Dick Hunt's Blog

February 9, 2010

The Rise and Demise of Four Ranches

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 3:09 pm

The Rise and Demise of Four Ranches
by Dick Hunt, November 17th, 2007

I was born in a Ranch house in east central Alberta and raised there.  My Father, Harry Harold Hunt emigrated from Worcester, England in the year 1901 at the age of 18 years.  He was born and raised on a cattle farm near Evesham and at the age of eleven began a seven year apprenticeship as a Butcher, under the tutelage of his Uncle. Even as a young boy, he had a desire to go to Canada and establish a Cattle Ranch.  So when he completed his  training, he packed up his few belongings and sailed off to Canada.  He was born to Enoch Hunt and Elizabeth Lucy Horton on March 18th 1883.  Since his Father was nominally Church of England and his Mother a very devout Roman Catholic, they settled on an agreement that as each child was born they would be Baptised alternately as Anglican and Roman Catholic, a plan which was adhered to by the two priests involved.   One of my  memories of Dad’s stories of his youth was that the two Parish priests would visit the cattle farm together and he remembered with delight seeing them both pitching hay in the hayfield and having a great visit in the process.  That was an early example of unusual ecumenism in  action.  When Dad was born, it was the Roman Catholics turn to Baptize the Baby.
He made his way by train to Alberta and soon found employment on various ranches in the area between Red Deer and Calgary, planning and learning as he went.  Always having been a reliable worker, he found his way around and as time went on, he teamed up with two brothers Alfred and Jack  in a region later known as Delburne.  The three of them homesteaded on three adjoining quarters of land and according to the rules of the game, dug three cellars and built three small shacks where the three quarters came together.  They then each cleared and plowed seventeen acres of native grass land and prepared it for growing crops, probably oats for cattle feed.  Interestingly, a close friend of mine revealed to me some years ago that he has been the owner of those three Homestead quarters  for years. He was my Sunday School superintendent in Stettler Alberta and later was Ordained Priest, (now retired).  To augment his income Dad worked part time for the CPR , working on “The Twin Bridges” at Tail Creek and helping to move  the first station to the town of Brooks, a box car converted into an office.
By the time Dad and his brothers had proved up on and thus owned their homestead quarters east of Delburne, it became evident that with the influx of farmers into that area, it was not going to be a ranching country.  On a trip by team and wagon to Red Deer for supplies, Dad met up with a Metis chap who told him that he knew of an untouched area away out south east which was still virgin prairie and as yet not even populated.  Dad hired him to show him  the area, a days ride from Delburne.  He pointed out deeply etched Buffalo trails down the steep hill to water springs which flowed the year round and where his Father had shot buffalo when they came down to drink.  When Ruth and I moved our house from the Alfred Hunt homestead three miles east of there to the Ranch headquarters in 1945, the Buffalo trails were still vivid trails  in the hillside.  After the initial look at the site the Metis chap insisted that they ride another mile to a certain “Ribstone” on the highest hill in the area.  The large white limestone boulder had a prominent backbone across the top and 12 ribs down each side.  It was a center of worship of the Great Spirit for the Indian people and has been the  site of a  Archaeological dig which dated it back to over 8,000 years.  The Metis was out of tobacco and knew he could find plug tobacco there, which  he did.  There were also glass beads there in profusion, which like the tobacco was left by the Indian people for years as worship offerings.   I still have some of the beads in my possession, which I picked up there in the fifties and sixties. So the Ranch at Endiang was known as “Ribstone Ranch”, founded in 1904, again by Homestead rules and then added to over the years, until it became a 6,400 acre Ranch supporting a breeding herd of 450 cows and with a thriving feedlot, with hay and crop land to make it a strong operation.
As a matter of further interest, it was my younger brother Bill, who operated the Ranch with his wife Lee after my eldest brother Wilf, his wife Alyce, and Ruth and I left the Ranch, who brought the site to the attention of the Glenbow Foundation in Calgary.  They did an Archaeological Dig which established the site as a major center of worship and the area where a Village existed for many years.  When Bill met an untimely death from Lew Gherigs Disease some years later, the Family arranged for a friend to fly over the area and spread Bill’s ashes on that hill.  Bill had been an active pilot when he ranched at Cessford AB before moving to Endiang and was well known throughout the area for his mercy flights during blocked winter  roads. He also flew as a spotter when prairie fires threatened the area and on occasion flew a marksman with a shotgun to shoot marauding coyotes seeking prey among the new born calves in the spring. On one occasion I flew with him around the water holes, where in several trips we dropped fifty pound salt blocks for the cattle.  Bill flew as slowly as he could at about fifty feet above the deck and I dropped the salt putting a spin on each block as we flew.  The salt hit the ground, rolled, bounced, rolled some more and finally came to rest beside the dugouts.  We never hit a cow or broke a block.
But it was not all clear sailing.  In the fall of 1905, a massive prairie fire swept through the area all the way from the Battle River on the north to the Red Deer River many miles to the south.  The prairie grass was lush and deep in the summer and Dad and his brothers had harvested a great deal of native “prairie wool” hay and then protected it against prairie fires by plowing a wide fire guard around each hay stack area.  Thus, when the fire began they were able to “back fire” to protect the hay stacks and they lost none of the precious commodity.  That caused the loss of  a great deal of winter feed for a great number of ranchers and farmers all through the area.
A  man called Lee Brainard from Montana had moved his cattle and horses up to an area east of the town of Hanna early in the fall and had intended to winter them just on the pasture land in the area, expecting that the famous Alberta Chinook winds would keep the snow and cold at bay for his livestock.  He visited Dad, having ridden his horse up to the Ranch and Dad tried to persuade him to bring his yearling cattle up to the ranch for wintering as he was sure they could not exist on the grass where they were.  When the winter turned very bad with blizzards, wind, deep snow and very low temperatures, Mr. Brainerd’s cattle very nearly all perished along with some of his few horses and his son and hired man, all frozen to death, as they were trying  to get moved to the Ranch.  He himself  walked, his horses frozen to death all the way from an area called Dowling to the Ranch, about 15 miles arriving in the night and following the line fence near the ranch finally located the sod shack, banging on the door.  Uncle Jack thinking it was a steer butting the door, hollered, “get the hell out of there”.  A voice came from outside saying, “I won’t get out’.  They quickly tumbled out of bed and brought him in, treated his extensive frostbite and looked after  him until spring as he slowly recovered.  He lost most of his toes and some of his fingers. As soon  as the storm subsided, Dad rode to their camp at Dowling and shovelled snow over the bodies of the two men, going back several times, to keep them covered to protect them from coyotes.  When the Mounties finally made  it out at breakup, the crows had pecked the nose off one of the men.  Many of the cattle had frozen to death standing up in the deep snow.  The vicious cold of the winter of 05 and 06 is legendary.
During the early teen years, farmers came into the area in great numbers, taking up homesteads and plowing the native grass.  Many of them came from the States and brought with them Oxen for farming. Dad had in 1913 been commissioned by the Federal Government  to go to England and bring out numbers of heavy Shire Horses to stock the Lacombe Experimental farm.  He also bought a Stud and some brood mares for himself and began to raise and   break to harness the progeny.  Bringing the horses over from Britain entailed building in the hull of the ship sufficient stalls to house them along with hay and water etc. The season was winter and the weather cold and stormy.  Dad was never a happy seafarer and was very seasick most of the three weeks on the North Atlantic.  But he had the responsibility to look after the horses, not an easy task in the tossing seas and the vertigo. He had one helper on the trip and I believe his name was Tommy Trout. When some of the horses panicked in the hold and damaged the stalls in which they were quartered, Dad and Tommy had to go down and lead them out of the stalls while the ships carpenters repaired the stalls. When the rigging on the decks became heavily crusted with ice from the North Atlantic storms the ship became top heavy and all hands had to go out on deck and chop away the ice to keep the ship from foundering. Someone in the Hunt family has photos of the ice laden ship. Eventually they arrived safely in Halifax and were glad to stand again on solid ground.  Then it was on board the train for the long trip to Alberta.
As the horses began to be available to work, he traded horses for oxen, fattened the oxen and they were marketed, some of them to as far away as the Yukon territory where there was still need for beef in the Gold fields.  They were driven overland to that market by a reliable horseman and his men.  Eventually the Ranch boasted a great many work horses and on at least one occasion around 120 head were sold at auction to eager bidders.  On February third 1913, Dad and Mother (Florence Elizabeth Foreman) were married in St. George’s Church in Stettler AB and they lived for a year or more in the little sod shack down beside the feed lot.  It is likely that at least one of Dad’s brothers, and possibly his sister Charlotte (Dot) lived there at the same time.  It must have been very crowded.  A number of months later they went to Victoria for their honeymoon and I have recently come into possession of a copy of their picture taken at that time. In early 1914 Dad went by train to Vancouver and bought the fir lumber to build a frame house and a large, Gambrel roofed barn 36’ by 70’ with a large hay loft.  A man named Ed Scarrett was the builder. That barn is still standing strong and solid after 93 years, on its natural stone foundation and no sag to the roof.  Ed came back on several occasions afterward, once to build a second story on the house (four more bedrooms) and at other times to do other building projects.  That house was torn down around 1960 to make room for another house brought in by truck.  It was still very sound at the time of it’s demise.
On May 1st 1914, Harold Wilfred Hunt was born, in Castor AB Hospital.  Ruth Elizabeth Hunt was born on July 28th, 1917, in Castor hospital.  Harold Richard Hunt was born on August 4th, 1920 at home in the Ranch house.  William Gerald Hunt was born in the Ranch house on July 27th, 1924.  David John Hunt was born in Hanna Hospital on September 12th, 1932.  Wilf married Alyce Gormley on June 20th, 1943. They raised four boys; Gordon, born september 23rd, 1944- Brian born May 14th, 1949- Michael born April 19th, 1959  and Douglas, born October 15th, 1960 and a daughter Joanne, Born December 16th, 1956. Ruth was married to Wilfred James Hunt  (a cousin from England)  on July 16th, 1935 in the Ranch house at Endiang, the living room being festooned with wild Alberta Roses.  The Rev’d.  John Jones Evans was the minister, the first wedding he ever performed. Dick (HR) married Ruth Brandon 0n October 1st,1944. They raised Joy born June 2nd, 1947 – Robert, born June 17th – 1951, Gail, born May 18th, 1953 –  Tim, born August 16th 1956. Bill Married Lee Bradshaw 0n August 28th, 1952. They raised four girls,  Barbara born August 8th 1953, – Susan born March 9th, 1955 – Maureen  born  April 2nd 1956 and Wilma born January  5th, 1958 – and a boy  Harold, born March 9th 1966. David married Connie May Herr on April 2nd 1955.  They raised Danny, born May 24th 1958 – Peter born May 30th 1959 – Christopher born September 22nd 1961 and Cecilia born January 27th 1967.  All the children  are employed  and many have been  associated with Ranch number one in various capacities at one time or another.  So all have had  a part, large or small in the success of the original Ranching operation, as developed over the years by our parents.

AND THAT IS RANCH NUMBER ONE

When Bill took over the management of the Cessford Ranch, around 1946, he batched for some years. The Ranch was purchased by our Father around 1944 to provide pasture land for the breeding herd and initially was managed by Roy Hamilton.  It was comprised of various parcels of Deeded land and allowed leasing of a good deal of grazing land.  It was in the  area known as the short grass country where it was necessary to have 40 to 50 acres to sustain one adult cow.  The whole Ranch comprised around 48 sections of land (30,720 acres) with, at that time 120 miles of fencing, later reduced to 80 miles. We were able to harvest hay on several large hay flats which were watered by the spring run off. The calves were weaned there in the fall and trucked to Endiang for  wintering and  growing. The house at the Ranch was an old rambling story and a half house on a shallow cellar and the heat for winter was provided by an oil burning heater in the basement.  One morning Bill’s hired man went down with a container of fuel oil to fill the tank and spilled some on the heater, setting the whole place on fire.  So everything burned as the fire spread so quickly.  Bill moved into a large garage across the yard and made it do for the winter.  During one blizzard, he felt a great weight on his legs and turning on the flash light, discovered a big snow bank on  the bed.  The wind had found a crack under the eves and it could not be plugged until after daylight.
The following summer, I went down from Endiang and worked with Albert Stewart to build a two bedroom house for Bill on a full basement.  A truckload of materials was sent out with what was intended to construct a house as detailed in  a set of plans which accompanied the load.  We found that they had scrimped on several details and we ended up with no eaves  and with a corner of the kitchen compromised to allow sufficient headroom to go down to the basement.  By that time Bill had employed Stan and Marge Hart, a couple with two little girls and they occupied one of the bedrooms.  They became firm friends of the family, especially our eldest brother Wilf and his  wife  Alyce. On August 28th, 1952 Bill was married to Vera Lee Bradshaw who  had grown up in the area and was well known along with her parents, Jack and Anne and her siblings.  So Lee became the queen of the castle and they went off on their honeymoon to Chicago.  They had a new 140 hp Continental aircraft engine in the back along with their luggage and while they were around Chicago, they had a major done on the plane and the new engine installed.   As  noted above, Bill and his plane became prominent in the lives of many people in the area over the years.  Then it was back to the Ranch until it was sold to Owen Stringham and they moved to Endiang and took over that ranch in 1956.  Wilf and Alyce then moved to Bashaw with their family and owns a farm just outside of the town.  Alyce passed away three years ago and Wilf now lives in a care home in  the town.  He turned 93 last May 1st.

AND THAT WAS RANCH NUMBER TWO

In 1946, my Father turned over the  management of  the Endiang Ranch to Wilf and me and they bought a house in Calgary and became city dwellers, which pleased our Mother very  much. She wanted Dad to take it easy and learn to relax. But Dad was not happy to hang up his spurs. He spent a good deal of time on the road visiting us at Endiang,  Bill and Lee at Cessford  And later, Ruth and Wilfred at Airdrie.  Dad was never happy living in the city and longed to be back in Ranching.  So he began looking for a suitable small Ranch in the  vicinity of Calgary .  I was with him at one point in his quest when a Realtor took us to a 320 acre farm just outside the city limits and just west  of the Mcleod Highway.  The buildings were sound, especially the house, which was lovely. It was the very epitome of a retirement hobby farm, but not for Dad.  It could have been purchased for $100.000 but it was not for him.  Ironically , within a year it did sell, to the City of Calgary for nearly two Million Dollars!  A little farther south, just east  of #2  Highway in the De Winton area,  he bought five quarters of land with good buildings and water and they sold the home in Calgary, moving to the DeWinton stock farm.
He stocked the place with good breeding cattle, chiefly Pure Bred Herefords and very soon had a feed lot operation going as well.  Albert Stewart and Bill Beohlke went to work for him and for the first time David became immersed in a cattle operation. The first fall that they had crop to harvest, I went down to help with the threshing and grain handling. A bachelor from across the road south of the place had a threshing rig and a front end loader and came over to do the crop  My first job wh en I arrived was to repair the granaries in the yard at  the buildings, crawling around on my back underneath to strengthen the joists and beams to carry the weight of the grain soon to start pouring into them.
Then I went on the threshing crew, hauling bundles, and then grain into the bins.  At one point when the owner of the rig had to be away I undertook to move it to  a new site and set for a new field. Brother Wilf always did that at Endiang and was good at it.  I had to learn by doing.  When a 3/8 inch cable broke on the front end loader, rather than go to town for a new one, I managed to splice it and we carried on.  Thus I was learning and showing that necessity is the mother of invention.
Over time, the cattle herd was added to, the buildings and fences were repaired, silage pits were dug and in the summer and fall, silage was made and hay was put up.  All in all it was  a happy and bustling operation.  Dad was in his glory.  David was being oriented into the livestock business.  Mother and Dad and David were active in St. Peter’s Parish in Okotoks where Connie Herr was the Organist.  Later, when both David and Connie were enrolled in Old’s School of Agriculture and Home Economics, David had the use of a Jeep and they travelled together to and from Olds each weekend. On one of our trips from Stettler to DeWinton for a visit, Mother said to us with a twinkle in her eyes, “David and Connie are engaged to be married”.  We were very pleased and I went out to his little workshop beside the house to congratulate him.  He said, “ I am pretty young to be married, but by golly if I don’t grab her now someone else may beat me to it”.  Obviously they were much in love and their very happy and fulfilling marriage of 48 years before David’s untimely death  proved the point.
As much as possible, their operation was a horse powered one.  They used a tractor for most of the farming operation but horses for hauling grain and feed and doing the chores around the cattle.  Dad had a favourite horse, a gelding named Fox which had been trained by and purchased from Roy Hamilton who had previously managed the Cessford Ranch for a time.  The last day of Dad’s active life he rode Fox around the place and checked on the cattle and whatever else was going on at the time.  He was too weak to mount Fox in the usual fashion, but led him up to an earth embankment  to mount and  dismount.  The next day he was in the hospital in High River  with a greatly enlarged heart and a bout with an ongoing Asthma problem.  Two days later he passed away peacefully in the evening, shortly after we visited him.  Lee, Bill’s wife had phoned me where I was studying for the ministry in Saskatoon,  Saskatchewan and I drove straight over to Calgary. Those of us who were there the night he passed away were Mother, Wilf, sister Ruth and Wilfred her husband, Bill and Lee, David and Connie and myself.
During our visit, Dad spoke with each  of us in turn, asking us how things were going, prime time visiting to be sure.  Then he said, “well my old body is all worn out and I can no longer be of help to anyone else.  When you go home I am just going to go to sleep and when I wake up, I will be home.  It is just there…” and he motioned with his hand and described heaven to us, as a place of peace and light and great joy, almost in the language of St. John’s Revelation.   Then he said.  “But before I go home I am going to come and sit in my easy chair once more” , and he smiled. Talking with each other afterward, we all thought he was losing his mind a bit , but we said nothing at the time.  Just gave him a kiss and went along home, saying “see you tomorrow Dad”.  Little did we know that tomorrow would be … in Eternity.  We arrived at Mother’s home at DeWinton around eleven o’clock and Ruth  and Wilfred, David and Connie went off to their own  homes.  We  went to bed soon after; Bill and Lee were in the downstairs bedroom. Mother was in her upstairs bedroom and Wilf and I shared a bed in the next room. As it happened, none of us went to sleep but continued thinking about Dad.  Just after midnight, the phone rang at the foot of the stairs and I ran down to answer it.  The Doctor was on the line to say that Dad had just passed away.  I thanked him and the rest  of the household gathered around the phone.  I gave them the message, we talked for a few minutes, we prayed together briefly and went back to bed.
And stayed awake, thinking.  Just at one AM, we all distinctly heard the front door open and close, a very distinctive sound from an old heavy door.  We listened intently for further sounds.  There were none.  Checking with each other the next morning, we had  all heard the sound and checked the time.  And we had all made the connection, that somehow, Dad had come back and sat in his easy chair, just as he had said he would.  And therin  lies a mystery that will only be made clear to us when we see him in the light and joy and gladness of heaven.  Ever since, when we have visited in that great century old house, that easy chair fascinates me. I have often thought since that the early teachings of his Roman Catholic Mother and the Parish Priests of his youth must have had an indelible effect on his life for good.  When he married our Mother, he undertook to support her in her Anglican Faith and in the upbringing of us five children.   His burial was  from the Anglican Church in Okotoks and the grave is in the Memorial Gardens a short distance east  of Calgary city limits, where Mother too is buried.
When we got back to the house after the funeral, as we were going into the house I said to Mother, “It is alright with Dad you know, he is there waiting for us in heaven and we will see him  again”.   She answered with a little  sob, “I know but it will seem so long “.  Shortly after that, Mother went off to Victoria and stayed there, coping with her loss and walking around the old city which was a comfort for her.  She had lived and worked there as a girl and stayed with her sister Nellie and her husband, Richard Gregory Allen for a time.  I was Ordained Deacon in St Stephens Church in Calgary on the 28th of May, just seven weeks after Dad’s death and was feeling blue, thinking how nice it would have been to have Mother at the service.  When we processed into the Church that morning for the service, there was Mother with sister Ruth and Wilfred, David and Connie.  Believe me I was quite overcome with gratitude to them all and to the God who had called me to that  moment and commitment.  Remembering that moment now, half a century later, I am still overcome and teary as I write this.
The ranch was still a fully operative business and naturally David was immediately thrown into the management of the place. He followed the pattern set so well by Dad and began thinking about how their three sons would fit into the operation.  Hoping to draw them into active participation, he undertook to borrow heavily from the bank to modernise the feedlot operation and cut down on the manual labour  involved.  He was doing just what Dad had done, hoping he could eventually pass the operation and business on to one or more of the boys.   As it happened, none of them were interested in ranching.  The eldest, Danny  was adopted as a baby  and  is a happy senior  employee of a concrete construction company happily married with two sons.  Chris, a natural born son is a very  accomplished character actor and very happy in his profession happily married and with a son and a daughter.  Peter is an accomplished cabinet maker and very well employed, happily married and with a son and a daughter.  Then there is Cecilia who was also adopted as a baby and is happily married to a successful businessman in Calgary, they have a daughter.   They all live close to where they were raised.
The sad result was that the feed lot operation did not produce the desired results, the bank eventually foreclosed and took all but thirty acres of the ranch, leaving only the buildings and a small acreage around them, plus an access road into the residue of the original place.  So ceased Ranch number three  as a going concern and the happy final challenge undertaken by our Father, of blessed memory.  David and Connie held an auction of the machinery  and sold the last of the cattle. Peter and his wife  live in the cottage originally built  and occupied by Connie and David when they were married.  It  is now much enlarged, thanks to the skills of Peter.  There are some saddle ponies around and from time to time a few cattle.  And hay is still harvested. Having studied blacksmithing at Old’s College, David began making Iron Art objects after the ranching was no longer an option and found a true and fascination vocation.  His experience, artistry and the demand for his products expanded with every year he worked and his pieces, a very  wide selection are now to be found widely in Canada and the States and even as far away as Hong Kong. Connie worked with him in putting the lacquer finish on the art work.  Not long before ill health stopped his efforts Chris began working with him occasionally and happily he now spends some time in the shop, doing what so deeply interested our dear brother David, sharing his own artistic ability and keeping the tradition alive in the family.   David passed  away in the home he shared with Connie on September 12th, 2003.
THAT WAS RANCH NUMBER THREE.

In 1946 Dad persuaded Ruth and Wilfred  to sell their farm at Endiang and invest in a Ranch just north west of  Calgary  a few miles. It is comprised of around 3520 acres of prime grass land. They had lived and farmed on a small place just north of the town of Endiang from their marriage on July 16th, 1935, until 1946.  Their first house at Endiang was two granaries pulled up together and was an icebox in the winter.  Biffy in the back yard.  Carry the water etc. in pails. They moved a little closer to town fairly soon and lived in another drafty and ill equipped but larger house for the rest of their years at Endiang. Their eldest daughter Kathleen (Kay) was born on January 29th, 1937 and lived there and attended school in Endiang until they moved to the new place 14 miles west of Airdrie AB. Kay was married to Maxwell Smith on February 26th 1955 and a small cottage was built for them just south of the main house.  Max worked for Ruth and Wilfred for some years and then they moved away on their own.  Eventually her parents gave them a quarter of land at the south end of the ranch and built a house for them on a full basement, dug a well, and helped them to get settled in.  Ruth and Wilfred first lived in a house which was a converted barn at Airdrie with no amenities.  Some years later Albert Stewart (see above) built their lovely home with a full basement, three bedrooms, large living room, kitchen, bathroom, dining area etc. They carried a heavy mortgage  burden on the Ranch for many years, lived very frugally and did everything together Thus began for them a long, fulfilling and labour intensive life which is still  a great consumer  of energy and concern for Ruth at the age 0f 90. Their second daughter, Linda was born March 3rd, 1948, in Calgary. She was married to Greg Sanden on April 5th, 1969. A small house was built for them and to provide more room for their family of two daughters and a son,  Greg dug and finished a basement under the house  giving them more room.  Greg worked on the Hunt’s Coulee Ranch  for a number of years. Wilfred passed away on August 25th, 1989 at the age of  81 years and Greg and Linda entered into a partnership with Ruth. Ruth and Wilfred helped provide the dwellings of three  grandchildren. They drilled wells, saw to the subdividing and surveying and in  many other ways provided them with security.  And all the time they denied themselves and lived a very quiet life, stayed at home, enjoyed their reading and some crafts and were good neighbors to all who came their way.  They were able to build up a prime herd of  around 350 breeding cows over the years, planned very carefully, sold eggs and cream to help pay the bills and at times  had a few sheep.  They milked cows and sold the cream, kept chickens and sold the eggs. For a long time they did all their farming with horses, then gradually acquired a tractor and better machinery.   Yes, it really was labor intensive!  At this writing, sad to say, the problem of getting reliable help or paying for men if they were available is impossible as many old Ranching families are discovering. The profits are too small and the work too demanding and so the 51 year old operation at Airdrie AB is about to be denuded of Cattle, as they are going soon to auction.  Thus will conclude a work of more than half a century and a prime breeding herd will be dispersed either to other ranches or to the slaughter house.  What a sad end to a fine Ranch.
AND THAT WAS RANCH NUMBER FOUR, THE LAST IN THE CHAIN

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