduated to 6 horses (2 broke and
4 unbroke)! The ranch has now expanded to aprox. 40 sections of land running
400 commercial Hereford cow/calf pairs and in June 2000 celebrated its 80th
anniversery as a family ranch! Dick, with 2 friends, brought rodeo to Hudson Hope
in 1958 where the Double H Saddle Club was developed (and still runs the rodeo).
At the age of 74 he still works the chutes and flags at the rodeo. He still manages
the ranch and cowboys! He was a director of the BC Cattlemen's Assoc. for 25 years. He
also continues to be active in the North Peace Cattlemen's Assoc. where he served as
president for 10 years. He always has and still is very community minded introducing
and assisting anyone interested in ranch life and is a strong supporter of the BC High
June Charlton "From cradle to cowboy to champion." June was
born in Walhachin, BC. on September 6, 1919 to Bud and Dora Walters. She is the
youngest of 6 children. When she was a baby her Dad used to put her on a pillow
in front of the saddle. She learned lots from her Dad who one time watched her get
bucked off and told her to get back on and don't dare grab the saddle horn this time.
"If you hadn't grabbed it you wouldn't have fell off". Sure enough the horse tryed to buck
her off again but she stayed with him. Her Dad owned a ranch
in Deadman Creek. She went to school in Savona until they built a school in Deadman.
At the age of 8 she was driving their big Clyde mare pulling hay onto the stack. June
and her sister Rita were the first two women in BC to hold a big game guide license.
She rode with Herb Matier chasing wild horses on Tobacco Mountain. When her Dad sold
his cattle June bought some of her own and registered her own brand. In 1946 she married
Bill Charlton. They raised two boys. At the age of 50 she joined a riding club and started
to get involved in Gymkana and showing the young girls how a cowgirl could ride!
Over 60 years ago Bud McKague was born in Porcupine Plains, Sask,
where he learned poetry from his parents who recited poetry as family
entertainment. Throughout his life as a wild horse catcher, rough string rider
(at Douglas Lake Ranch), rodeo cowboy (from Williams Lake to Florida), cattle rancher,
Thoroughbred Horse racer, and more recently master poet, Bud's passion for the rhymer's
art has never waivered. His ability to recall hours of classics as well as his own
original poems has entertained and astounded countless audiences. Bud was the first
BC Cowboy Poet to be invited to Elko, Nevada. His generosity in passing along poems
in the truest sense of the oral traditions to the younger generations, further exemplifies
his love of poetry. Bud has published a book, a tape and a CD. Bud was the real deal!!
Bud passed away on June 16th, 2002
Robert P (Bob) Jesson still training young horses at 86 years old
(in photo). Born December 24, 1914 in Lougheed Alberta. Bob is a great natural athlete and
excelled in boxing in his youth! He is respected as one of the best horsemen in BC. In 1932
he started cowboying for the Gang Ranch and by 1938 he had established a solid reputation
as a horse trainer and broke many horses for the Gang Ranch as well as other ranches in the
Cariboo and Chilcotin. From 1939-44 he cowboyed for Tranquille Stock Association. Bob was
equally at home in a Western or English saddle and trained a long list of winning horses in
many different fields of competition.
Gus Gottfriedson was born August 21, 1913. At a young age he had
the expertise of an exceptional horseman. His 'horse sense' was vast knowledge that brought
him to the rodeo arenas where he excelled as a cowboy, stock contractor and rancher. His
success in these areas brought him to many
communities where he captured the heart of the rodeo world. At one
time Gus owned as many as 480 horses! He supplied rodeo stock for
every level of rodeo, from Little Britches to Professional! He was the Canadian Wild
Horse Race Champion in 1945. During WWII he broke horses for the Canadian Army. Gus,
with his father-in-law, owned a stock contracting company which Gus passed on to his son
in 1979. He retired from bronc riding in 1957. Some of his horses were National Finalist
horses and some were used in Walt Disney Film Productions. Its great to see some of his
grandsons still carry on the rodeo tradition!
William H (Kinik) Reaugh was born November 3rd, 1920 in Cadillac,
Sask. His family moved to BC while Kinik was still an infant and he spent the rest of
his life here, mainly in the South Cariboo area. He worked for a lot of recognized
ranchers over the years and finally bought his own place in 1971 and in 1972 he went
to work as the Provincial Brand Inspector. He liked this job and stayed on untill 1987.
He retired from his job but kept on riding for different ranches and for pleasure. He didn't
give up riding until 1995! During all his years as a cowboy he always seemed to have a
guitar at hand and played in a band somewhere! He was well known for stories, his
horsemanship, and his musical ability which was always in demand! Kinik passed away
July 25th, 2000
Eddie Bambrick was born at Big Creek on November 12th, 1901.
He became cowboss at Alkali Lake Ranch at the age of 21! His next job was ranch
foreman at the Gang Ranch where he supervised numerous cowboys and approximately 8000
head of cattle. In 1952 Eddie went to Chilco Ranch where he worked for 10 years and
finally retired at the age of 60. Eddie also excelled in the rodeo world. He rode
saddle bronc and took money and trophies, not only from his home town of Williams Lake
but from numerous rodeos, from Prince Rupert to Vancouver. In 1925 he won the dangerous
"Mountain Race" in 2 minutes and 27 seconds! Eddie died in Williams Lake, November
10th, 1967 at the age of 66.
Mike Isnardy was born at Chimney Creek in 1923. He was interested
in horses from the time he was very young and was known as a horseman at an early age.
He worked at a number of different ranches breaking horses. In 1954 he bought Springhouse
Ranch and ran some 400 head of cattle and horses. In 1960 he started his own little rodeo
which lead to contracting stock to other rodeos all over the Cariboo. In 1965 he was one of
the founding fathers of the Interior Amature Rodeo Association. He rode pickup, hazed for
bulldoggers, and supplied stock from 1963 to 1972. In 1972 he sold his stock to Gus Gottfriedson (see below). He rode pickup for Gus
until 1975. It was that year that Mike was feeding from the back of a pickup truck when a
bale string broke and Mike fell to the ground, breaking a vertebra and ending up in a wheel
Kenny McLean entered his first rodeo in 1956 at the age of 17.
In 1959 he joined the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association (now C.P.R.A.) and in his first year
of pro rodeo won the first of his record three consecutive saddle bronc championships. In
1961 he was named Rookie of the Year in the US, and in 1962 he got the World Saddle Bronc
In 1968 and 1969 he won two more Canadian Bronc Riding Titles. During his bronc riding days
he decided that he wanted to develop a couple of other rodeo skills - calf roping and steer
wrestling. He became the Canadian Champion in both these events - one of only two cowboys to
do so! Kenny was Canadian All Around Champion 1967 through 1969 and again in 1972. He also
won the high point award in 1967 and 1968 and still holds the Canadian record for the most
major championships - 14! Kenny still trained horses and competed in
calf roping and team roping and always offered advice and encouragement to young
competitors right up until he left us on July 13th, 2002!
Dick Threlkeld was born in Kamloops in 1923 and raised on the
T-- Ranch in Deadman Creek. He remembers riding his horse to school every day. At 13 he
learned to shoe horses and at 16 he sent away for a Professor Berry Course on how to train
horses. One of the highlights of Dick's life were the Fall cattle drives to Savona. He
would compete in the local rodeos - his favorite events being the calf
roping and the wild cow milking. Dick went to work for the Basque Ranch after he left home,
at age 27, stayed 2 1/2 years until it sold, then spent 10 years working for Kamloops
Life Stock at the Duffy Lake Ranch in Cherry Creek (later called the 3-- Cattle Company).
He drove cattle along the highway to the George Field (now called Aberdeen) and down
Columbia St. in Kamloops to the train. His next job was as foreman on the Walhachin Ranch
where they used to drive 1000 head to summer range at X-J Cow Camp (a 4 day trip). Dick then
took on the job as beef herdsman for the Government, at Tranquille Farm. After 14 years
he and his wife, Eunice, retired to 108 Mile Ranch and took up team penning.
You can hear Dick and his banjo at many of the
Cowboy Concerts - including the Kamloops Cowboy Festival!
Andy Manuel 1886 - 1956. Andy was raised around horses and rode from
a very early age. His father was killed in a tumble while chasing horses. Andy was a top
hand both on the range and in the arena. He competed in the very
first Calgary Stampede, as well as other rodeos all over the west. Later in life Andy started
raising horses for packing, and duding, as well as supplying rodeos with
bucking stock. He would farm his ranch and his neighbour's ranches using his own teams. He
would drive all the bucking stock to the rodeos, some as
far away as Vancouver. This was done over the original Coquihalla Trail. Some say it would
take him 3 weeks to reach Vancouver but three months to return home. The first professional
Falkland Stampede used the bucking horses that Andy drove from Kamloops through Chase and
over to Falkland. Andy also cowboyed for many of the local ranches, including Harper Ranch,
Seven O, and Lloyd Creek (Piva). There is even a lake, Andy Lake, behind Mount Lolo, that was
named after him. During World War 2 Andy and his son-in-law, Gus Gottfriedson, broke horses
for the Canadian Army.
Pike Anderson was born in Vernon in 1920. In his early years he trapped,
hunted and ranched. His P & B Cattle Company was at one time one of the largest ranches in
the Okanogan. He had a cow/calf operation and also ran some yearlings, at times running up to
700 head. He had an eye for cattle and knew the traits of every one he owned. He also did
everything at the rodeos except ride bulls and saddle broncs. He also rode
pickup for a stock contractor. Pike had an eye for horses and bought and sold an uncountable
number. He also loved helping young people get started in rodeo and was the guy that
everyone wanted when it came to problem solving. Pike was one of the first members of the CPRA
and one of the first to get a gold card and a lifetime membership. He is honorary lifetime
member of the BCTRA and has many other different awards. A few years ago he had an accident
when his horse tumbled and rolled on him - that has slowed him down a little but he still
remains the same old "Pike" - a real western character!
Thomas Alexander Bulman was a rancher and historian that was born in
the Kamloops area in 1911. His book "Kamloops Cattlemen" was published in 1972. The book
tells the story of Alex's own family, as well as the contributions made
to the growth and prosperity of the ranching industry by many other cattlemen, cowboys and
ranch hands in the Kamloops area! Alex cowboyed for his Dad moving cattle from ranch to
ranch from the time he was 10 years old. He married Nora Govett in 1932. Alex and his
brother, Joe, inherited some large debts but after selling off some of their properties
was still able to run around 1000 head. In 1946 the two brothers went their seperate ways.
Alex kept the Willow Ranch. In 1947 he sold all but 5000 acres and downsized to 250 head. He
semi-retired in 1953 and sold the ranch. The following year he took on the job as fieldman
for the BC Livestock Coop. In 1956 Alex got back into ranching by purchasing 2160 acres next
to his old ranch as well as buying back the Hudson Bay Meadow that he used to own. Eventually
they retired to the Lower Mainland to be with their daughter and her family. After many trips
back to the ranch Alex finally sold.
Joe Elkins was born in Nemiah Valley in 1898 or '99. Joe's father
left the family and Joe was adopted by Alex Humm and raised at Anaham Reserve. In 1916 he married
Matilda Long Johnny and they raised a family of 15 children! They had a small house at
Anaham Reserve and a small ranch at Halfway Meadow north east of Alexis Creek. He had a
small herd of good cattle and numerous, quality horses. He put up 250 tons of hay and
wintered stock for other ranches. For a few years in the 30's he was Ranch Manager for the
Anaham Reserve. He loved rodeo and entered most events whenever he could. He was a top bronc
rider and also won the "Mountain Race" at the Williams Lake Stampede. He didn't always make
it to The Stampede because the trip would take 3 or 4 days by team and wagon but he did win
the bronc riding in 1929 and again in 1949. He once rode a steer out of the shut backwards
to show that he could do it and at age 60 his name went into the legend book for riding the
meanest horse there at the Stampede. Whatever Joe did - he did well! He always managed to
provide for his family, even in the toughest of times. Joe passed away in Quesnel in 1977.
Pat and Charlie Baker were married in 1950 and worked together to raise
a family and build up a ranch! Pat helped riding and haying until the children were born
then tended a garden, cooked for the ranch help and family, and taught their kids by
correspondence. They were one of the first to bring Charlais Cattle to the area where they
ran 750 cows and 500 yearlings. Charlie was born in Ashcroft in 1921 and lived at Loon Lake
until 1993. He took over the ranch in 1936 when his father passed away. Pat Drew was born in
a nursing home in Kamloops in 1926. Not only did she ranch along side of Charlie but also
found time to paint and do some taxidermy work. In 1985 they sold the ranch but stayed on to
run it for five more years. In 1993 they retired to a small place on the Mound Road.
In 1994 they bought their first Paint Stallion and
raised Paint Horses. They purchased an additional 325 acres close by for hay and pasture
and ran a cow herd until Charlie's death in May, 2003.
Working Cowboy & Horseman
RM (Red) Allison has a deep rooted history of the pioneer cowboy and
ranching industry. Red was born in Kamloops in 1926 and spent all of his childhood years
around what is now known as Tranquille and North Kamloops. On leaving school Red worked
for the Harper Ranch, 57 Mile Ranch, and spent a short stint in the army. He then worked
for Henry Cornwall at
Cherry Creek, then Alkali Lake, the Circle S, Gang Ranch, Tranquille Farm, Fintry Estate,
and finally, in 1960, bought the Riske Creek Store. While there he worked on the Becher
Prairie and Bald Mountain round ups, and oversaw the Gang Ranch steer range as well as
sorting cattle for BC Livestock sales at Williams Lake and Quesnel with Mike Isnardy.
In the 1970's he managed the OK Cattle Co and since then, for the last 20 years, he has
been a bonded livestock dealer.
Red has always promoted the cowboy way of life and was instrumental in starting 4H in the
Chilcotin area. He was a founding member of the Interior Rodeo Association, and presently
contracts timed event stock for BCRA and jackpot rodeos in the Interior.
You can always find him around the arena watching, helping, and giving tips
to young up-and-coming cowboys. Red served as president of the Clinton Cattlemen's and
director to the BC Cattlemen's for many years. Rodeo has always been a big part of Red's
life. He started as a young man entering events such as saddle bronc, bareback, team
roping, calf roping, pony express, wild horse race and wild cow milking. If he wasn't
entered you could find him behind the chutes or in the arena picking up bronc riders.
The name Red Allison is known and respected across the province of BC. He shares many
stories of the old times with his family and friends. It always seems like he has a new
one that we haven't heard. Red is a man that requires only good food, a good horse, a
good dog, and his family around him to shine. He is a true depiction of the words "working
Working Cowboy & Ranching Pioneer
George Haywood-Farmer was born on August 23, 1915 in New
Westminster, BC. In September of the same year, his family traveled by train to Ashcroft,
BC, and then by wagon to the North Bonaparte area. The family settled on a small parcel
of land and began raising cattle. This was the beginning of George's life as one of
BC's outstanding cowboys. From then on his upbringing, way of life, and his employment,
all involved ranching and cowboying in BC. From here the family moved to Taylor Lake,
BC, just north of Green Lake. In 1929 the family relocated to Kamloops and in 1932 they
purchased the Indian Gardens Ranch,
now primarily the area occupied by the Gardens Creek
Ranch, approximately 10 miles south of Savona, BC. George worked on the ranch cowboying
and haying while still in school and in 1935 ranching and cowboying at Indian Gardens
Ranch became his full time lifes work. In 1932, at 17, George and Charlie Prest drove 50
head of cattle from Taylor Lake to the new ranch at Indian Gardens. It was -45F. He was
also known for his ability to break and train horses. In 1942 George married Mary Margaret
(Peggy) Higginson and raised six children. He was a leader of the Cherry Creek 4H Beef
Club for 16 years, an active member of the BC Cattleman's Association and a Director for
many years, a horse judge at different fairs, and President of the Savona Community
Association. George has been responsible for the early agricultural education of many
of today' s ranchers, teaching not only the basics of ranching and cowboying, but also the
appreciation and protection of nature. This includes giving an educational speech to a
group of UBC Students on Range Management. The fact that he instilled his love of
ranching and cowboying to his family shows, as there are now fourth generation members
of the family who continue to carry on his life's work. To George, life was his horse,
his dog, and himself riding alone out on the range. It is obvious George had a great
admiration and pride for his chosen life's work as a cowboy, rancher, father, teacher,
trainer, and community worker. George passed away on October 8th, 2003.
Artistic & Competitive Achievements
Bud Sharpe was borne in 1927 near Battleford, Saskatchewan. From
the age of 10 he owned his own horses and by 15 had nearly a dozen. His first rodeo he
started with the cow riding and bareback riding and after quite a while he switched to
saddle broncs. He traveled to rodeos all through the US and Canada. In 1950 - 51 he
rode in Cody, Wyoming at the Buffalo Bill Show. "This was after Buffalo Bill ran out of
buffalo." says Bud. In 1958 he won the bronc riding in Coffeeville, Kansas and it
paid $710. $700 of that money bought his five acres in Cawston, BC. He turned from
bronc riding to judging the bucking horses as a PRCA judge. Bud
worked as a cowboy in Alberta for a year when he was 17 or 18 and in 1953 he worked as a
cowboy for the Douglas Lake Ranch. The ranch had a lot of young colts to ride and Bud was
sent out to the Springfield corral to break them. These corrals were a long way out and
there was no one around so Bud and his partner flanked these colts and bucked them out.
"We needed the practice! I don't think management ever did hear about it."
When he was a kid he would find old saddles and overhaul them, not really knowing what
to do. He'd sent to Eaton's for his leather. One year in the US, Bud ordered a tree
because he needed a saddle for the next weekend. A friend owed him some money that
bought him some leather and sheep skin - the saddle was ready in time! He has since
sold it four times and bought it back four times. When he needed money to build his house
he sold the saddle for $500 and bought it back a year later for $500. He then sold it
for $750 and bought
it back for $500. Sold it again for $950 and bought it back for $300. He sold that same
saddle the last time for $1700 and bought it back for $400. One year he made $11,000
on the rodeo circuit using that same saddle, so that saddle has made him good money!
Over the years Bud has made about 1200 saddles. One fellow in Pennsylvania ordered four
saddles. Some of his saddles have been sent to Texas, Colorado, California, and as far
away as Australia. Bud also makes a lot of chaps, panniers, saddle bags for horses and
motorcycles, and rodeo gear, rigging, and spur straps - anything out of leather. Today
rodeo is everywhere around Bud - in the saddle shop, in the horse corrals around the
farm, and in their home. Rodeo photos from Madison Square Gardens, the Los Angeles
Coliseum, and graceful bucking horses, highlight Bud's impressive career as a rodeo
contestant, judge, cowboy, and saddlemaker.
Competitive Achievements &
Delmer Jasper was born at Meldrum Creek in 1925. He was the
youngest son of pioneers Wes and Mabel Jasper. Inheriting his love of ranching and rodeo
from his father, who was one of the top ropers in the Williams Lake stampede, Delmer
began riding with his
Dad at the age of three. His first job was at Gang Ranch, where he helped train horses,
at the age of 15. His rodeo career lasted almost 50 years, beginning when he won the saddle
bronc and calf roping at Anahim Lake when he was 17. In the 1940s and 50s he competed at
Anahim and Riske Creek, and before the war, at Williams Lake. After his marriage in 1948
he focussed on
team and calf roping - his speciality was team roping, and he was a top
header. Delmer also competed in gymkhanas where his specialty was the potato race. If he
wasn't competing himself, he was somewhere behind the chutes helping to put on the show
and after a full day of competing, or working, he carried on his volunteer work at the
evening functions. He also played an important part in organizing stampedes including
his annual hometown show at Riske Creek. He became a member of the Interior Rodeo
Association in its early years and was a gold card holder in the IRA and the BCRA.
Delmer was among those who established the Riske Creek Rodeo grounds in 1958. Delmer
passed away in 1991 at the age of 65. The 1992 BCRA Indoor Rodeo in Williams Lake was
dedicated to his memory and the Delmer Jasper Memorial Team Roping and Gymkhana has
become a yearly event at Riske Creek. Delmer's children, and grandchildren, continue
the Jasper tradition in rodeo and ranching.
photo by Patti Gerhardi
Gilbert (Gilly) Bowe was born in 1930 and raised at Springhouse,
near Williams Lake, BC - one of eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Bowe.
Gilbert Sr. was the son of Henry Bowe, and the grandson of Herman Bowe who founded the
Alkali Lake Ranch in 1860. Gil began riding broncs as a youngster and began his rodeo
career when he was in his early teens, riding steers and bareback. As an adult he
competed in most events, from bronc riding to the infamous mountain race.
He topped the steer decorating and won the saddle bronc at the 1957 Williams Lake
Stampede. In Chelan, Washington, in 1960, Gil scored a 94 in saddle bronc - a score
unchallenged anywhere in Canada or the US for many years.
In 1961 he entered 6 main events at Burnaby
Lake and won every one - plus the all-round buckle. He was ranked in the top three in all
of Canada for all-round cowboy. For seven years he rode on the pro circuit in saddle bronc,
calf roping, bare back, bull riding, and steer wrestling. Gil has always been more than
willing to help out at the drop of a hat. He was one of the founding members of
the Interior Rodeo Association, which later became the BCRA. Gil also opperates his own
leather and saddle shop - the "Rodeo Shop" where he hand builds saddles, producing as many as
20 saddles a year. He has built many trophy saddles for the different rodeo associations
of BC. Since Gil retired from rough stock he spends much of his time competing in team
roping as a header or heeler and continues to host BCTRA events at his home arena in Red
Rock. Gillie spent years on the amateur and professional rodeo circuit as a competitor
and a judge.
Peggy and Laverne McLeod
Laverne was born March 14, 1924 in Kamloops and moved with his family to the farm in
Westwold in December of 1933. Laverne was a rancher from his earliest years. The farm
raised sheep, cattle and hay until 1967 when the sheep were sold. The cattle and hay are
the mainstay today. As a young man his talents for breaking horses (riding and work)
were much in demand throughout the valley. He learned the art of blacksmithing from local
pioneer Alex Pringle and would often travel throughout the valley with Alex shoeing
horses. In the fall Laverne would harvest Christmas trees and haul them to the coast to
sell. On one such trip, through mutual friends, he met Peggy Mullin.
Peggy was born September 13, 1923 in Saskatchewan and at a young age moved with her
family to Abbotsford. Peggy earned her teachering certificate and was teaching physical
education in Langley when she met Laverne. Laverne and Peggy were married in June 1952
and moved to the home on the farm in Westwold, where they still reside. Peggy adapted
well to farm life, the large gardens, doing preserves for winter, and cooking for hired
help. Together they raised three children and became actively involved in the community
groups and events. As their children grew older Laverne and Peggy became involved in
their activities, one being the BC High School Rodeo Association where they both were
honoured for their contributions (see photo). To supplement the family income Peggy returned to
teaching at Falkland and taught until retiring in 1984. Laverne continued to farm
actively until the last few years when son Scott has taken over, although Laverne is
still a very integral part of the day to day operations. In the true sense of the words,
ranching and pioneers, Laverne and Peggy always have a hot cup of coffee and a warm bed
Fredrick James Alexander (Fred) Long
Whether it be brush-popping and choking dust on a cattle drive, climbing onto a colt
in the breaking corral or driving a team in harness, Fred Long was equally at ease. He
was a man with a lifelong passion for horses, cattle ranching and the western lifestyle,
and he was proud to be a part of BC's cowboy heritage. Fred was born on December 28,
1938 in Belfast, Ireland. During his teen years, he would steal horses from the gypsies
and gallop wildly over the moors - returning his mounts before they
were missed. Since this was not quite the cowboy life that he dreamed of, he
immigrated to Canada in 1959. First Saskatchewan, then Alberta, then in 1960 Fred went
to Vanderhoof, BC. Here he
bought the first cows of his own. Next Fred hired on at Alkali Lake Ranch to break
horses, and to cowboy. He chased wild horses south of Alexis Creek, catching nine, by
roping them one at a time. From 1965 to 1969 he worked in the Quarter Horse barn at
Douglas Lake Ranch. His next move was to Barriere where he set up his own training
stable. In 1974, Fred went to England and joined the King's Troop of the Royal Horse
Artillery, but the lure of the Canadian west called him back again and he returned to
the Kamloops area. He managed a stud farm in Barnhartvale,
where he also trained racehorses. In 1978, Fred took a job as deputy brand inspector in
Kamloops. He moved to Williams Lake in 1980 to a full-time inspector's position until 1999.
Fred bought the 147 Mile Ranch in 1984, then a ranch on
Enterprise in 1995. Here they had a small bunch of cows, yearlings on grass, and of
course, broke and trained horses - until recently when Fred's health slowed him down.
Over the years Fred has trained and successfully competed horses in western pleasure,
reining, working cow horse, cutting, packing, jumping, racing, and driving!
In his lifetime, Fred has ridden, driven or packed over 4,000
horses, 400 of which he broke himself. During the late nineties Fred worked in the
movie industry in BC and Alberta. He immensely enjoyed
reliving the horse and buggy days in western scenes created for the movies. Over the
years he promoted BC's cowboy and ranching heritage by helping out at community
activities such as 4H, school education sessions, and cattlemen association meetings.
Fred "left this outfit" on October 24th, 2003 for that "spread in the sky." At his
funeral in Williams Lake, his casket was carried in a horse drawn wagon to the cemetery.
Local teamsters supplied five additional teams and wagons to transport guests to and from
the gravesite. Fred shall be missed and remembered. His life has been a journey - from
hanging on to the western culture of the working cowboy to embracing better horses and
horsemanship through competition.
Charlie Hance was born October 7, 1900 at Canoe Creek, BC and was
raised at Big Bar. At the age of 12 he started to work at the Gang Ranch where he worked
most of his life. He also worked for Pudge Moon (Hillcrest Ranch), Harry Durrell
(Wineglass Ranch) and Phil McRae (River Ranch), but he always went back to the
Gang. Although Charlie's life was horses and cowboying, he lived in Williams Lake for
three years working for All Fir and Lignum sawmills. City life didn't appeal to
Charlie so he returned to the Gang Ranch. He was given the job as head cowboy at Riske
Creek, taking care of steers on the Riske Creek range with his home base at Harper Meadow.
Charlie was an excellent horse breaker. He always rode a good cow horse. He took good
care of his horses and
expected no less from others. He was always on hand to teach and
help the younger cowboys to be top hands. He was well liked and respected by his many
friends and co-workers. In his prime he was a competitor in bronc riding, the famous
mountain race in Williams Lake, and also did a good job as a pickup man. Charlie never
learned to drive a car though it was known, that after a few drinks he gave it a fling, but
when it came to driving a team there was none better. Charlie left us July 30, 1983. He
is buried in the Toosey Cemetery, in the heart of the country he always called home.
Charlie will always be remembered for the good cowboy he was; there's few left like him.
Gerry Bracewell was born at Halfway Lake, Alberta in 1922. She
lived her early years on the bare back of a steer calf or horse. Her mother bought her
a filly when she was eight, but she wasn't allowed a saddle until she was 16. Gerry
took a job at the Circle X Ranch in the Tatlayoko Valley of the West Chilcotin. Gerry's
life for 62 years has been in this valley, ranching and guiding. Gerry married the son
of K.B. Moore, the owner of the Circle X Ranch, and had two sons. She ran the ranch with
her Grand Dad Moore during her husband's absence for the war, cowboying with her babies
in front or behind of her - the packboxes carrying pillows, diapers and food. Grandpa
kept the boys at the ranch while Gerry did the
165 mile cattle drive to the Williams Lake
sale. She became a qualified guide/outfitter and for 50 years, guided and outfitted
hunters for Grand Dad Moore. Gerry remarried, to Alf Bracewell, in 1954. When Grand Dad
Moore passed away, Gerry and Alf took over the Circle X Ranch. They had two more sons,
who helped to build the Bracewell's Alpine Wilderness Adventures Lodge. The reins of
the family business have been handed over to son Alex and his wife. Gerry has passed
her guide/outfitter licence on to Alex as well. Gerry's life has been one of community
involvement; being postmistress, census taker, and she is presently the President of the West
Chilcotin Historical Society. Gerry and Alf live on the ranch, putting up hay for the
horses used at the lodge. Gerry busies herself with grandchildren, cowboy poetry
writings, and is just this Fall hosting the CBC "On the Road Again" crew, as they pay
tribute to her life.
Photo by Liz Twan
Joe Rosette was a cowboy. It is all he ever did and all he ever
knew in his lifetime. He was one of the best, but you would never hear it from him.
Unassuming and modest and one of the most likeable individuals that you'd ever meet, Joe
was born January 3rd, 1934 at Williams Meadow, Gang Ranch, BC. He never strayed far from
his birthplace. He was raised on the famous Gang Ranch & schooled at Dog Creek. Joe
started work full time at the Gang Ranch as a 12-year-old, first on the hay crew for a
short time before joining the cowboy crew. After a time, Joe rose to the cowboss position
working under the management of the Sidwell family, then working for the next
Gang manager, Wayne Robinson. He later moved his family to
Empire Valley Ranch,
where he spent 9 years as a foreman under the manager at that time, Floyd Fellhauer.
Gang Ranch was Joe's home and the pull of the place was strong enough for Joe to return
there to work once again. Joe also worked for Mike Fairless - as
cowboss and it was his last job on the Gang Ranch. After a brief
stint in Walhachin working on a hay ranch that the Sidwells had purchased Joe returned
yet again to Empire Valley to work for Tom Hook. At Walhachin Joe was
farther away from home than he had ever been for work. In the spring of 1979 Joe moved
across the river to the Alkali Lake Ranch to work under Bronc Twan, for the Mervyn family.
This was the end of the cowboy road for Joe, he had unloaded his gear for the last time.
He spent the next 17 years working under Bronc at Alkali. It was a very unusual thing to
see this fine man in
a "bad" mood; he always had a smile, a joke or a kind word. He liked children immensely
and was always ready to teach an interested person a thing or two about his profession.
Joe was also a rodeo cowboy, competing at local rodeos as a team
roper. He had friends everywhere, and from every walk of life. There never was a cowboy
with whom he worked, that did not respect his abilities. If you ask anyone whom ever
knew and worked with this man, the respect and admiration for his ability was unwavering
and unilateral. Joe's lifetime was cut short when he passed away suddenly, August 31st,
1996, at the young age of 62, at home, at Alkali Lake Ranch - he was still cowboying
Born in Sheridan, Wyoming in 1949 to a pioneer family and raised on a ranch on Powder
River, Dan moved with his family to a ranch in Flathead Valley of Western Montana when
he was 8 years old. His Uncle Loy Finley bought Mound Ranch at Clinton, BC in 1961.
Dan spent a lot of time there before moving to Loon Lake Ranch in 1969 working with
Charlie Baker breaking horses, working cattle, and rodeoing. Dan placed in the top ten
for just about 30 years before an accident at the finals in Princeton 2000. He was a
Canadian Team Roping Assn. director and helped organize many finals before it became
CUSTRC. Dan placed at many finals, CTRA ropings and CUSTRA ropings. In Pro Rodeos he
placed deep at both
Kamloops Indoor and Williams Lake Stampede, winning 1st at Williams
Lake one year. He placed in many Jackpot ropings as well as in Fraser's Instant
Rancher Roping and Spring Classic Claresholm, Alberta, Stockman's Choice at High River,
Alta where he won a stock trailer in 1991. He also received roping and penning overall
High Point Bronze in 1993. In various Truck Ropings from FairView, Grand Prairie, to
Claresholm he placed both heading and heeling. Between ranching at Sheridan Lake,
breaking horses, trucking hay and livestock all over the province, shoeing a pile of
horses (individual's and guest ranches') in 100 Mile House area, he raised four
children to be good riders and ropers. They learned to appreciate the lifestyle of
rodeo, the good horses you ride, and all the good friends you make along the way.
Dan put on many a mile with partners, and later with kids, always optimistic and ready
for a good contest. Most of all he loved competing against the big boys with his family.
Being confined to a wheelchair since Sept 2000 hasn't stopped Dan from cowboying. He
is a certified cattle buyer and still runs over 100 head of cattle in the Sheridan Lake
area with his wife Linda and his family. He can often be found miles from home on his
ATV keeping an eye on his cattle. In 2002 Dan undertook the task of driving his son,
pulling a stock trailer and two horses, to the National High School Rodeo Finals in New
Mexico. He is still an active participant at rodeos as an organizer and volunteer.
A lifetime working in the cattle industry has earned Ernest Haughton a place in the BC
Cowboy Hall of Fame. Ernie was born in Knutsford in 1911. He was raised with his
siblings on the family's Beresford homestead and spent all his life in the Kamloops
area. The Haughton brothers bought up neighbouring homesteads which served as a base
for their ranching operations. Ernie and his wife Lillian went on their own and
started the Sunny Hills Ranch where they ran up to 350 head of cattle. Ernie had a
reputation for picking great breeding bulls. He was always involved in the
community, first as a 4-H member at age 17 in 1928, and later as a leader
and livestock judge. He was dedicated to the advancement of the cattle industry and,
while running his own operation, served on the Kamloops Exhibition Association,
chaired the Provincial Winter Fair, was a Director of BC and Canadian Short Horn,
Limousin and Angus Associations, a Director of Pacific National Exhibition Livestock
Board, Ppresident of the Kamloops Stockmans, BC Cattlemens and BC Livestock Co-op and
more. Ernest Haughton loved the ranch life and will be long remembered for his
contributions. He passed away in 1986.
was born in Oregon in 1853. He made his way to the Cariboo when he was
just 9 years old and stayed to work for Jerome and Thaddeus Harper at their ranch on
the Fraser River near Dog Creek. He drove cattle on some of the longest known trails
from Washington and Oregon to the Cariboo. Antoine and Jerome Harper drove cattle
to the Barkerville market at the height of the gold rush. In later years he went on
beef drives with the Pat Burns Company. In 1871 at age 18, Antoine went to school
in Cache Creek. Three years later he visited Oregon to reunite with his family. On
his return to BC, Antoine worked at the Harper Ranch east of Kamloops. He had many
wild adventures on the cattle drive trails but in time settled in the Kamloops area
Sarah Ignace. The couple had four daughters. Antoine worked for Pat Burns
on Newman Range and in later years spent his summers prospecting at the mouth of
Jamison Creek on the North Thompson. Antoine Allen passed away in 1936. He was 83.
Allen is buried on the Kamloops Indian Reserve.
Ranching Pioneer and Artistic Achievements
Hugh Cornwall was born in 1912 on the family ranch near Ashcroft that was
founded in 1862 by his grandfather Clement F Cornwall. He finished school and
worked on the ranch for several years before starting a charter plane service using
the ranch airstrip. During WWII, he served overseas with the Seaforth Highlanders and
re-enlisted in the RCAF as a flying instructor. After the war, Hugh returned to the
Cariboo and took the job of assistant fieldman for the Cariboo Cattlemen's Association
and in 1946 became the district fieldman.
Sonia, daughter of Charles and Vivien Cowan, owners of the historic Onward
Ranch, married Hugh in 1947. The couple managed the 150 Mile Ranch, which was owned
by the Onward. When the 150 Ranch was sold, Hugh and Sonia ran the Onward until the
main ranch was sold in 1965. They re-located at Jones Lake, land that was originally
Onward hay meadows and pastures, where they ranched until Hugh's death in 2001. Sonia
still lives on the ranch.
Hugh believed it was every cattleman's duty to be involved in organizations that
protected and benefited the industry. He served terms as President of the Cariboo
Cattlemens and BC Cattlemens Associations. Hugh was a leader in expanding the
boundaries of the cattlemens associations to represent the needs of the ranching
industry throughout the whole province, as opposed to the traditional small geographic
segments. Sonia has a passion for painting, and is a charter member of the Cariboo
Arts Society, formed at the Onward by her mother Vivien Cowan, in 1945. A.Y. Jackson
and other well-known
artists were frequent visitors at the ranch. Sonia studied
painting but had to put her art career on hold to help run the ranch after her
father's death. When she married Hugh Cornwall she worked along side him on the
ranch. The couple raised two daughters. After Hugh and Sonia moved to the Jones Lake
Ranch and the children were grown, she took up painting again. Despite the busy life
on a ranch, she has turned out numerous paintings portraying the natural beauty of the
ranching way of life. Her paintings are sought after worldwide.
rancher, bronc rider and rodeo stock provider was born in 1917
at Chezacut. He is the youngest son of ranchers Charlie and Martha. From an early
age the Mulvahill boys worked with the livestock on the ranch and broke the colts.
Every year the family took the four day trip on horseback to the Williams Lake
Stampede. Randolph became a competitor in 1937 and dominated the saddle bronc
event for several years (riders had to stay on for 10 seconds then). Knowing that
a good bucking horse was essential for a high score, Randolph began bringing his own
bucking stock to the Stampede in 1938. The Mulvahill stock was good and soon gained
a reputation throughout the rodeo world. He also raised saddle horses and Hereford
cattle on his ranch, which is part of his parent's original place. He sold his bucking
stock in the 1960s to different contractors. One load of 350 head, to Dale Miller of
Kamloops, was the largest bunch of horses shipped from the Chilcotin at one time.
Randolph retired in 1989 and lives with his wife Kathy on Spade Ranch at Alexis
Working Cowboy and Horseman
is well respected as a working cowboy and horseman.
He has spent most of his life in the saddle. In fact, Wendell believes anything that
can't be done 'a-horseback' isn't worth his time and effort. Monical came to BC in
1962 and co-owned and managed a 700 head cow/calf operation on the 105 Mile Ranch.
By establishing a Crown cow range where once only wild horses roamed, he increased
the operation to 1200 head. Wendell's far sightedness has made him an influential
member of the cattle industry. The 105 Mile Ranch was sold in 1970 and Wendell
tried ranching in several other locations around the province but always came back
to the Cariboo, eventually buying back the old ranch. Wendell is still raising
cattle on the 105 Mile Ranch and spends much of his time training cow ponies and
cow dogs to help work their cattle. He has also been known to write a little
cowboy poetry in his spare time.
Joe Coutlee, born Nov 24, 1867, spent his early days helping at his fathers
hotel and ranch. At the age of 10, Joe was working cattle with a Mexican packer, Joseph
Castillion, helping his father on cattle drives to Yale. At age 23, he started working
at the Douglas Lake Ranch and 10 years later he was the cow boss. He had a talent for
accurately calculating the number of cattle that could be held in a field, and for how
long - the mark of a good range manager. He also had the uncanny ability to identify
individual animals out of a herd of 13,000. At Douglas Lake, Joe developed his own band
of horses and all wore the Joe Coutlee JK brand. The stories of Joe's prowess as a
cowboy, horseman, cattle and range manager are countless. Joe and his wife, Muggins,
were together for 45 years and raised six children. He spent 55 years on the Douglas
Lake Ranch, working every day until six months before his death from cancer in 1945. He
is buried near his childhood home in Shulus, alongside his mother.
Joan Perry & Dave Perry
David James Perry was born in 1926 on the Bonaparte Reserve near Cache Creek, BC. He
was a top contender in the rodeo circuit, specializing in bareback riding. He was a
skilled calf roper. As one of BC's top cowboys, Dave captured the all-around title at
the Williams Lake Stampede in 1952, 1954, 1955 and 1957. With ten years on the rodeo
circuit, Dave turned his interests to raising rodeo stock at his ranch in Cache Creek
and later formed a partnership with Garry Hook. Their rough stock thrilled audiences
from the Williams Lake Stampede to Calgary Stampede and the NFR in Oklahoma City. Dave
was the first to start rodeo schools in BC. He helped establish and promote both indoor
rodeo and professional rodeo in BC, and built and introduced portable chutes enabling
the smaller centres to put on rodeos.
Joan Stewart was born in 1936 on the Upper Nicola Indian reserve. She spent her
childhood helping on her uncle's ranch. As a young girl, she entered gymkhanas on her
big horse, King, winning many awards. Joan concentrated on barrel racing and has been
at the top of her game since 1976 when she won the IRA barrel racing championship. She
is a seven-time barrel racing champion from various rodeo associations, has numerous
runner-up titles, and is a lifetime Gold Card Member of the BC Barrel Racers
Association. Joan is active in organizing and teaching barrel racing and horse
handling with her friend, Sandy Pasco. She is a long time director of the WIREA which
promotes the family unit and 'stick horse' racing for tiny tots. Joan and Dave Perry
met in 1956, were married soon after and had six children. Dave was taken away suddenly
in 1970 at the age of 44. Joan and children carried on at the family ranch.
Working Cowboys and Artistic
Bill and Pat Stewart's contributions to the ranching industry include years of
work with the Stockman and Cattlemen Associations as well as 4H. In addition, Bill was
a cowboy poet and Pat is a writer and ranching historian, whose articles have appeared
in numerous publications. Bill was born in 1906 on the North Thompson's Glensullivan
Ranch, established by his father, Frank. Pat's family moved to the area in the early
1940s and the couple wed in 1944. They bought the ranch when the senior Stewarts retired
in 1950. The first office of the BC Livestock Producers Co-Operative
opened in Kamloops in the late 1950s and Bill became barn supervisor, often sleeping in
the office at night to deal with the cattle which came in at all hours. Pat spent 25
years volunteering at the stockyards. In the early 1970s, Bill went to work for the
Ministry of Agriculture. In 1979, the Stewarts sold the ranch, but the family, which
includes two daughters and a son, continued to live there. Bill passed away in June,
1984. The family established a scholarship in his memory at Cariboo College (now Two
Rivers University) for students majoring in agriculture-related fields. Pat remained
on the ranch until 1994 when she moved into Kamloops where she continues her keen
interest in the ranching community and is a valuable resource for those seeking
information on ranching.
Louie Bates, born in 1919, on the Sugar Cane Reservation near Williams Lake, was
known throughout the ranching/rodeo world as an exceptional horseman. Louie was riding
at an early age and had a special rapport with horses. Working for the Mayfields at 141
Mile House, no one could match his riding skills. Louie was a natural bronc rider. His
cowboy life was interrupted by World War II. He returned a war hero, but as a First
Nations veteran, lost his Indian status. He still had his ability to train horses and
was in much demand. Louie was a legend on the rodeo circuit as a saddle bronc rider,
staying on bucking horses no one else could ride. He rode with the best in BC, Alberta
and the US. He was best All-Around Cowboy at the Williams Lake Stampede in 1949 and 1950.
He competed in saddle bronc, bareback, steer riding, roping
and the wild horse race.
When his days of competing were over, Louie found work training horses at race courses
in the southern US and was licensed to train on every track in North America. Louie
married Doreen Sellers from Soda Creek after the war and they had one son, Marvin Bates.
Louie Bates is buried at the Sugar Cane cemetery. His gravestone says it all - "Best All
The Twan and Maurice Families
The Twan family history in the Cariboo pre-dates the gold rush. Charles (Twan) Tuan
came as a fur trader from Quebec in the early 1830s. He met and married Mary Cletsus
at Fort Alexandria. Their eldest son, John Sanford Twan, was born in 1853, at Fort
Alexandria. When the Hudson Bay Company closed the fort during the gold rush, John
bought the property. He and his wife Rosalie had twelve children, eight of whom
survived past childhood. Irvine, Dave, Bill, Clarence, Evelyn and Charlie and many of
their descendants, over five generations, have spent, and still are spending, their
lives in ranching and rodeo. They were involved in thoroughbred racing and rodeo
competitions, and managed notable ranches, such as the Alkali Lake Ranch, Onward Ranch,
Chilco Ranch and others in BC.
photo left top
Charlie is the last surviving member of their family of 12.
photo left bottom
Evelyn & Hermie Maurice
The Maurice Family has been intertwined with the Twan family since Hermie Maurice, born
in 1916 in Calgary, came to BC in the 1930s finding a job at Chilco Ranch. In 1942,
while competing at the Riske Creek Rodeo, Hermie met Evelyn Twan and left Chilco to
work at the Alkali Lake Ranch with Evelyn's brother, Bill. Hermie and Evelyn married
in 1943 and had four children, Sharon, David, Lawrence and Rosalee. The Maurice's stayed
at Alkali for 16 years. Hermie was the St Joseph's Mission ranch foreman, Evelyn was
chief cook. They stayed there until the ranch sold in 1980. Hermie died in 1988, but
his love of ranching and rodeo lives on in his children and grandchildren who have many
accomplishments as cowboys and rodeo competitors.
Joan Palmantier Gentles
The Palmantier Family
Leonard Palmantier came to the Cariboo in 1914 as an adult, with a string of horses
from Riverside, Washington. He married Josephine Grambush of the Chilcotin First
Nations in 1935. Of their seven children, five have been involved in rodeo: Fred,
George, Jack, Julie and Joan. They and their families, three generations, are all
living in the Cariboo in the Riske Creek area.
The family members were professional bull riders, bareback and saddle bronc riders,
competed in barrel racing, raised rodeo stock, and judged rodeos. They have won titles
such as the Interior Rodeo Association Overall, Wes DeRose Memorial Trophy for the most
sportsman-like competitor, the North American Saddle Bronc Championship. The women
are noted for being Canada's Indian Princess, a BC Indian Princess, a Williams Lake
Stampede Queen, and one of the first women to be certified as a rodeo judge.
Ray Thomson was born in Wyoming in 1928 and grew up
in a cowboy tradition which we will see no more. When he was
barely in his teens, Ray was starting colts. He spent his summer
working for the great cowman Rex Wardell. The lessons he learned
and skills he gained here stayed with him all his life. In 1953
the Thomson family purchased Hillcrest Ranch from Pudge Moon and
moved to Riske Creek. For the next 25 years Ray worked on the
ranch building up a herd of horned Hereford cattle. In the 1960s
he brought some registered quarter horse mares and a Stormy
Weather stallion up from Montana. From then until his death Ray
raised and sold registered cow horses that packed his Bench H brand
to rodeos and ropings around the country. They were intelligent and
they were cowy. He said he would always have a good horse in the
corral until the day he
died and he did. He is remembered by his
many good friends and loving family as a man who was generous in
sharing his knowledge and experience, a good teacher, a great observer
of nature, and a man with a sense of humour and fun. He is remembered
for being a great horseman and for breeding some of the finest horses
in the country.
Floyd Grinder was born on the family ranch near Clinton
in 1942. His family were pioneer ranchers in the area since
the 1800's and Floyd learned all the ranching skills at a young
age. As a youngster he helped his father to bring cattle from
the Gang Ranch to the railhead at Ashcroft. He used to tell
stories about running wild horses off Big Bar Mountain with his
Dad and brothers. Rodeo was one of Floyd's great loves. He
competed in rodeos all over western North America and won many
championships and all-round titles over the years. Floyd once
represented BC at the Calgary Stampede as part of the BC Rodeo
Team. He was also awarded the BC Rodeo Association's Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1991. When
Floyd wasn't riding in a rodeo, he could usually be seen helping
with the stock, pulling gates and helping other riders. Floyd ran a
successful logging operation
for 23 years, and was a licensed big game guide and outfitter,
and a licensed trapper. He initiated the very successful Clinton
"Old Timers Rodeo" held annually for 9 years. In every path Floyd
chose throughout his life, he was always a gentleman of the highest
magnitude. He was loved and well respected by all who came into
Artistic Achievments & Ranching Pioneer
Rancher and pioneer Harry Marriott was born in 1891 and came
to the British Columbia Interior in 1912. He got off the
train at Ashcroft and traveled by horse drawn wagon to the
Gang Ranch where he worked as a cowhand and managed the Crow's
Bar. Harry joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1916
and served for three years in World War I. Shortly after
returning from the war, he filed a homestead claim on Big
Bar Lake flat, where he started his own cattle ranch. 1920
Harry married Peg Price and they had one son, Ronnie. The
Marriotts acquired smaller surrounding ranches, which Harry
consolidated into the O.K. Ranching Company. By the 1930s,
cattle prices were down and Peg decided to open a fishing
and holiday camp on Big Bar Lake to
supplement the ranch
income. She operated the guest ranch for 43 years. Harry
is the author of the book "Cariboo Cowboy" which describes
ranch life as he lived it and the early ranching families
in the Gang Ranch, Big Bar, Clinton area of the Cariboo.
Harry died in 1969 in his 79th year.
Gary Hook with Black Hawk
1968 Canadian Bucking
Horse of the Year
The Hook Family
Reg Hook, a working cowboy and teamster was born in Saskatchewan
in 1909. In 1938, Reg, his wife Bertha and three children, Jim,
Garry and Connie moved to Pinantan Lake and built a log lodge
with their uncle and aunt, Roy and Mary Hines. Soon, five more
children were added to the family, Mae, Ardyce, Roger, Rick and
Harley. Reg rode broncs as a young man in the 1920s. He and his
brother owned a dairy farm from 1938 to 1994. In 1944 Reg started
Hooks Ranches Ltd. To start the herd, Hook drove cattle from Duffy
Ranch at Cherry Creek through Kamloops to the lease on Westsyde
Road. The Hook ranch boasted 500 head of breeding cows and 100
head of yearlings by 1959. Reg was the first rancher in the area
to try to breed buffalo with cattle and had the first buffalo calf
born in captivity. He was the first rancher to bring Charolois
cattle to BC. Reg also raised and broke horses
on his ranch that
were later used as rope horses in rodeo competitions. He ran a
herd of 25 brood mares and sold many to rodeo stock provider Joe
Kelsey. He was instrumental in getting the Charter of, and
starting, the Kamloops Exhibition Association. Hook was active
in all aspects of ranch life and was also a well-respected cattle
buyer for Canada Packers from 1945 until his death in 1959. He
was known as one of the best cattlemen in the area. Reg's eight
children, and his grandchildren, were born to the ranch life.
Many have excelled in local and national rodeo, and raised some
of the world's top rodeo stock. The family has been instrumental
in introducing indoor rodeo to BC, and members of the family have
held positions on the boards of Canadian Rodeo Association, BC
Cutting Horse Association, the Canadian Cutting Horse Breeders
Association, Kamloops Pro Rodeo Committee, and the Canadian Rodeo
Board of Directors.
Competetive Achievments &
Alex and Ann Paxton were both descendants of some of
the first families to come to the Cariboo/Chilcotin. Both
were born, raised and spent their whole lives in the area
cowboying on ranches and competing in rodeos. Alex Paxton, a
third generation Paxton, was born at the Onward Ranch in 1903.
His parents were Tom and Agnes Paxton. Alex learned about
ranching early in his life and his talent with horses soon
became evident. He began breaking horses when he was 16 and
entered the bronc riding event at the Williams Lake Stampede
in 1923. He competed in Calgary, Winnipeg, and the U.S. He
rode with the best of
them including Pete Knight. In the mid
1940s, Alex married Ann, daughter of Hortense and Frank English,
born 1913 at 4 Mile Creek. Ann was a capable cowgirl and hard
worker. She competed many years in the Williams Lake Stampede
riding race horses. In 1933 she won the Silver Cup in the Pony
Express race. They bought Spain Lake Ranch in 1949 and stayed
there until 1970. Ann and Alex competed together and won in team
roping for many years. Ann died in 1986 and Alex in 1999, both
cowboys to the end.
Working Cowgirl & Ranching Pioneer
Frances Patricia (Paddy) Cripps was the daughter of Alkali
Lake Ranch owners Charles and Mary Wynn Johnson. She was born in
1907 and spent her formative years at Alkali. Paddy spent as much
time as possible astride a horse or at the barns. Paddy remembered
going to Williams Lake, to see the first stampede. Leonard Palmantier,
who was breaking horses at the Alkali Lake ranch, was riding in the
rodeo. Branding was done in early July and Paddy was there for
every minute of it helping to round up seven or eight hundred
cows and calves. In 1929 Paddy married Pack Harris. They had two
children. With a nanny to care for Jim and Cherie, Paddy continued
her cowgirl life at Alkali until the ranch was sold in 1939. They
purchased the Big Lake Ranch and Paddy ran the ranch and worked part
time at the local stockyards after Pack passed away. She was a
dedicated rancher and active in community affairs. In 1941, Paddy
married Harold Cripps. Three children, Julie, Wade and Clint were
born. They sold the ranch in 1956 and purchased Chilako Ranch near
Prince George and ranched there until 1970. Paddy was a working
cowgirl to the end and proved equal to the best of her peers.
She passed away in 1983.
Lloyd 'Cyclone' Smith "Cariboo Country's Immortal Cowboy"
"Cyclone" Smith came to the Cariboo in 1919 from Davenport
Washington. He worked on cattle ranches cowboying and breaking
horses and was one of the early performers and organizers at the
Williams Lake Stampede. He earned the name Cyclone for his wild
bareback and saddle bronc rides. He delighted the crowds, piling
up honours over the years while thrilling the spectators with his
flamboyant style and dashing good looks. Smith and his business
partner, Beatrice Colonna an Italian princess, owned and operated
a ranch and lodge at Timothy Lake in the Lac La Hache area. Cyclone
Smith was killed in a freak accident at the Williams Lake Stampede
in 1932. He was the arena manager at that time and was filling in
as a pick up man when his horse and a lunging bronc collided and
he was trapped under the thrashing animals. Smith's only son, (Tornado)
Torry, was only four at the time and was adopted and raised by his
aunt Hazel Exhsaw, Lloyd's sister.
James Clark was born in Grant Co., Oregon in 1907
and came to British Columbia in 1929 settling in the Cheslatta,
Ootsa Lake area. Jim started competing in saddle bronc riding
at western US rodeos when he was a teenager. At age 16 he won
silver studded spurs as a prize at the Cloverland, Washington
rodeo and rode in the Pendleton Roundup in 1927. After arriving
in Cheslatta, Jim continued to rodeo and helped to organize
rodeos at Ootsa Lake. The poster for the 1932 Ootsa Lake rodeo
featured a picture of Jim on a bucking horse named Dirty Dan.
Not only did he compete, but he rounded up stock for local rodeos.
He competed in the Williams Lake and Green Lake Stampedes in 1931.
Clark kept riding saddle broncs until the late 1950s. In 1957,
at age 50, Jim won the top rider trophy at Kispiox. After retiring
from saddle bronc he still competed in all
the Gymkhana events.
He was always willing to help young riders with their horses and
equipment, providing mounts from his own stock. On his small ranch
at Cheslatta, Jim raised horses and cattle and it was also headquarters
for his guiding business. The Clarks sold the ranch in 1979 and retired
to Quesnel where Jim died in 1991.
Alan Fry was born on the family ranch near Lac La Hache in
1931. His roots are ingrained in art and ranching. His grandfather,
Roger Fry was a well known artist and art critic in England and a
member of the Bloomsbury Group. Alan's father, Julian, studied
agriculture in England and from the time he first arrived in Canada
in 1923, was committed to cattle ranching and to the development of
cattlemen's associations. In the summer of 1943, Alan was twelve years
old and went out to work on nearby ranches. He had to become a man
and under the watchful eye of the master, Gussy Haller, learned
By the time he was sixteen he had cowboyed on various
ranches in the Kamloops area to earn his keep. He left ranching for
a year to attend University of BC and then joined the Canadian Army
Active Force. He returned to ranching in 1952 and later joined the
Department of Indian Affairs where he spent twenty years. In 1974,
Alan left Indian Affairs and settled in the Yukon where he lives
today with wife Eileen. In 1962 his book The Ranch on the Cariboo
was first published. Since then he has had four more books published.
Jesse Jacob (Jake) Coutlee, born in Merritt, September 1942,
raised at Douglas Lake where his father, Oscar, ran the farm crew.
Jake's career began at Douglas Lake around 1955. He was fourteen
when Mike Ferguson assigned him to roping calves for branding. He
had been driving teams with the farm crew since he was nine but wasn't
on the payroll until he started working for Mike, and stayed working
at the Douglas Lake Ranch until his retirement in 2007. Over the 50
plus years Jake worked on the ranch he could tell the history and
details of every cow horse on the ranch. He kept track of other
things too, such as the fifty-two different cooks that worked at
the ranch while he was there. He was a man to watch if you wanted
to learn to do
things right. He led by example and many cowboys,
novice or experienced, learned from him. Jake was a top hand,
legendary cow man and highly skilled with a rope. For a few years,
Jake and his team roping partner Scotty Holmes were contenders in
the local rodeo circuit but it was hard to travel too far afield
working six days a week. It has been said about Jake, that any
cowboys who rode with him over the years had 'something to brag
Percy Minnabarriet was raised at 89 Mile near Spences Bridge.
His first job was cowboying at the Ashcroft Ranch. He began rodeoing
when he was sixteen. He won his first steer-riding competition and
that was the start of his career. Percy married Marie and they had
six sons and three daughters. With a family that size, juggling a
job, getting to rodeos, and finding money for entry fees was not
easy. The family always traveled with him in his 1948 Ford with
the youngest in a banana box. In the off season Percy worked at
area ranches. He received his Gold Card Life Membership from Pro
Rodeo Canada in 1979, honouring his twenty-five years as a professional
rodeo cowboy. In 1971 he was BC's champion calf roper and won All
Around cowboy on other occasions. His rodeo career came to an end
when he lost his pride and joy, Ben, his roping horse. The gate to
the field where Ben was grazing, was left open and he got out
and was hit and killed on the highway. Percy didn't have the heart to start
over again with another horse. Percy died in May 2001 and is buried
in the family cemetery at 89 Mile.
Maiden Creek Ranch
In 1862, Edward and Elizabeth Dougherty established a farm and
popular roadhouse on Maiden Creek. Today the fourth generation
of Doughertys operate the ranch and the fifth generation of
children is being brought up there. A crabapple tree, planted
in 1887 to mark the birth of youngest son Charles, still watches
over the family. Edward Sr. died in 1897 and oldest son Edward
III managed the
ranch until he married in 1902 and moved to a
homestead in the Bonaparte Valley. His brother Thomas ran the ranch
until WW1 when he enlisted. Edward's son Charlie married Mary Jane
Pollard in 1912 and managed the ranch, raising nine daughters and
one son, Charles II. He was born in 1929 and stayed on the ranch
continuing to operate it after Charlie died in 1968. Charles II
married Helene Charryon in 1956 and ran the ranch untill his death
in 1973, after which Helene managed the business and the two
oldest sons, Chuck and Ray, did the outside ranch work. The ranch
is a traditional cow/calf
operation. The Doughertys recently built an indoor arena where ropers,
cattle penners, and barrel races compete and practice in the winter
months. Fourth generation Dougherty, Raymond, and his wife Jody now
manage the Maiden Creek Ranch for Helene and the brothers and sisters.
It is thought to be the oldest century ranch in British Columbia.
Pan Phillips Floyd Phillips, known as Panhandle or Pan for
short was born 1910 in Illinois and came to the Cariboo in 1933
with his friend Rich Hobson looking to start a cattle ranch. The
partners went to Anahim Lake and found natural meadows north east
over the Itcha Mountains at the headwaters of the Blackwater River.
They established the Home Ranch there. Phillips ran the isolated
Home Ranch bringing in supplies twice a year by horse and wagon.
Every fall he drove cattle 100 miles through the Cariboo range
country and forest to Nazko, or 60 miles beyond to Quesnel. The
rugged drive took 21 long, cold days. Home Ranch remained almost
completely cut off from the outside, accessible only by horse and
in later years by light plane. Pan became a director of the Quesnel
Cattlemen's Association and a stockholder in the BC Cattleman's
Association. When the
ranch was sold in 1969, the Frontier Cattle
Company had over 2,000 head of cattle ranging over 1,000 deeded acres
and 20,000 acres of leased land. That's when Phillips ended his
career as a rancher and opened Pan Phillips hunting and fishing lodge
at Tsetzi Lake. Phillips died May 28, 1983 at age 73. He is immortalized
in the Rich Hobson stories Grass Beyond the Mountains, the Rancher Takes
a Wife, and Nothing Too Good For a Cowboy.
Rosalie and John Siebert John Siebert, raised in Chilliwack BC,
came to the Cariboo when he was nineteen to work for Ike Kerrs of
Clinton where he learned the cattle business. The Kerrs used horses
for all ranch work so John became expert at training, driving, riding
and maintaining horses under the guidance of Ike Kerrs. Later he was
head rider for Gang Ranch and eventually ended up working on Dick
Church's ranch in the Chilcotin area. The Church family ranch in Big
Creek was started in 1902 when Herbert Church pre-empted
There, he met and married Rosalie, daughter of Dick and Rona Church.
Rosalie Siebert started her career as a cowgirl in early life. When
only three years old she was riding on a regular basis with her dad.
She learned the art of tracking and handling cattle, running horses
and survival in the rugged Chilcotin country. At age five, Rosalie
accompanied her dad to trail two train loads of horses from Ashcroft
to Big Creek. She continued working on the ranch all of her growing-up
years. After John and Rosalie were married they worked as a team
cowboying, both capable of riding the range, gathering horses and
trailing them through the jackpine forests. They are both experts
with cattle as well. John and Rosalie are now retired and live just
outside of Williams Lake.
Mulvahill Family Charlie Mulvahill came to BC from the
US in 1908 to freight on the Cariboo Wagon Road between Ashcroft
and Barkerville. He pre-empted land at Chezacut Lake in 1909.
He and Martha Copeland married in 1912 and started a ranch on the
pre-empted property in 1914. The Mulvahills had three children,
Eleanor, Bill and Randolph. Along with Hereford cattle, the
Mulvahills raised horses. The two boys became proficient at breaking
and training horses for work and riding. To amuse themselves, the
brothers rode unbroken horses and inevitably they entered stampede
competitions. Bill earned the nickname "Wild Bill" because of his
daredevil approach to rodeoing and his willingness to try foolhardy
stunts, even saddling and riding a moose. He won the bull riding
contest at his first rodeo in 1936 and continued to compete for
several years. Bill began building
his share of the famous "Broncs
of Mulvahills" after the war. The stock earned a reputation for
being a tough ride. Roy Mulvahill, oldest son of Bill and Violet,
started his own successful cattle and horse ranch at Chezacut,
following in his Father's footsteps, supplying bucking stock for
rodeos in the true Mulvahill tradition. Roy was born and raised in
Chezacut. He is well known for his horse breaking techniques and
specializes in draft horse sales. He inherited his grandfather's
skill as a teamster and has trained many teams to drive. For a few
years in the 1990s, Roy offered old time wagon train trips from
Chezacut to the Williams Lake Stampede.
Palmer Family - Bill and Jim The Palmer Family has an extensive history in
the ranching and cattle industry. William Palmer established pre-emptive claims in
Rockford, BC in the early 1870's. The cattle herd was derived from some of the best
breeds brought to BC from the Yakima Valley. William II was raised in the Rockford
area, moved to Kamloops area and amalgamated several parcels of land to form the
Palmer Ranch at Heffley Creek, BC. William II's son, Doug purchased the Palmer
Ranch from his father in 1928. In 1952 his sons Bill and Jim formed and developed
the Seven-O Ranch into a modern ranch with Hereford and Shorthorn cattle, alfalfa,
oats, barley and wheat crops. The family ran the ranch until 1968 when it was
Bill and Jim are still active in the ranching industry. Bill has put in 40+ years
at the BC Livestock Co-op, cowboyed at several local ranches, rodeoed and been involved
in a Government cattle program. Jim has also cowboyed at several local ranches, team
roped, judged horse shows and remains active cowboying with the Lloyd Creek and Seven-O
Gordon Earl was born September 12, 1925 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. He and his family moved
when he was a child to Newgate, BC, where he ranched until his passing in 1992. Gordon
was very involved with rodeo - it was the love of his life! He participated in several
events during his years, and had many accomplishments in rodeo. In both 1953 and 1954
he was awarded Calgary and Canadian bull riding and bareback riding championships, and
was the Canadian and Calgary Stampede All Round Champion in 1954. In 1994 he was inducted
into the Canadian Pro-Rodeo hall of fame. Gordon also won several circuit rodeos through
the years. Due to an unfortunate logging accident, Gordon passed away in 1992. The family
ran a cow/calf operation for many years. He was a dedicated family man raising two sons
alongside his wife of 46 years, Lorna.
Competitive & Ranching Pioneer
Thomas JW Graham was born on his Uncle William Fortunes (one of
the famous Overlanders) farm on November 3, 1875, in the Kamloops area on the north
side of the Thompson River. His parents had emigrated from Northern Ireland in 1870.
Tom pre-empted 360 acres on the south side of Summit Lake, or Lackenby, now known as
Monte Lake, BC where he farmed, and raised cattle. In 1909 he married Florence Emily
Stickney. They had 5 children. In 1907, Tom went to Victoria and entered one of BC's
very first rodeos. He won the "Bronco busting" championship of BC! He repeated this
feat in both 1908 and 1909. This probably makes him the first person to win the title.
He received the leather belt and buckle to keep, as well as the keys to the city of
Victoria. Tom broke wild horses for the First World War and boarded workers when the
railroad came through. He often would trade horses with people coming
Valley that needed a fresh horse. One of those people was Billy Miner. Tom was
instrumental in helping to organize the first Falkland Stampede. He was on the
original committee and competed in the first rodeo. He was one of the pick up men
when his son Howard won the bronc riding championship at the Falkland Stampede in
1934 and again in 1936. He passed away in January of 1948, and his wife in July of
1952. He has two surviving children, son Howard Graham and daughter Dodie Langton.
Ranching Pioneer & 2009 Century Ranch
Warner D Philip was born Dec 28, 1920, the son and grandson of
homesteaders who came from Washington State in 1909 to the Long Lake area, and it was
here that Warner lived and ranched all his life. In the mid-30's and early 40s, local
ranchers gathered their market cattle together. As one of the group, Warner recalled
driving them on horseback to Kamloops to be shipped by rail to Vancouver or Calgary.
In 1941 their father died, leaving Warner, just 20, and his brother Russell to manage
the ranch. At that time, horses were used in all phases of farm and ranch work. In
his younger days, Warner was the local "vet" for neighbours having calving problems
or ailing animals. He
was deeply involved in many organizations and activities related
to the beef industry. Over the years, Warner faithfully attended local and regional
stock association meetings and was on the BC Livestock Co-op board for 23 years. Over
the years, the ranch has grown to over 3000 acres, the number and quality of cattle
steadily improving. Although mechanization and hydro have considerable reduced the
workload and manual labour on the ranch, the cowboy and his horse remain essential to
its operation. Warner passed away August 2005, leaving his son, Peter, to continue
operating the Philip family ranch, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2009.
Mary Ann Ross was born in the Kleena Kleene Valley on April 1, 1913, the daughter
of George Turner, an American relocated to the Chilcotin, and Louisa One Eye, daughter
of Tsilqotin Chief One Eye. The Turners raised both horses and cattle at Kleena Kleene.
Mary Ann learned about trapping and the outdoors from her father, the traditional Indian
ways from her mother, and how to raise stock from both of them. Like her mother she was
an excellent horseman, and a daring one, and began working with cattle when she was about
six years old. Mary Ann married Jim Ross who ranched at Redstone with his brothers.
Shortly after their marriage, the couple bought a place
at Charlotte Lake, and later at
Chezacut. Jim and Mary Ann had 12 children. They moved about for a few years working
on various ranches. Whether it was putting up hay, feeding cattle, rounding up or riding
the range, Mary Ann was always an integral part of the crew. Her way was quiet and slow,
and she had a good sense of humour. She could be in the saddle for hours on end without
seeming to tire, always getting the cattle where they were supposed to be. Everything
Mary Ann did, she did well. She was a top hand, an excellent craftsperson, and a good
cook. Mary passed away in Williams Lake in July 2001.
Raymond (Raybone) E Johnson Sr was born at Alkali Lake on August 17, 1925. He
started working on the Alkali Lake Ranch at the age of 15 and never left until he
retired - as a cowboy - at the age of 64, Aug 17, 1990. Ray and his wife Elsie had 11
children. Ray spent 50 years in the saddle working on the same ranch. Ray was always
ready to help a youngster and he had a happy demeanor that made him a pleasure to be
around. Ray also worked the old forge and he was good at building horseshoes, built a
lot of his own tack, and broke his own horses. You could send him out in any kind of
weather and he
got the job done with no whining or complaining. He was capable of using
his head, and was never at a loss for how to get something accomplished no matter what
the circumstances or conditions. He had his share of the usual cowboy wrecks, but
bounced back, smiling and ready to carry on. For many, many years Raybone was the
ranch ironman, applying the perfect brand each and every time. He was proud of his
work, whether he was chopping water holes in -40 weather, or peeling corral rails in
100 degrees, or while riding the range in all weather chasing cows. He was a real
cowboy. Ray passed away in 1996.
Richmond P Hobson Jr. was born 1907 in Washington DC, son of
Rear Admiral Richmond P and Grizelda Hobson. In 1934, while working as a cowboy on
a ranch in Wyoming, Hobson and his friend Panhandle Phillips decided to head to the
'new frontier', the Cariboo Chilcotin, in search of range land. Hobson and Phillips
crossed the Itcha Mountains to the headwaters of the Blackwater River where the home
ranch of the Frontier Cattle Company was established. By the late 1930s the company
had four million acres of controlled range land between Williams Lake and Vanderhoof.
In 1944 Hobson married Gloria McIntosh and in 1945, a year later, the couple started
Rimrock Ranch and later the River Ranch. Rich Hobson died of a heart attack at the
age of 58, August 1966. His name is known far and wide by fans of his literary works
written in the 1950's and 60's, "Grass Beyond the Mountains', "Nothing
Too Good for a Cowboy", and the "The Rancher Takes a Wife". With laconic cowboy humour
and the ease of a born writer, Rich Hobson describes the life-and-death escapades, the
funny and tragic incidents peopled with extraordinary frontier characters, in a true
adventure series that surpasses the most thrilling wild west fiction. These stories
went on to become a major CBC TV series, which premiered January 8, 1998.
Frank Gleeson - Local rancher, cowboy poet, humorist and singer/songwriter Frank
Gleeson has been entertaining folks with his fast-paced rhymes since the early 1990s
when he made his first public appearance at a Williams Lake Fall Fair. Frank came to
the Williams Lake area from Saskatchewan in 1962 and married Betty in 1963. They have
been ranching north of Williams Lake at Lone Birch Ranch since 1984. Frankís poetry
tells of their love of ranching and their experiences - the stories of backwards calves,
snotty cows, and cold nights. Frank has performed at major festivals and cowboy
gatherings all over the North West and on both sides of the border, including several
appearances at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival. He is the only
Canadian to perform at
Elko, Nevada for five consecutive years. The Academy of Western Artists has nominated
Frank for the male Cowboy Poet for Humour on several occasions. Frank was named
Williams Lakeís official Cowboy Poet in 2003. He is known as the fastest poet in the
west for his rapid-fire delivery. He has written five books of poetry and has four
CDs and Cassettes all of his original material.
Clarence Jules - Raised on his parent's farm near Kamloops, Clarence Jules always
enjoyed working with animals. He was born in Kamloops in 1926 and attended Indian
Residential school until he reached the ninth grade. While at the school he milked the
cows and looked after the horses. After leaving school he worked haying for a rancher,
milked cows by hand at a dairy, and spent seven years working at the Palmer Ranch in
Heffley Creek. In 1952, Clarence married Delores Casimir and continued to work on area
ranches. Clarence later lived on the Kamloops Reserve where he went to work as a range
rider for the band. It was his responsibility to develop water holes for the cattle and
to try to build up the grazing land. He maintained his own hay lands and cattle, and
always had a nice string of horses. Clarence was Chief of the Kamloops Indian Band for
nine years, from 1962 to 1971. Clarence is credited with many accomplishments during
his time as Chief including establishing a
more effective irrigation system for the hay
lands, and starting a band farm to help band members develop ranching skills. As a
member of the band council in 1999, he finalized the purchase of the Harper Ranch for
the band. Clarence is now retired from cowboying, ranching and political life and
enjoys watching rodeo.
Lauder Ranch Joseph Dixon Lauder came to British Columbia to find land for his
family and found the land he wanted with natural meadows, and a creek and springs that
dotted the bunch grass hills. In 1876 he pre-empted Lot 427 in the Nicola Valley for a
homestead. He then sent for his wife and three children who were still in Ontario. Four
generations of Lauders have been raising cattle on the land since. The Lauders first
raised horses and dairy cows, but within ten years they had several hundred head of beef
cattle. During the harsh winter of 1886/87 thousands of cattle perished in the area. The
Lauders had to rebuild their herd and acquired more land for hay production. William took
over the ranch in 1903 and added part of the Garcia Ranch just east of Merritt. William's
son Joe bought the outfit in 1948. The Garcia place grew good hay, so Joe drove cattle
there to winter them every year. John, the eldest of Joe and Molly Lauder's sons, took
over management of the ranch in 1977, and he and his wife Jean bought it eleven years
later. The Lauders run a traditional cow/calf and yearling operation, using the original
Working Cowboy/Ranching Pioneer
Orville Fletcher was born 1910 in Saskatchewan and moved to the Cariboo in 1917.
At seven years old, Orville, an orphan, started his ranch life with a family who had a
homestead near 150 Mile House. By age 15, Orville was a cowhand on the ranch, often
living alone in the upper meadow, feeding, herding and tending cattle. He then worked
on the 150 Mile Ranch for four years as a top hand earning $50 a month. In 1934 he
applied for, and moved to, 160 acres of crown land where he built a cabin and a barn.
Two years later he married Marie Case. By 1939 he had a herd of 175 cows and yearlings
and bought the adjoining property. He purchased the 144 Mile Ranch, stocking it with a
herd of 800 sheep, enabling them to pay off the
mortgage in two years, and purchase 100
head of Hereford cattle. He developed a flood irrigation system and over the next 30
years brought the ranch up to its maximum production level of 700 head. Orville was
active in BC Cattlemenís Association and BC Livestock Co-op in many different capacities.
Orville passed away in 1992. The ranch is now operated by the sixth of Marie and
Orville's nine children, Karen Thompson, and her husband Clint.
Antone Boitano youngest of five children, was born in 1885, to Agostino
(Augustine) Boitano (an Italian immigrant) and Mary Kouslips (Kuslips) of Alkali Lake.
Augustine was lured to the Cariboo by the Gold Rush in 1858, and was a packer for the
Hudsonís Bay Company until 1884 when he started a homestead, Springhouse Ranch, west
of Williams Lake. Antone was born and lived on this ranch for 57 years, carrying on
with the ranch after Augustine died in 1914. He married Elizabeth Mary (May) Hamilton
in 1906 and they had one daughter. Antone was the Springhouse postmaster for 28 years,
1913 to 1942. After selling the ranch in 1942, Antone and May moved to Williams Lake.
Boitano attended the first Williams Lake
Stampede (1919) and never missed it, also being
a rodeo judge for many of those years. He always rode his white horse in the Stampede
Parade, wearing a big black hat and a black silk shirt. Antone, a soft spoken gentleman,
was also known for his musical talents and loved to play the piano and fiddle. In 1966
a park in downtown Williams Lake was named Boitanio Park by the Centennial Committee.
It was felt that Antone typified the courage, colour and ingenuity of the men who settled
in the Cariboo. Antone passed away in 1970.
Competitive Achievements/Working Cowboy
Maxine Mack Rancher, rodeo cowboy, big game outfitter, Maxine Mack also served
his Tsilhqot'in Nation members of the Anaham Indian Band honourably throughout his life.
Born in 1923 he began his cowboy career at Chilco Ranch when he was 12 years old. He
worked there for 18 years and learned cowboy skills, doctoring horses and cattle,
breaking horses, which unveiled his natural ability to ride bucking horses. He competed
in many amateur and professional rodeos in BC and Alberta. He followed bronc riding for
years and also competed in team roping and calf roping events. He worked as rodeo judge
and assisted in forming the Interior Rodeo Association now known as the BCRA.
Eventually, Maxine established his own ranching operation based at the Anaham Reserve.
During these years he organized jackpots, BCRA, and Indian rodeos and gymkhana events
for the youth at Anaham. In addition to his ranch and rodeo background, Maxine had a
long record of public service to his community, with many accomplishments to his credit.
He married Emma Joe in 1948 and the couple had thirteen children. Maxine, who
personified the cowboy and ranch tradition of the Chilcotin, passed away in 1997.
Bill Cunningham family pictured here
Cunningham Family - In 1891 Jack Cunningham, from Scotland, pre-empted land on the southwest side of Loch Lomond
near 70 Mile House, BC. He married Margaret Clark in 1896. Jack and Margaret had four children, ran a successful
roadhouse, and developed a large cattle herd. Reita, Jack and Margaret's oldest daughter, was born at the 74 in 1901.
At the age of 10, with the loss of her older brother and father, she and her surviving brother Norman took over ranch chores.
Reita is best known for horse racing and horsemanship. Norman married Mary (Molly) Wilkinson in 1930 and
they continued to live at the 74. They had four sons, Kenneth, William (Bill), Gordon and Earl. Norman died in 1975, passing
the ranch on to son, Bill. Margaret, Jack and Margaret's youngest child, was born in 1905. Margaret was an accomplished
horsewomen and spent much of her time riding. Margaret married Len Sadler-Brown, in 1929. They had two daughters, Rita
Norman and Molly's children Bill, Gordon, and Earl were all involved in the ranch when they were growing up, but it was
Bill that carried on with the ranching way of life at the 74 Mile Ranch. At the age of 20, Bill worked breaking horses at
the Flying U Guest Ranch where he met Olga Rust. They were married two years later, in 1954, and had six children; Bryan,
David, Lee, Keith, Ross, and Heather. When Norman passed away in 1975 Bill took over ranch.
Bill and his sons and grandsons continue to raise cattle at the 74 Mile Ranch, and some of his children have their own
cattle. His sons and grandsons have all competed in rodeo over the years. His grandson Wade was the 2010 BC Rodeo
Association Saddle Bronc champion.
The Cunninghams are a resourceful, united, family, who manage to keep ranching through all the ups and downs with the
cattle industry. The family has "cattle in their blood" and they have the stamina and courage of their Scottish forefathers
who pre-empted the 74 Mile Ranch property back in 1891.
William "Bill" Downie - Bill, born in Rapid City, Manitoba in 1918, came to the Cariboo in 1936. Coming from a
farm on the prairies, Bill had worked with lots of teams of horses, and farm equipment. His first jobs in the Cariboo
were working with horses, haying at various ranches. Bill then started working for the Lazy R ranch owned by Bordie
Felker at the 118 Mile House, feeding 300 head of 2 year old steers, hauling hay across lac La Hache with a team and sleigh.
He developed a long time friendship with the Felkers, working for them at the Lazy R until 1944, then the 137 Mile Ranch.
Bill married Martha Faessler in 1945, and purchased the 137 Mile Ranch from Bordie Felker in 1948. They raised five girls
and ranched at the 137 Mile until 1972, working several different types of jobs to make ends meet. They sold the ranch
and moved to100 acres at the 140 Mile. During the 60's Bill joined Hillary Place in the band "the
Satellites". He played
fiddle at the Williams Lake Stampede at "Squaw Hall" for years, until the hall closed down. In 1981 Bill joined the Old
Time Fiddlers and still plays with them at all of their functions. In 2002, Bill was asked to play on Rosetta Paxton's
new CD. Bill has been in Williams Lake area for 71 of his 89 years, and still contributes to the Williams Lake community
through the Old Time Fiddlers.
Jesus Garcia - Jesus was born in Hermosillo Mexico in 1832, arriving in the United States when he was seventeen
years old. He worked on ranches, learned to use pack horses and mules, packing for silver mines. With finding gold on
the Fraser River, he came to British Columbia in 1858. Not being a fortunate miner he became employed as a packer in the
Fraser River area. Having experience as a packer in California, it did not take long until he purchased his own "string".
Jesus Garcia became a successful packer, working from Yale BC to Cottonwood House, east of Quesnel BC. Apparently he used
to winter his pack train, by turn in the Nicola Valley. Jesus Garcia brought his small family to the "Forks" (Merritt, BC)
over the mountains on pack trails and settled on land he pre-empted in 1871. He married Marie, a native woman born in
Spuzzum BC, some fourteen years later. They were married by the well known Priest, Father Le Jeune. The Garcias purchased
stock and raised good animals, especially horses. Jesus Garcia purchased land and attained recognition as a
rancher and a
contributor to the commerce of a growing community. Jesus Garcia died 1915 in Merritt. (an anecdote with regard to my
great grandmother - she purchased a church bell, made in France, had it shipped to Merritt. It hangs in the Catholic
Church of Sacred Heart, in Merritt. She died in Merritt 1932)
Jocko Creek Ranch - is a family operated cattle ranch located 12 km south of Kamloops along the
Lac le Jeune road. The ranch has been in the Michell family since 1903 and is currently being run by Noel and Katy Michell
and their family. Noel's grandfather, John Ralph (J.R.) Michell, moved to the Kamloops area to manage a machinery store.
He bought the home quarters of the ranch where the ranch house is presently. JR Michell married and had five children.
The ranch initially sold hay to the nearby Iron Mask Mine to feed the horses and mules used in the mine. In the early
years the ranch raised horses and had a small herd of cows. The ranch's brand is a lazy J connected lazy M on the right
hip and it was bought by JR Michell in 1904. This brand is still used to identify the ranch's cattle. As the market for
horse teams started to decline, the decision was made to expand and
raise sheep in addition to the small herd of cattle.
JR Michell became involved with city politics and was Alderman and Mayor of Kamloops. During this time, his son, Herbert
Michell, took over the ranch along with his wife Gladys Reynolds. The flock was expanded to approximately 1000 Rambouillet
and Columbia ewes. Herbert's son Noel took the ranch over at a young age after Herbert's health failed. In 1966 the bulk of
the sheep were sold and more cattle purchased. The ranch's cattle herd initially was comprised of 200 Hereford or Shorthorn
cross cows. Black Angus bulls were introduced in 1985 and now the herd is predominantly Angus. Noel married Katy McCallan
in 1964 and they have managed the ranch side by side for 46 years. The ranch has evolved over the last 107 years by being
flexible and changing as the agriculture market and lifestyle changes require.
Competitive Achievements & Working Cowboy
Robert "Butch" Sahara - was born and raised in Merritt, BC. He was always interested in horses and cattle. Butch
and his wife Gail own and run their own ranch called "Lazy L Ranch" where today they raise and breed quarter horses.
Butch held a lot of roping schools where he brought in world rodeo Champion instructors. He held many weekend team roping
competitions. He was a top contender in the rodeo circuit, in bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, and team roping,
both in Canada and the USA. He was involved in the Little Britches, High School and Professional Rodeos. Butch is well
respected and known, not only in the Nicola Valley, but in Canada and the US. He is a very generous and kind gentleman
who gives freely his time and knowledge, getting individuals involved in rodeos, to starting up their own stock, to simply
giving a helping hand.
Bruce Watt - Growing up in the Fraser Valley area of BC, it wasn't until Bruce was in his early twenties and newly
married that he moved up to the Chilcotin region of central BC. The young couple purchased their own place, Breckness Ranch,
and began raising their family of three girls and two boys" along with herds of cattle and horses. The work was often
difficult and the conditions were rough, but it was a life they all enjoyed and the family called Big Creek home until 1973.
Rodeo became a big part of his life, competing in the timed events of calf roping and steer wrestling, then later taking up
team roping, a sport he enjoyed into his late 70's. Bruce started Lightning Cattle Co. with his brother-in-law, building the
cattle business to over 11,000 head and three ranches. He also became actively involved with the Williams Lake Stampede
Board of Directors and served in various capacities over years, including President,
and his appreciation of fast horses
and beautiful women led to his favorite position of coaching "The Classics - Rodeo Riders" grand opening performances. Bruce
also worked diligently each year to keep the arena grounds in the best possible condition throughout all performances of the
Stampede, only retiring from these duties at the age of 78. In recognition for his outstanding contribution to the Stampede
and the sport of rodeo, Bruce was honoured by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association in 1994 when he was named Committee
Person of the Year.
Artistic and Competitive Achievements
Doug White - was born in Fifeshire, Scotland on July 9th, 1930. In 1953, after serving his apprenticeship as a
carpenter and two years in the Scottish Army with the Black Watch, he headed to Canada. Doug attended his first rodeo
in 1956 in Burnaby. He won the jackpot and was hooked by the rodeo bug. In his pro-rodeo career, one of Doug's most
memorable wins was when he beat two world champions in the calf roping at a rodeo in Sedro Wooley, Washington. He won first
above Dean Oliver (8 times World Champion Calf Roper) and Canadian Champion, Jim Gladstone. In Kamloops that same year,
Doug won the Calf Roping just ahead of World Champion, Kenny Mclean. Doug traveled to many pro rodeos in the 1960s and 70s.
Doug's last pro rodeo was in 1971. He then joined the Interior Rodeo Association where he qualified to the finals in
the Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling or Team Roping for about 10 years. He was the first cowboy ever in the IRA to qualify to
the finals (in Penticton 1973) in all three events in the same year. Doug is also quite an accomplished artist, drawing and
painting in his free time. Doug's art has been donated to the Williams Lake lndoor Rodeo Association and been the seasonal
poster for BCRA in 2002. Also, Doug has been playing the bagpipes since the age of nine. He has piped at the King's Funeral
in Scotland, belonged to the Black Watch Pipe Band in Vancouver, and currently belongs to the local pipe band here in
Williams Lake. Doug attends weekly practices and pipes at many local functions in the area.
Gordon Woods - was born in 1928 in Riske Creek, BC, to Charlie and Pearl Woods. At 7 yrs of age his family moved to
Meldrum Creek BC. One of his first paying jobs was with Pudge Moon doing general cowboy duties. Gordon began his love for
Rodeo very early and started competing in team roping and gymkhanas. All the horses he or his children rode were broke by
him. At an early age Gordon started playing the button accordion eventually moving onto the piano accordion. Playing with
a small band at many rodeo dances, weddings. anniversaries and of course the notorious Squaw Hall at Williams Lake Stampede.
To this day he still enjoys playing for a get together now and then, accompanied by his children and grandchildren. When
people hear that Gordon will be playing music they know they will get to dance to many old time waltzes and good ole polkas.
Talk to any old cowboy and at one time or other they have danced to Gordon's tunes. He lives now on a small ranch in Miocene,
still has his workhorses and is set on breaking at least one more saddle horse. He is and always will be a cowboy and musician
at heart and is now passing on his love and knowledge to his grandchildren.
Family as Working Cowboys
Wright Family - The family roots can be traced back to 1862 when William Wright and his son John came from Upper
Canada. They took up land at 137 Mile and started ranching to supply miners with beef and other farm products. John had
a son, Burton, and his family grew up at Meadowbank Ranch a few miles south of Lac La Hache, known by locals as Wright's
Corner. Burton's sons were some of the best cowboys around and had a rare gift for handling horses and cattle.
Stan, born in 1920, the oldest son of Burton and Mary, grew up working on one of his father's ranches and for almost 60
years Stan worked the Timothy Lake Ranch. He built it up to 900 acres running a successful yearling operation. Stan ran
the ranch until his retirement in 1992.
William Wright was born in 1923. Willie stayed on the family ranch with his elder brother Stan, and they raised Hereford
cattle, and raised and trained horses for sale. He and his family moved to 140 Mile and he continued to work in the
trade, first for his father-in-law and then on his own. He died in January 1985.
The younger brother David was born in 1927. Dave married Iris Fletcher in 1958 and they leased the Jones Lake Property
from her father for a few years, and then went to 127 Mile to manage the ranch for Dave's aunt, before buying the Murphy
Meadows Ranch on Knife Creek in 1967. When Dave died in 1985, Iris carried on alone, looking after some 1,700 acres under
fence and over 500 head of cattle on the ranch that she and Dave had built together over the past 19 years. Iris and their
son Burt are still on the ranch.
The Wright family members were first and foremost working cowboys. It was their vocation, their passion and their life.
Colleen and Bob Gowans
Deanfield Ranch -
Walter and Robert Gowans sailed from Scotland in 1906, settling in BC. Walter Gowans filed to homestead land on Campbell
Range, 20 miles southeast of Kamloops in November 1908. Later, his brothers Jimmy and Jock homesteaded two more quarters,
one of which was next to Walter's. The ranch at that time was called Gowans Brothers. These two quarters are where the
ranch yards and home sites are today. Robert's sons, Jack and George carried on the ranch as the second generation.
They acquired more land and raised Red Polled cattle. In 1947 they purchased 3 registered Hereford heifers and a herd
sire. They established the herd prefix "Deanfield" which was the name of the area where they came from. That prefix is
still used on the registered cattle and the cowherd goes back to the same genetics. Jack passed away in 1994 and George
in 2009. Jack married Margaret Hamilton in 1948, and they had four children. The two sons, Bob and John took over the
ranch as the third generation. John was later killed in an accident. The operation is known today as Deanfield Ranch and
is owned and operated in partnership by the remaining brother (Bob) and his wife, and John's widow Mary, with the help
of all their children. The ranch maintains 60-70 registered Herefords and approximately 200 head of commercial stock.
Andy Copeland -
In Fort St John, where Andy calls home, his neighbors often call on him to attend cattle drives and brandings, where
his ability as a horseman and a roper make him and his horses a welcome commodity. The world of amateur rodeo has not
witnessed a career as colorful or successful as that of Andy Copeland. Forty-five years of riding broncs in competition!!
He has been decorated with thirty-five trophy saddles for saddle bronc, bareback, team roping and "all round" titles. He
won the last of these in 2009. Last summer (2011) he took part in a couple of local shows at 63 years young!! He still
rides and ropes like a champ! He has ridden the banner broncs from most of the top Rodeo Contractors in the west. He will
help his competition set their riggin', lend his bronc saddle to a total stranger,
give you the shirt off his back and tip
his hat to a bronc that bucks him off!! His arena serves as a crossroad for cowboys and horsemen, young and old to
participate and learn the cowboy way with rope and saddle. In his many years and miles of rodeo, Andy always took time
for our youth. Some of these became world champions in bigger circles. Andy represents four generations of ranch and rodeo
in the west.. Andy owns the original family ranchland on the banks of the Blueberry River. It is there where his horses and
Norman Granberg -
Ellis Granberg came from Sweden to Lone Butte in 1914. He homesteaded a small acreage, and started a family. Axel
Norman Granberg (Norm) was born Feb. 10, 1925, at the homestead on Taylor Lake Road. Norm attended school at Roe Lake.
When he finished grade 8 at the age of 13, he began working with cattle. He married Anna Nath in 1945. In 1954 they
bought their own place, 400 acres on 93 Mile Creek, north of Lone Butte. He has been running cattle on high country
open range since 1965. Each fall Norm moved the cattle to "the Hay Camp", a leased meadow near Dog Creek Road, living
in a little cabin for two months, watching his cattle fatten. The cattle drive home was undertaken in late December,
sometimes under brutally cold conditions. Norm has been a one-man operation and ranched all his life, maintaining a
seventy cow/calf herd and haying his own land and meadows for feed. Anna and Norm grew most of their own food, only
making the trip to Lone Butte twice a year. In order to supplement the ranch income he was a cat skinner for a local
logging operation, and built log homes in the area. Norm and Anna have five children, fifteen grand children and
nineteen great grand children. Norm retired in 2008, and is still living on the main ranch property with his wife
and border collie, keeping a small herd of cattle to keep him busy.
Joe LeBourdais -
born November 19, 1929 in Williams Lake, resided on the Clinton Indian Reserve. Joe married Lorraine in 1955 and they
had eight children and have numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. A well-known rodeo competitor and contributor,
Joe started riding at age 5 and began competing in rodeos at age 10. He won his first event at age 12 in cow riding.
Joe competed in many amateur, semi-pro and pro rodeos throughout BC, Alberta, and the U.S. (CPRA, Interior Rodeo
Association, BC Rodeo Association, All Indian Rodeo Association, Old Timers Association) from the 1930's thru 2003.
Joe also raised some well known bucking stock that were used by GG Stock Contracting. Throughout Joe's rodeo career he
won numerous trophies and buckles in saddle bronc, calf roping, team roping and all around. Joe was a Pro Rodeo
competitor in the 1950's/60's. Saddle Bronc was his specialty. He won his last buckle for bronc riding in 1986 (age 57)
and his last buckle in team roping in 2003
(age 74!). In 1993 Joe was the honored recipient of the BC Rodeo Association's
Lifetime Achievement Award. Joe has always been involved in rodeo teaching many who have gone on to become champions.
Besides rodeo and ranching, Joe took on a variety of jobs; including hunting guide for over 20 years, camp cook, logger
and tree faller, prospector, and for many years Chief and Councilor for his respective Indian Band. Rodeo and ranching
are still a family tradition carried on by Joe and his family at his home at J&L Ranch where he still raises quarter
Johnny Wilson -
was an Englishman born 1832. At the age of 17 he emigrated to the United States, farming for two years in Indiana. He
then moved west to California and engaged in mining at the American River, Russian River, and the Petahuma. He came north
to British Columbia in 1858 trading and mining on the Fraser River, and joined the Cariboo gold rush in 1862. He became
the owner of the Tinker claim on Williams Creek, which proved a paying property, yielding as high as 300 ounces in a
single cleanup. In 1864 with money in his pocket he left the Cariboo. He and a partner went to Oregon, purchased a good
sized herd of cattle and drove them over the mountains to the South Thompson River. The following spring they took them
up to the mine fields getting a nice profit. The cattle business later increased by such large proportions that he earned
the title of Cattle King of BC. The JW brand on the left hip of both cattle and horses was well-known throughout the
province. Wilson homesteaded below Savona's Ferry, then bought the 8 Mile Creek Ranch as well as large ranches at Grand
Prairie (now Westwold), Cache Creek Copper Creek, and Indian Gardens. There was a slump in the cattle trade in the
late 1870s but unlike many others, he kept his ranch going. By 1897, with the boom following the railway construction, he
was regularly shipping 150 head of cattle to the Coast each month. Wilson slowly again amassed a fortune. Johnny Wilson
was also fortunate to enjoy the love and guidance of two native women, Anne Marie of Lillooet and Nancy Burke. His
properties were considerable at his death in January 1904, but were split up and reverted to their original component
Gordon Parke -
was a fourth generation rancher on property taken up by his grandfathers' uncle, Philip Parke, soon after arriving in
Canada from Ireland in 1862. This property became the Bonaparte Ranch near Cache Creek and later extended into the Upper
Hat Creek valley to the west. It was here that Gordon made his home. Gordon Parke was born in 1929, going to school in
Ashcroft until grade 10. He was sent to boarding school on the Coast, and graduated from UBC. He always returned during
the holidays to work on the two ranching properties. He learned to ride at an early age and often helped gather cattle on
horseback out on the range. He helped during haying season in the days of pitch forks and teams of horses. When his
father Arthur Parke died in 1967, he and his brother took over the operations of the Bonaparte Ranch, the Parke Ranch,
and Upper Hat Creek Ranch. In 1970 they agreed to split the ranch up, and Gordon chose the Upper Hat Creek property.
He built his home with a view overlooking his beloved ranch.
Gordon was always interested in the politics of the cattle
industry and served as a Director of Canadian Cattlemen's Assoc since its inception in late 1960 until late 1970s, and
President from 1974 - 76. He also served for 20 years as director of BC Cattlemen's Assoc and President from 1965 - 67.
Gordon is now retired at age 81.
Family as Ranching Pioneers
Walters Family -
Thomas and John Walters, like many others, headed for the gold rush in the 1800s They started the 83 Mile Roadhouse and
over time, also established roadhouse farms at 93 Mile, 105 Mile, and 122 Mile. Thomas and Mary Walters it's said, had
the 1st white baby born in the Cariboo - at 83 Mile House in 1865 - Henry (Harry) Walters. Harry journeyed to the Horsefly
area in 1891 and applied for a 160 acre pre-emption in 1892. He married Alva Yongker in 1895 and the following year their
first child was born. That year Harry pre-empted property on the west side of Harper's Camp and opened the Horsefly Hotel
where he also operated a livery stable and was the postmaster. In 1902 the Horsefly Hotel was closed and the growing family
moved in. The Walters had six children and a cattle herd. In 1916 the Horsefly Hotel burned to the ground and Harry built
a new log house that is still being used by the family. He died in 1918 leaving Alva with a 2,000 acre ranch and a large
family. Harry's son
Glen, still on the ranch after WW1, married Lily Ann Widdowson in 1927 and had four children. Glen acquired
more land adjoining the original place and built the ranch up to 300 head of cattle. Glen and Lily later sold the ranch
but bought it back in the 1950s. Their son Gilbert, and wife Lilly bought it from them in 1972.
Gilbert married Ann in 1955. They had five children who all helped with the prospering family ranch. In the mid-1990s,
Gilbert scaled down to about 100 head. Ann passed away and Gilbert operated the ranch on his own starting to raise
Quarter Horses and Paints as well. Three of Gilbert's 12 grandchildren live nearby and often come to help on the ranch.
Today the Walters ranch is still owned by Gilbert and is operated with the help of his children and grandchildren, fourth
and fifth generation Walters on the same property. Gilbert Walters is with us here today to accept the plague for the
Walters Family as they are inducted into the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Mike Puhallo - was instrumental in starting the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame and spent many years as president of the
BC Cowboy Heritage Society. One of his first jobs out of high school was cowboying for Douglas Lake. For many years
he rode out at Big Creek where he was a partner in Twilight Ranch. In recent years he spent hours in the saddle
riding for ranchers in the range above his own home place in Westsyde. Mike was not only a cowboy and a rancher, but
an artist, a horse trainer, a historian, and of course we all know him as a cowboy poet. He performed far and wide
attending gatherings and festivals all over North America and in numerous other venues ... always spreading the word
and educating people on the cowboy way of life, the culture and history of the real west. Mike was Canada's most
published Cowboy Poet with six books and three CDs to his name. He was nominated for and received several awards
from the AWA and Artscan, as well being presented with the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal.
Steve (Hyde) Archacan
Stephen "Hyde" Archacan - Stephen Mark Archachan aka Steven aka Hyde was born May 5, 1934 at Quilchena Creek
in a willow bush. He began his first job at age 16 in 1950 in the winter time where he worked for Guichon Ranch
feeding cows and cowboyin'. Hyde also broke horses for his family, and for others for $10 a head. In the 50's Hyde
was one of the fastest calf ropers around, no matter what horse he was on. He has worked at Douglas Lake Ranch.
John Lauder's Ranch, Blue Ridge Ranch in Lillooet, North Kamloops (Westsyde), and at Lake Jamison. From 1964 -1968
Hyde took a break from the saddle, moved to Washington to do some logging, but went back to what he loved the most,
cowboyin' in the Nicola Valley. From 1993-2010 Hyde would hang his cowboy hat at the Nicola Ranch. Like a true cowboy
he knows the cow inside and out, and has even been known to rope a bear from time to time. While in his 70s he has
won 2 saddles. To this day Hyde is still active in team roping and still works for Judy Guichon and John Lauder.
Sammy Pozzobon Family - Sammy Pozzobon was born in Kamloops in 1927, 26 years after his father Sam Pozzobon Sr
left Traviso Italy to start a new life on a homestead in Pinantan, BC. Sam Sr and his wife Assunta had five children.
All of the Pozzobon boys were bitten by the rodeo bug. At age 15, Sammy entered his first rodeo in Falkland. In 1972,
thirty years after entering his first rodeo, Sammy became a lifetime gold card member of the Cdn Pro Rodeo Association.
Sammy married Lillian Cherriman in 1956, and they had three children, Cheryl, Keith and Kevin. Sammy passed on the
love of fast horses and rodeo to all of them. Sammy and Lillian later lived on property on Pemberton Range which they
purchased in 1966. One of the first things built at the new place was an outdoor arena followed by an indoor arena.
Sammy still competed himself, but once the children were old enough the kids
became his priority. All his children
went on to compete at amateur and professional levels of rodeo, and worked on the ranch alongside Sammy and Lillian,
both cowboying and farming. With the marriages of their children, new talent and skills were integrated into the family,
and eight grandchildren gave Sammy a new batch of kids to coach. Sammy passed away in 2008, yet Lillian and their
children's families continue to live and work on the place at Pemberton Range. Keith has assumed the majority of
operations of the ranch.
Pooley Ranch - Will Pooley settled at Nicola in the early 1870s. His cousin Jim Pooley followed and settled
on property in the Nicola area in 1885. While searching for more sheep and cattle range, Jim discovered and
subsequently homesteaded the current day ranch around 1900. After his accidental death in the fall of 1911, William
John Pooley sailed from England, (almost booking passage on the Titanic) and continued his brother's dream of creating
this fine Ranch. William John had 5 children, 3 of which became heirs to the Ranch ... Gladys, Harold, and Bill. Harold
passed away in 1976, Gladys in 1979, and Bill in 1998. The first 40 years of the ranch was primarily
raising sheep, with cattle being phased in around World War II. 40 years later Harold's son Mark took over the Ranch
and gradually built the base herd up to 500 Hereford/Red Angus cross mother cows. Today the Ranch contracts 1500
grass cattle each year and supplies fine timothy grass hay for the surrounding area. Mark is now in the succession
planning stages with his children.
John Dodd - was born July 24, 1915 in Spuzzum BC. At an early age he was on his own and working as a ranch hand.
He worked on many ranches until the second World War broke out. He enlisted in 1940 and served courageously until 1946.
He worked on many ranches, including Gang Ranch and Circle S Ranch, was general manager on Chilko Ranch and worked at
the Williams Lake Stockyards. John was involved in 4H and the BC Cattlemen Association and helped many youngsters with
problems with their horses. John himself was never a competitor but was always there to help with repairs and maintenance
of the Williams Lake rodeo grounds. He worked for a brief period in Alberta, then returned to the Gang Ranch, where he
worked until his retirement. John had a profound respect and love for the cowboy way of life. His greatest joy was
riding the open range. He spent his last years at Riske Creek, where he kept a few horses to ride. John passed away
Sept 16, 1995 at age 80.
Archie Williams - was born and raised on the Bonaparte Reserve in Cache Creek, where he spent a lot of time
with his uncle, coach and teacher Dave Perry. When not competing he worked as a cowboy and farrier, raised and trained
horses, and put on roping clinics. Archie competed mostly in timed events, but team roping was his favorite. He also
spent many years riding as a pick-up man in bucking stock events. In 1974 he made history as the first pick-up man
chosen for Cdn Nationals Finals Rodeo, chosen by the cowboys themselves. He is a five-time BC Team Ropers Assoc
champion, and roped with numerous cowboys throughout the years, although for over 15 years with his friend Fred
Stevenson. At 68 years old he is one of the only cowboys of his age still competing in rodeo. Today he ropes with
his sons and grandsons. Archie was presented with the BCRA "Sportsman of the year" award in 2010.
Frank Teer - was born in Big River Saskatchewan in 1916, the youngest of eight children of Irish immigrants
Sam & Luce Teer. His father died suddenly when Frank was about six years old but with the guidance of his uncle Paddy,
Frank learned to handle horses and work the land. Frank enlisted in the army from 1942 to 1945. When he returned
to BC he was hired by the Mound Ranch in Clinton until 1949. Frank then went to work for the Gang Ranch. He acquired
160 acres of raw land with a 320 acre lease in the Houston area in 1963 where he carved out a road, a house, barns
and corrals. In 1970 another 640 acres of good hay fields was leased. The cattle herd had grown to 120 breeding cows,
22 head of breeding horses and 10 good riding horses. Frank continued ranching, raising cattle and horses, and training
and selling a few young horses until 1986. At the age of 70, Frank retired and turned the ranch over to his two
daughters Frances and Colleen, who continue to ranch today. Frank passed away on October 22, 1999 and was buried in
the Clinton Heritage Cemetery alongside his wife and many friends.
photo by Liz Twan
Larry Ramstad - came to BC from Valleyview, Alberta as soon as he finished agriculture college. His first job
was a ranch hand for the Guichon Ranch. He then moved to Quilchena where he worked under cow boss Ken Knapp. Larry
started most of the colts each year and calved about 250 heifers by himself. After six years at Quilchena he was cow
boss at the Cotton Ranch in Risky Creek for three years. Larry then managed the River Ranch at Riske Creek for the
new owners in Italy. The ranch was badly run down, but Larry made it a success within two years. The owner of
Quilchena rehired Larry to manage it and to try and turn it around. Larry accomplished this in a short time, soon had
it running smoothly, and stayed on this job for thirteen years. He was hired to manage the Gang Ranch in 1990 for
the owners in Arabia. The ranch was in very bad condition, but Larry has rebuilt almost everything and has it
operating well. He has been there
longer than anyone else (23 years) and has been the only one to have much success.
He was honored at the Nanton rodeo in Alberta with a plaque for upholding the western tradition and cowboy lifestyle.
Sponsored by Doug Haughton and Family!