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Posts Tagged ‘horse ranch’

You should be proud of me – I’ve been working on the old photos again – mainly because I’ve been sick and that’s about all I’ve felt like doing. 

I’ve found a couple really cool old photos – and the best part is that we actually know who these people are.  After going through so many unmarked photographs my new mission in life to label every single photo I take.

The first photo is a picture of Hubby’s Grandfather William Allen Stearns, Hubby’s Grandmother Dora Murray Stearns and their two sons – William Wallace (whom we knew as Uncle Billy) and Hubby’s father – Norman Everett (whom everyone called Bud).

As you can tell – the big occasion for the photo was the new car – around 1920 from what I hear.  They were obviously very proud of the new car because we have several shots.

W.A. Stearns was an interesting character from all I’ve heard.  He moved to this area in 1900 with a herd of 300 brood mares and stallions.  There are stories of one particular Percheron stallion that was brought over from France by boat then rode the train to Edgemont, SD.  Unfortunately, I have never heard the name of this stallion and I’m afraid that bit of information may be lost now.  Percheron horses are a breed of draft horses and were trained to fight by jumping and kicking with all 4 legs – hopefully kicking and killing any foot soldiers in their way.  It’s kind of funny but one of the first dates my Hubby and I went on was to go see a traveling group of Percheron stallions that came to Custer in the early 1980’s.  They are magnificent horses and if you ever get the chance to see them in action – do it!

W.A. and Dora bred horses and sold many to the United States Army.  One of Hubby’s most prized possessions is his grandfathers hand written brand book.  We’re pretty sure this is one of the earliest brand books for this area.  We also have several notebooks showing records of the family’s expenses and land and livestock purchased.

We also have their marriage certificate.  William and Dora were married October 9, 1906 in Newcastle, WY.  There was a bit of an age gap between W.A. and Dora – around 32 years from what we know but they seemed to have had a good marriage and they had two sons.  My father-in-law Bud was only 9 years old when his father died which must have been pretty hard on everyone.  But Dora took over the buisness and became known as quite a horsewoman in her own right. 

I love this photo of Dora and one of her babies – we’re not sure but I would guess it is Billy.  From everything I’ve ever heard, she was an amazing woman in tough times.  Eventually, Dora and the boys sold the last of the horses and Uncle Billy and Bud split the ranch when their mother passed away. 

They both went on to raise cattle and lived out their lives on the ranch – cowboys to the very end.

 

On another note here’s a photo we’re not so sure about. 

This photo raises several questions.

First off – we have no idea who these people are but I’m guessing we’re related – especailly to her – there seems to be lots of tough old gals in our family.  The next question is what is that between them – a cat?  The tail actually looks a little skunk-like.  And who’s holding it or is it hanging by his wrist? 

It’s hard to tell what is going on in this shot but that’s exactly why I love old photos – they usually bring up more questions then they answer.

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