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 sold. 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 Ranches.

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.

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 through the 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.

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 first copy 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. Frank’s 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 Lake’s 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 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 JL brand.

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 Cattlemen’s 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 Hudson’s 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.

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.


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 and Pat.

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 was 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 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.

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.

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.

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 either 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.

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 ranching 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.


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.

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 cattle graze.

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 horses.

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 parts.

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.

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.

Stephen “Hyde” Archachan – 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 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.

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 Association 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.

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.


Steffens Family Claude Paul Henry (CPH) Steffens came to Canada in 1885. In 1904 his family (wife and 13 children) pre-empted land 12 miles north of Merritt and 7 miles south of Mammette Lake. These 320 acres were the beginning of the Steffen Brothers Ranch. CPH died in 1910, but between 1904 and 1930 the family acquired approximately 4,000 deeded acres. The seven brothers that were still at home registered 7B as their brand. The ranch income came from a 320 head beef herd as well as numerous other farm animals and poultry. The family would hold cattle drives ever year to Nicola where the cattle were loaded on the train and shipped to Vancouver. In 1983 they held their last cattle drive from the home ranch to the Merritt Stock Yards. In 1930 James (one of the brothers) bought his brother Fritz’s Lazy L Ranch and with his family ran the ranch until his death in 1958. All of Jame’s kids were involved in the ranch but it was Jim that had the most interest. Jim got his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and ran a vet clinic in the basement of his house in Merritt. He would work all day at the ranch and then head to the clinic for a 6pm opening. He was the first vet in Merritt and also the first to start clinics in Princeton and Logan Lake. In the early 1970s Jim bought the Steffens Brothers’ Ranch outright – it consisted of the Lazy L, Home Ranch, and Bergoing. He started downsizing in the late 70s and early 80s and sold his vet practice and then the Lazy L. Today Jim still lives on the last 63 acres.

Clarence George Bryson developed the Grange Ranch at Pavilion BC, with his father, J.B. Bryson, and family. When the Grange Ranch was sold in 1949, Clarence managed the Diamond S Ranch at Pavilion for Colonel Victor Spencer. Next he managed the Chilco Ranch at Riske Creek for George Meyfield. He bought the Voght Ranch in Merritt in 1949, and he and his family held that ranch until he sold it and bought Empire Valley Cattle Co. from Henry Koster in 1956. Clarence, with his family, developed the Empire Valley Cattle Co. by adding a half million acres of summer grazing with the aid of the BC Forest Service. He built 65 miles of four wheel drive road to service that huge back country which extended to the base of the Coast Range. Now the Forest Service has expanded that road to be a major forest access road. Clarence and his family were in the ranching business for 100 years. He has two grandchildren who are still in the ranching business in Alberta. He was the announcer at the Williams Lake Stampede for many years, as well as the Minto City Stampede, the Fountain Stampede, and he was the announcer for the first BC High School Rodeo in Kamloops. He was also very involved in developing the Kamloops Exhibition Association {KXA} rodeo grounds and race track in Kamloops BC.

In the fall of 2000, the Fox family celebrated 100 years on Duck Range, 40 kilometers east of Kamloops. John and Jayne Fox, immigrated to Canada from Ireland in the 1860s and settled in Ontario. John Fox Jr., one of 10 children, was the first Fox brother to arrive in BC. Jack, as John Jr. was called, came to BC in the late 1890s, working for several ranchers in the area, before applying for his homestead. He received the deed to his 160 acres, on October 13, 1900. Brothers Fred and Lew come west to work for him. In April of 1907, Fred and Lew pooled their funds and purchased three more quarters of land at Duck Range, farming in partnership for the next 22 years, adding Jack Fox’s quarter, and Alexander and Elsie Allan’s quarter which they had pre-empted in 1904. Fred’s death in 1929, split the partnership, with his widow receiving the original three quarters which was then sold in the 1940s. Lew remained on the other quarters. In 1930, Lew built the frame house that his son Bud and wife Dorothy still live in today. Building upon his father’s hard work, Bud not only expanded the land base but also improved the land. The ranch underwent changes and hard times, but today, they run a cow calf operation built from a few favorite top cows. Their son Jim and his wife Jo-Ann, also live on the ranch with their three young children. Bud noted, that the 100 year mark was accomplished in two generations.

Clarence Petal was born Aug 12, 1935. Clarence worked with his father, Henry Petal, hay contracting. Clarence was 15 years old when he was hired by local ranchers to put the cattle through the stockyard for the sale. Clarence also moved cattle and worked together with: Dan Lee, Broken Stirrup Fitzpatrick, Henry Petal, Frank Pigeon, and Slim Janke, with a total of approximately 662 head of cattle on one drive. They would drive from Eagle Lake, BC to C-1 Ranch located at Alexis Creek. Eighty miles travel, rest for one week then move on to Williams Lake Stockyards. The cowboys would have to water the livestock twice a day at Williams Lake as at the time there was no water at the stockyards. He has cowboyed on ranches throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin such as Mission Ranch, Onward Ranch (Hugh & Sonia Cornwall), 150 Mile Ranch (Huston Dunaway), and C-1 Ranch (Duke Martin) and did fence contracts for many others. Clarence still lives part time on his late father’s homestead on Edwards Meadow on Anaham Reserve. He also participated in rodeos, gymkhanas, and competitions: team roping, and calf roping, and was Champion at Anahim Lake Stampede. Clarence is a working cowboy who has spent all of his life working on numerous historical ranches as well with his own. He is competitive and participated in rodeos, and gymkhanas all over the Cariboo Chilcotin. Clarence is an all-around cowboy. Today he still ranches and operates his fulltime cattle operation, using horses, and has had an outstanding contribution in all competitive categories.

Telford Family This family’s love of, and commitment to, the ranching and cowboy way of life has spanned a period of 118 years, and it has all taken place in the Alexis Creek area. Alex Graham, came into the Chilcotin area at the age of 18, having left Ireland in 1886. Alex married childhood sweetheart, Anna Harvey, also from Ireland. They started ranching their own place at the Alex Graham Meadows above Alexis Creek village. The ranch was named the C-1 and this brand is still used today. The ranch was turned over to his daughter Francis and her husband, Duke Martin in 1927. Alex purchased and moved to a ranch a few miles west of Alexis Creek, Canyon Ranch. Alex died in 1934 and his youngest daughter Kathleen and her husband George Telford took over, increasing the herd to 1000 head. George’s sudden death in 1948 left Kathleen and her two sons to run the ranch. The KC brand became synonymous with top grade Hereford cattle and she won many trophies for her two year old steers at the fall fairs. The boys became involved in the daily life of ranching. Norman and his wife Valerie spent the next 48 years working together on the ranch. When Kathleen retired in 1959, the ranch was separated into three parcels, one for each son. Norman continued to ranch while the other two took different career paths. Norman held a rodeo on the ranch from 1964 to 1972. He expanded the cattle herd and was managing the Olmsted Ranch next door. Norman remained faithful to his mother’s love of good Hereford cattle, and is an icon in the cattle industry and a legendary Chilcotin Cowboy. In 2000 the Canyon Ranch was turned over to the oldest daughter, Beverly Madley. Norman passed away in 2003. In 2009 the Canyon Ranch received the BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award. Alex started a cattle ranching legacy for his family in 1886 that would encompass five generations, and it continues to operate to this day, 118 years later.

Valentine Haynes was the first white child born in Osoyoos, on December 21, 1875, the eldest of 6 children born to Judge J. Haynes and his wife Emily. Judge Haynes arrived from Ireland in 1853 and joined the newly formed BC Police force. He was the first Collector of Customs at Osoyoos in 1861. Val became a cowboy at the early age of 8 years old, trailing a herd to Alberta and returning home. In 1888 Val and the Judge were on the Dewdney Trail, in Princeton when the Judge died. Mrs. Haynes moved the family to England in 1890, Val returned to BC in 1893. He went to work for Thomas Ellis who had acquired the vast Haynes estates. When the Shatford Bros bought out the Ellis holdings in 1905, Val was made foreman until the Shatfords sold in 1919. During this time he bought the Hester Creek Ranch (1906), and pieces of the former Haynes estates; much of Kruger Mtn, Vaseaux (Swan) Lake (1935). He was a keen judge of horses and cattle and was able to carry on as a successful stockman and cattleman in a big way despite the encroachment of the modern era. In appearance, he was every inch a cowboy with his large, flat-brimmed Pikes Peak hat, silk neckerchief and woolly chaps. “There is so much more that could be said about Val Haynes”. He was an outstanding cattleman and cowboy, and remained active until a month before his death in 1963.


In 1904 Harry Haughton made his permanent move to BC in 1906 with his wife and 3 year old son Jack. Three years later they moved and homesteaded in Knutsford. Leonard and Ernest were born in the following years, 1910 & 1911 respectively, and Don the youngest brother, was born in 1918. Every Saturday the family would take their produce and meat to the farmers market in Kamloops (until it shut down 1918). Over the years the Haughtons obtained more and more land. Ernie joined 4H in 1928 and his first show was the Bull Sale in 1929. He also won the judging competition in Vancouver the following year and went to Toronto to the Royal Winter Fair. Ernie was also a 4H Beef Club leader. Leonard and Ernie were both very involved in 4H and in the Bull Sales and Provincial Winter Fair. In the 1970s the brothers went their separate ways, each taking one of the properties. Ernie had moved to Kamloops in 1957 but his sons, Jim, Ken and Doug assisted him by running the original ranch. He was very proud of the Shorthorn Cattle he had raised over the years. The three boys assumed ownership of the ranch after Ernie’s death in 1986 and at that time added more properties to their holdings. In the mid 1990s the boys began operating independently – Jim continued with cow-calf on High Lonesome Ranch, Ken had a cow-calf operation at Separation Lake, and Doug at Southlands Ranch. Doug switched from cow calf in 1998 to yearling heifers and now avidly promotes quality local Black Angus beef. In 2013 Jim saw his 55th year of showing at the Provincial Winter Fair. The Haughton families take pride in the ranch’s history & heritage and they look forward to passing it on to future generations. Their homestead that was purchased in 1909-1910 has never left the family.

Coldwell Ranch and Charlie Coldwell
Harry Coldwell was born in England in 1882 and moved to Vancouver in the spring of 1910. After two seasons he moved to Ashcroft and built houses in the area. He spent the winter building homes at Gang Ranch and in Dog Creek. In 1914 Harry bought a place called “Mountain House” with two others and registered the CD brand for both horses and cattle. He became sole owner in 1919 and changed the name from “Mountain House” to “Jesmond”. As well as a ranch the property was also a stopping house for the BX Stage Coach. Harry also became a postmaster for Canada Post and delivered mail from Clinton to Jesmond, Gang Ranch, and Canoe Creek. After the house burned down in 1921 they built a new one. By this time the stage coach traffic had slowed down and motorized vehicles started going by so they decided to make Jesmond a store and gas station as well as the post office. At the ranch today they still have buildings from the store days … “an ice house, meat house, warehouse, and the old ‘plant house’ where the generator was”. The ranch transferred to Harry’s son Pete in 1971 after Harry’s death in 1970. Pete was also a guide outfitter and owned the hunting area which he turned over to Raymond in the mis 1980s. In 1993 Pete transferred the title of the ranch to Charlie. Pete died later that same year. Charlie and his wife Pat switched from doing horseback hunting trips to pack trips for tourists and still run the ranch and about 150 head of mother cows. As well as the Coldwell Ranch being inducted as a Century Ranch, Charlie was inducted as a Working Cowboy – Charlie said he can never remember a time when he wasn’t surrounded by both horses and cattle.

Louis Family The Ben Louis family in Vernon has been involved in rodeo for five generations as well as raising both horses and cattle. They have rodeoed in BC, throughout Canada, and the US. They have been involved as judges, organizers, and competitors in amateur, professional and Indian rodeos. They have been great promoters of the sport as well as winning their fair share of trophies and trophy saddles over the years. The family was actively involved in the birth of the Western Indian Rodeo and Exhibition Association which at one time approved 22 rodeos in BC. In the early 1970s they started and ran the “Head of Lake Rodeo” that is believed to be the first, and only, professional rodeo on Reserve Land. They attracted more bronc riders (about 50) than any other rodeo in Canada. Ben Louis was born in 1909 and passed away in 1995. He and his wife Rosie had nine boys and six girls. Ben was a cowboy in and out of the arena, a pickup man, and a team roper. His sons: Mike was a team roper and a quality registered Quarter Horse breeder. Charlie was a saddle bronc rider, Howard competed in team roping, Robert team ropes and trains horses, and Frank rode saddle broncs. Oliver (passed away 1992 at 44) was an all round cowboy competing in; saddle bronc, steer wrestling, team roping, calf roping, and even rode a few bulls. Cecil is also an all round cowboy competing in saddle bronc, steer wrestling, calf roping, a little bareback, and still team ropes. Blaine and Vaughn both rode saddle bronc and continue to team rope. These cowboys have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren continuing in their footsteps.

Tom Desmond was born January 24th, 1927 in Kamloops and received all his schooling there. His family ran a dairy farm and an orchard in Brocklehurst. Tom had 3 or 4 cows to milk in the morning before going to school and again at night. Never liking the milk cow or farming business and always having to break horses on the side, Tom left Kamloops on horseback and rode to the Diamond S Ranch at Dog Creek where his friend Guint Gullrich was cow boss. Here he began a lifetime of cowboying. After a year at Diamond S Ranch he moved to the Alkali Lake Ranch for a few years. He then spent one summer guiding in the Spatzizi for Tommy Walker but on his return he hired on as a full time cowboy for Circle S Ranch at Dog Creek. This meant riding 12 months of the year and covering some 6000 plus miles on horseback each year. Tom worked between Alkali Lake and Dog Creek for about 20 years as a cowboy and at the last as Cow Boss at Dog Creek. By this time Tom had bought his own small ranch at the top of Pinchbeck Hill and later added the George Felker Ranch at Chimney Lake. He still did all of his own riding and some for the Mission Ranch as well. He did this until his health started to fail and he then turned things over to his son Reggie. Tom Desmond passed away September 13th, 2006.

Bob Kjos was born in 1935 and raised in Alberta. He worked with his dad as a guide outfitter. In the winter months they had permits to catch wild horses which they broke and either sold or put in their pack string. In 1955 Bob helped start, and was a director of, the Foothills Cowboy Association. He married Maxine Christopher in 1955 and they had two children. In 1966 he bought a hunting area and the Toad River Lodge in Northern BC – Mile 422 on the Alaska Highway. The lodge came with 100 head of cattle. In 1969 they homesteaded 380 acres across the Toad River which allowed them to raise enough feed for the cattle and a hundred head of horses. Their hunting business (now known as Stone Mountain Safaris) was very successful and Bob was able to retire at the young age of 40. He then got the rodeo bug, sold the ranch in Toad River and moved to Fort St John where he started team roping and raising roping stock. Bob qualified for the Northwest Rodeo Association finals 18 times and won the Team Roping Championship four times. Bob wrote an autobiography called “Horse Shoe In My Hip Pocket – Lucky Again” which is now in its third printing with over 5000 copies sold. It’s a book about “close calls and fun experiences”. Bob was honoured as the Grand Prairie Stampede’s Honorary Cowboy in 2014. Bob and Maxine are now retired on their ranch in Montney, BC (just north west of Fort St John).

Joe Piva and his brother acquired property near Pinantan Lake in 1914 where they cleared the land and raised cattle. Over the years they added property and grazing leases and have developed a high quality commercial herd. Joe’s son Vic has lived and worked on Lloyd Creek Ranch from the time he was born and bought out his brothers Albert and Gordon in 1966. Good horses have always been an essential part of the Lloyd Creek Ranch operations as cattle were moved all the way from Kamloops to the ranch and to the far reaches of the vast rugged range above the ranch. Lloyd Creek Ranch still practices traditional brandings, turnouts, summer cattle drives, and fall roundups. They have taken pride in honoring BC’s ranching heritage and traditions for over 100 years in the same family … and Vic still rides tall in the saddle.


Stan Jacobs is the cow boss at Canada’s largest ranch, the Douglas Lake Cattle Company, and has been for the past 25 years. It’s Stan’s job to oversee 16 to 18 cowboys, 20,000 head of cattle and a remuda of about 350 horses. Stan was born in Calgary June 22nd, 1956, but his family moved to DeWinton soon thereafter. Here he got his appreciation for the land; hunting, fishing, and trapping. When Stan graduated from high school he applied at a college in Hinton with the idea of becoming a park warden. The courses were full so Stan decided to get a job as a cowboy. He spent a few years pasture riding for Alberta Livestock Transplants then moved to BC and took on a job cowboying with a friend at Nicola Ranch in 1980. Here he met and married his wife Shirley. In 1984 they moved to Gang Ranch for a short time, then returned to the Nicola Valley, range riding on Pike Mountain. They returned to Nicola Ranch in 1985 as cowboss and had two kids, Megan and Cameron. In 1987 the family made the move to Douglas Lake Ranch and in 1990, with the retirement of Mike Ferguson, Stan became the cowboss. Cattle graze 10 months of the year and the herd consists of about 4,500 Hereford cows and 2,500 Black Baldie cows and 450 bulls. 4,500 yearlings are put on grass the following spring to be sold as long yearlings in the fall. Each year about 1,500 yearling heifers are retained as replacements. Douglas Lake Ranch cattle are grazed on over 350,000 acres of Crown grazing land and the ranch has about 5,700 acres of crop land producing as much as 6,000 tons of hay and 21,000 tons of silage. Stan is a believer in tradition and all the cattle work at Douglas Lake Ranch is done with horses.

Raphael Pascal Alphonse was born to Mabel (Lee) and Charlie Alphonse on December 17, 1928 in Anaham Meadow. He spent many years in this meadow feeding cattle in winter and making hay in summer. In his younger years, Raphael also worked at many ranches: Chilco Ranch, Chezzacut Ranch, Gang Ranch, Onward Ranch, and others. He was one of the best team ropers and calf ropers, on the head or the heels, he didn’t care. Raphael competed in the Chilcotin Rodeo Association (CRA), British Columbia Rodeo Association (BCRA), British Columbia Indian Rodeo Association (BCIRA), the Interior Rodeo Association (IRA), and many jackpot rodeos. He won many trophies and buckles and was proud of his BCIRA gold membership card. Raphael trained many of his own horses for rodeo and took great care and pride, spending many hours in training his “hosses”. He trained his last horse at age 80. He attended farrier training in Dawson Creek in 1970 and was certified. Raphael and his wife Susie ranched and raised seven children; Florence, Bella, Faye, Karen, Melvin, and twins Carla and Carl, and their oldest granddaughter Sharmon for her first few years. Raphael passed away on November 12, 2014 and had rode his horse up until two years before his passing.

Henry Schneider was born November 3rd, 1916 in Ashcroft. His parents, John and Lena, had moved, by covered wagon, from the US to a homestead in Upper Hat Creek. Henry was their middle child of three, with sisters Edna and Helen (Helen was inducted into the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame 1999 view). All three turned out to be great, hardworking ranchers and were more comfortable in the saddle t han anywhere. Henry met Elsie Johnston, a school teacher who had moved to Ashcroft from the Prairies and in October 1951 they married. They never had children of their own, but did have an extended family of neighbours and friends’ kids that often stayed with them on holidays. Henry raised cattle on the property homesteaded by his parents. He ran about 200 head of cows and kept the calves till they were long yearlings. He was an excellent grass manager and cattleman and his yearlings always brought top price. Henry and Elsie kept a couple of milk cows, a couple of pigs and a bunch of chickens and raised their own hay and grain to feed these animals. Henry was also a very good horseman and cowboy, he participated in some of the local rodeos in both calf roping and team roping. He was particularly good at heeling calves and was in great demand as a heeler at the various brandings in the Upper Hat Creek Valley and in the Ashcroft area. He was also a great friend to all who knew him. They sold the ranch in 1965, worked on the Harper ranch for a while, had 2 addresses in Cache Creek, and then moved to 16 mile. Henry spent the rest of his life cowboying for whoever needed a hand around the area. He passed away on April 6th, 1991.

Hank Krynen was born September 14th, 1932 in Bussum, Holland. During WWII, the occupying soldiers would let a young Hank feed and groom the army horses starting a love for horses. He would also harness and drive any animal that would allow it. Liberated in 1945 by the Canadians, Hank always wanted to see where those “tough buggers” came from. Well, in 1950 at the age of 18, he did just that. While attending Utrecht University, he had the opportunity to come to Canada to work on a farm in Ft. Langley. He left Holland on a Troop Transport ship and made his way across Canada by train. Working his way across BC, Hank made it to the Cariboo where he first worked on the Fox Mountain Ranch for Jim Fox and then for Harold Robson. One spring in the early 1950’s his good friend Lenny DeRose took him to a rodeo at Alkali Lake … he loved it there and took a job as cowboy for Mario Riedemann, and cow boss Bill Twan, at the Alkali Lake Ranch, a place where he was to spend most of his working life. In1961, Hank took a short diversion from Alkali Lake to the Circle S Ranch at Dog Creek. He then rode for Hugh & Sonia Cornwall at the Onward Ranch, always referring to Hugh as a “true gentleman.” When Martin Riedemann took over ownership of the Alkali Lake Ranch from his father in the early 1960’s, Hank was appointed Foreman and continued in that role for 15 years, until he left the ranch in 1978 when Martin passed away. By this time, Hank had married Julia Dakin and they had two children, Andrew and Joanna. An avid rodeo competitor in his youth, Hank participated in the Calf Roping and Team Roping events at local rodeos and the Wild Cow Milking in the Williams Lake Stampede. In his late 70’s, Hank was driving teams in the Williams Lake Stampede Parades with Inductees of the Cowboy Hall of Fame. At the age of 70 he drove a team and wagon from Chezacut to Quesnel for the Mulvahill Wagon Train and he also took guests for wagon rides at his own surprise 80th birthday party. Hank, at age 83, now has his own place on the west side of the Fraser where he still ranches. He acquired a new saddle horse at the age of 80 and a Percheron draft horse at age 82


William Robert Twan “Bronc” was born October 14, 1951, in Williams Lake to Bill and Margaret Twan and was raised on the Alkali Lake Ranch. His father (inducted in 2000) was cowboss for the von Riedemann family. Bronc started competing at an early age and was one of the first members of the Interior Amateur Rodeo Association. He rodeo’d competitively for five decades. Bronc hired on full-time at Alkali Lake Ranch, mainly as a cowboy, becoming a true ‘stockman’ in later years. He has the ability to read a cow and know what she is going to do. Always well-mounted, he raised and trained his own horses from a very early age. Bronc met Elizabeth (Liz) Skipp at a WL Stampede Barn Dance in 1976 and they were married October 14, 1978. Sons, Willee (1981) and Jesse (1985) grew up working with their father on the ranch much as Bronc had done with his father. Bronc could often be found honing his roping skills and/or teaching some of the younger crew the fine art of rodeo. In 2005 he received the BC Rodeo Association Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2008 a Lifetime Pass to the Williams Lake Stampede and in 2016 the Living Rodeo Legend recognized at the 40th Annual Elders Gathering. In 1977 the Mervyn family kept Bronc on as cowboss, and he became ranch manager in the mid-eighties. Bronc was employed at Alkali Lake Ranch from 1969 until his retirement in 2016 … 47 consecutive years! Those who worked for Bronc at Alkali Lake Ranch know he was one of those rare bosses who led by example and made all tasks enjoyable. Upon retirement, Bronc and Liz moved to their retirement acreage mid-way between Alkali Lake and Williams Lake. Bronc keeps busy clearing land and looking after a small cow herd of their own and is often called on to help out sons and neighbours. He also enjoys spending time with his granddaughters who all live close by. Perhaps one of Bronc’s most important accomplishments is to have raised, along with Liz, a family that carries on the ranching traditions and values instilled in Bronc.

Mark’s family ranched in Oregon until 1960 when his Dad decided to move north. They bought a ranch at Woodpecker along the Fraser River between Quesnel and Prince George. They expanded using the Ag Lease Program and by purchasing land from neighbours. Mark grew up riding young horses, chasing yearlings and trapping in the winter. Between 1974 and 1979 Mark studied Animal Science at Cal Poly University in California. Here he met Laura, and they very happily returned to the north and put their energy into developing the Bar K Ranch north of Prince George with Mark as the manager. They spent 35 years on the Bar K raising cattle, horses, and a couple of boys. They took the ranch from 400 auction cows to a herd triple the size. Mark gained a reputation for selecting quality cattle and purebred breeders took cues from his insight. He was often asked to judge bull shows. Mark’s Father was a buckaroo and veteran of the US Cavalry, and he passed his horsemanship and stockmanship knowledge to his children. Mark, in turn, mentored many young cowboys and cowgirls who were eager to learn. Mark (and Laura) provided much leadership to the industry over the years: There was rarely a time when he was not volunteering with PG Cattlemen’s Association, BC Cattlemen’s Association and/or Canadian Cattlemen’s. The philosophy of teaching didn’t end at employees of the ranch; The Bar K also participated in “Agriculture in the Classroom” and hosted thousands of students while Mark was manager. With knowledge passed down from great horsemen, and his own experience, Mark began doing colt starting and horsemanship clinics. He also helped the ‘Farm and Ranch Health and Safety Association’ develop a teaching manual for the ranching community, and has given workshops for the SPCA. After retiring from the ranch in 2015, Mark still helps out and mentors the younger cowboys as needed. He also does horse training clinics and is a well respected judge at the Mane Event Trainers Challenge every year.

From his earliest cowboying days almost 40 years ago on the vast Canadian prairie pasture lands to BC’s historic big cow outfits, Miles Kingdon has certainly worn out his share of custom saddles. His formative years spent at Douglas Lake Ranch under such respected horsemen as Stan Murphy and cattlemen Mike Ferguson and Orval Roulston, set the stage for later lead-off positions at large established commercial ranches in the Nicola Valley. Notably, Miles held cowboss positions on the Bar K and the Gang Ranch; he was the manager at Empire Valley Ranch, and eventually served ten years as manager of cattle operations at Quilchena Cattle Company. The geographical diversity of these big outfits has provided Miles with a true cowboy’s grasp of practical horsemanship and livestock handling in all weather conditions, in all possible circumstances. Miles bases his philosophy of helping horses through the historic and traditional Californio style applied horsemanship. In addition to the clinics, camps and workshops, Miles also offers a customized training program. It is throughout these 40 years in the industry that Miles has recognized the true meaning of an equine partnership built on trust, confidence and respect. Miles has spent time in both Mexico and California studying horsemanship and this, along with years of colt starting, is the knowledge and the traditions he is now passing on through horsemanship and horse training clinics. Miles has also done clinics for Extreme Mountain Trail, he’s judged the Californio Bridle horse show, judged lots of working ranch horse competitions, and he’s been a well respected judge at the Mane Event Trainer’s Challenge for years. Miles now manages a yearling pasture for Nicola Ranch and he cowboys for Coldstream Ranch when needed.

Antoine Harry was born in Alkali Lake on January 16, 1927, and he later moved to Dog Creek Reserve where he spent the rest of life. Antoine came from a large family – three brothers and seven sisters. Antoine married Julia Alphonse 1951 and together they raised twelve children of their own. Antoine was trained at an early age to respect the animals and the land, and he was known for his horsemanship … he rode and broke all his horses, and drove team and wagon for various outfits. He was known for riding rough stock, he could ride any horse. Antoine was always involved in ranching, and he owned his own livestock operation. The horses that Antoine trained were such that they were suitable for a toddler or a working cowboy. Antoine worked for the Circle S Ranch, Gang Ranch, Pigeon Ranch, Little Dog Creek Ranch, Mountain Ranch and Alkali Lake Ranch. He worked with his brother Gilbert Harry and many other well known cowboys in the area. Antoine was Chief for Dog Creek community from 1974 to 1976, served as Councillor from 1960 – 1962, and again from 1968 – 1970 and a third term from 1978 – 1980. The friendships that Antoine made were lifelong relationships. He could always ask a friend for help when in need, and he would return the favor. Antoine loved to ride, he loved music, and he loved his family and friends.

Gilbert Harry was born Gilbert Charles Chelsea August 5th, 1922. During his school years he went by Gilbert Nels (his father was Nels Chelsea) and later, after his mother remarried to Willie Harry, he changed his name to Gilbert Harry. Gilbert spent all his life in the Dog Creek area ranching. He rode in the Mountain Race at the Williams Lake Stampede 3 times, placing each time. In 1950 he rode using his brother Antoine’s name and won. In 1951 and 1952 Gilbert placed second. An RCMP officer measured the jump and said his horse Blue Jay jumped 65 feet. Gilbert’s father, Nels Chelsea also won the Mountain Race, in 1930. Gilbert worked at a number of the local ranches as a cowboy. He rode with the best of the old time cowboys including his brother Antoine at the then Diamond S Ranch (Circle S Ranch) at Dog Creek. Gilbert ran the Joe Place ranch where he worked for the Symes as an all around hand. He broke many horses and trailed a lot of cattle in his lifetime. When he got up in years Gilbert worked at the Gang Ranch as a farm hand. Gilbert married Ellen Clemine Kelalest in 1943 and they celebrated 68 years together. They had 8 children and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren & great-great-grandchildren, many of whom are also excellent horsemen. Gilbert loved hockey and was an avid player – a good one too! He was a true Cariboo Cowboy and went to his final rest December 16th, 2009, at 87. Many who knew him often comment on his wonderful sense of humor. 


Lois was born in Oyama, BC, graduated from accounting and moved to Vancouver to work in the Bentall building. She travelled to the 9th floor everyday for few years, then moved back to the Okanagan where she found a job working with displaced kids at the OK Center in a Youth Resources program, funded by the Government. She took the kids on week-long pack trips into the Upper Hat Creek mountains. After the program closed, Lois who was looking for work, met Rip Grey who hired her for the fall gather. This was the beginning of her cowboying career. When Rip moved to Rey Creek, Lois was asked by Henry Schnieder to ride a community pasture in Beaverdam Range, with his sister Helen Kerr. She did this in the following three years by herself, looking after 1200 head owned by three different ranchers. Lois moved around to several ranches before landing at the Diamond S Ranch at Pavilion, an 800 head cow/calf operation. Lois was the cow boss here for 32 years before retiring on September 30th, and moving to Quesnel to begin a new career.

Ken was born in Vanderhoof July 10, 1946. The first parcel of family ranch was originally purchased by Ken’s father in 1945. Ken’s grandfather, Bill, became instrumental in Ken’s passion for, and skill with horses. At a young age Ken was expected to do the chores and help his mom when his father was away selling cattle. He had to harness the team of horses, drive the four miles to the cattle herd, feed, and return. Ken is a cowboy with more GO than WHOA who never gives up, but finds a way to get it done. The first and only saddle Ken has ridden in since he was 10 years old was obtained as a trade for working for his neighbour. This saddle has seen Ken through a life of ranching, a few wrecks and has become of symbol of endurance and respect. Ken has the ability to read an animal and to know when to put pressure on it, which has been gained from a lifetime of experience. Ken is one of the founding members of the Central Interior Feeders Association, was instrumental in bringing the Bred Heifer Association to the area, and has been President for over 20 years. He is currently President of BC Breeder and Feeder Association. Ken and his family, four generations, currently operate a six thousand acre, self-sustaining 550 head cow/calf operation, in Vanderhoof.

Charles H Brous was born in California in 1932. In 1949 he helped a neighbor drive his cattle to the mountains for summer range. After high school, he worked in Yosemite National Park, packing mules in the High Sierras, then working for an importer of Mexican cattle in receiving, distributing and pasture riding. Charlie’s family bought the Sutton Ranch at 150 Mile House in 1963. This new area brought new challenges to ranching that had not been experienced in California. Over the years, and while operating the Sutton Ranch, Charlie competed in Team Roping in both the Interior Rodeo Association (now BCRA) and the BC Team Roping Association (BCTRA). He became director and president of both. With Bruce Watt, he worked with the BCTRA to include the event at the Williams Lake Stampede, and provided the cattle for the first event. His work helped to have Team Roping added to the CPRA rodeos. Charlie and his partner qualified for the North American Rodeo Commission (NARC) finals in Denver, CO, and the highlight of his team roping career was winning both first and second at the great Riske Creek Rodeo where over 100 teams were competing.

David was born in 1948, to Hermie and Evelyn (Twan) Maurice, who at the time worked at the Alkali Lake Ranch. He was born to be a cowboy. As soon as he could ride he could be found on the back of a plump ranch horse called “Puck”, following his father’s team of horses around the fields haying. Onward Cattle Co. (Hugh Cornwall) offered David his first paid cowboying job, for $5 a day. His next fifty-plus years have been riding and following the call of the “unseen cowboy country” as David worked throughout the Cariboo and Chilcotin areas. He worked for Tom Desmond and Jim Symes, then Alkali Lake Ranch, Gang Ranch, Nicola Lake Ranch, Frolek Ranch, the Cotton Ranch, Wineglass Ranch, and Thompson Land & Cattle Co. When he heard that The Onward Cattle Co was seeking a cowboy, he moved back home. He then worked at the River Ranch where he stayed put for fourteen years, before moving on to the Chilco Ranch. Thinking about retiring, but not quite ready, he has since worked in part time jobs and can currently be found (at age 69) riding the range for Douglas Lake Ranch in the Alkali and Riske Creek divisions.

Joe Schuk was born in Rosthern, Saskatchewan in 1918. In the Great Depression, 1936, Joe at age 17 left Saskatchewan with his family and headed west, to West Branch, an area in the Chilcotin, 30 miles out of Tatla Lake. Joe worked where and how he could, saving money for his dream of owning his own ranch. He bought his first cows in 1937, and having no owned land, had to farm them out. In 1939 he bought 120 acres in the Tatlayoko Valley, which had a house, outbuildings and place to keep the cows. In 1941 he bought the neighboring 160 acres. Joe built the ranch, carving it from brush and rock, and built his cow herd one cow at a time. Joe married Katie McGhee in 1946. Katie was born and raised ranching in the Tatlayoko Valley. Her family has been here since the early 1920s. Joe and Katie raised a family of four; Marjorie, Calvin, Nora and Clifford. They are all involved in ranching with Clifford and his wife running the Home ranch and Mountain House. Calvin and his wife ranch at Telkwa near Smithers. Nora and her husband, Walter Lampert, ranch in the Blackwater. Several of the grandchildren are involved in ranching and rodeo.

Mike and Pat Jasper, born to Delmer and Irene Jasper, were born and raised in Riske Creek. Mike, born in 1964 is the second youngest of eight children, and Pat is the sixth child, born in 1956. 

Mike Jasper has competed in rodeos from a young age, but after graduating in 1984 he began his career as a working cowboy. He worked for the Ilnicki Ranch, Riske Creek Ranch, and at one point was the range rider for three ranches in the same summer. In 1988 he took a full time job with Riske Creek Ranching where he worked until Dec 2015 when the ranch sold. He then started working for the Wineglass Cattle Co where he is still working today. Mike married Connie (Mulvahill) and they had two children, Kayla and Ryan. They grew up in the saddle and would often go to work with Mike. Mike and Connie have built their homestead in Riske Creek and have a small herd of beef cattle. Mike has spent the majority of his life on the back of a horse. His horsemanship skills have become well known and he often has a waitlist of people wanting him to put miles on their horses.

Pat Jasper also competed in rodeos and attributes High School Rodeo for keeping him in school. Pat has been a working cowboy for over 50 years. His first job at age 17 was working for Thompson Land and Cattle Co. He has also worked at River Ranch, Cotton Ranch, Diamond S Ranch and Deer Park. He returned to the Riske Creek area where he worked for Bald Mtn. and Raven Lake Community pastures as Range Rider and working for Wineglass in the winter months feeding cattle, calving and day to day cowboy work. Following Wineglass, he began working at Chilco Ranch. During his years of working on local ranches and his own place, he also raised and trained his own working cow dogs, colts and trained other people’s horses. Pat’s laid back personality, light handed riding, good roping skills, patience, and many miles in the saddle make him the accomplished horseman he is today. Pat might swear at his dog from time to time but never at his horse. Pat and his wife, Lorraine, with 3 children moved to the family homestead in 1991, which the wildfires of 2017 consumed. They plan to rebuild and return to live in Riske Creek.


Phillip Camille was born March 15th, 1933 in Dog Creek, BC. He grew up in the villages of Canoe Creek and Dog Creek. As a young boy, he trapped alongside his family. Later, he started working on area ranches putting up hay. His working cowboy career was spent at the Dog Creek Ranch, Gang Ranch, BC Cattle Company, Empire Valley Ranch and Diamond S (which later became the Circle S Ranch). Phillip had the reputation of having good horses and good dogs. He went on to run his own herd of cattle, passing on his natural ability, skill and work ethic to those around him. He had a way with horses, breaking many for the ranches he worked on as well as for his own personal use. At the age of 66, he had the opportunity of a lifetime to be an extra as a rider for the movie the “13th Warrior”, which was partly filmed in the Little Dog Creek area. Phillip was known for his great sense of humour, work ethic, affection for animals and his love for family and friends. Many stories demonstrate the respect and admiration he accumulated throughout his life by all who knew him as a working cowboy. Phillip passed away, after a short battle with cancer, on October 11th, 2014 at the age of 81.

Willie says “I was never much of a contestant, but I did compete twice at the Williams lake Stampede. In 1947, I rode my first and last bare back horse …. In 1949, I was working at the 150 Mile the Ranch for Hugh Cornwall and he entered us in calf roping. I did compete in the 1960’s at the Springhouse Sports Club and Don MacDonald and I won the wild cow milking for the year …”. That pretty much completes his competitive life. Later in life Willie volunteered at the Williams Lake Stampede off and on, for a number of years, but when he got married in 1950 to Terry, that was really the start of their life. Willie and Terry went to the Calgary Stampede for their Honeymoon, then continued to live their life around their love, the sport of rodeo. He owned the Western Store in Williams Lake since 1983, sponsoring cash to all local rodeos. Willie was instrumental in the Ladies Barrel racers getting equal pay for their event. He began sponsoring the event in 1984, continuing until his store sold in 2002. Willie and Terry volunteered at many rodeos all over BC, organizing the programs, draws, and payouts. Willie was involved with the high school rodeo starting in 1972. He and Terry volunteered, and have worked every High School Rodeo except for one, since. He has been the announcer for enough years that he is now introducing the grandchildren of the competitors of earlier years. In 1977 he started going to the Canadian Rodeo Finals in Edmonton and after that he began putting together an annual tour bus for attendees from the Williams Lake area. He has continued to organize the very successful tour every year to this day.

Hilbert J. DeLeeuw was born Sept 24, 1914 in Kamloops. The son to Germaine and Frank DeLeeuw who immigrated from Belgium in 1912. Hilbert had a twin sister, Hilma Frolek and one younger brother, Andre. He finished grade eight and went to work on the farm to help his father. Eventually the farm-ranch became F. DeLeeuw & Sons. Hilbert along with his brother Andre operated the purebred cattle business. It became DeLeeuw Ranch Ltd in July 1968. He loved his cattle and the cowboy way of life. He was most comfortable on the back of a horse, he loved riding. Hilbert spent many years as a 4-H leader, member of the Rosehill Farmer’s Institute, Kamloops Stockmen’s Association, BC Cattlemen’s Association and BC Livestock Co-op Producers. He was also a 4-H member for many years, and the highlight of his 4-H years wasa trip to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto with Ernie Haughton which they won for their judging skills. Hilbert would get called upon to be a beef judge at different fairs throughout BC, another aspect of his life that he truly enjoyed. Hilbert’s family consisted of 5 sons, 1 daughter and a step-daughter. Hilbert passed away April 2000.

Lawrence Elkins, of the great Chilcotin Nation, Anaham Reserve, BC has been a lifelong cowboy and is still seated strong in the saddle at 73 yrs old. Growing up on the back of a horse from very young age, the second oldest of 12 boys born to Annie and Thomas Elkins. At the age of 16, Lawrence started his rodeo career in bareback riding, three to four years later he began saddle bronc riding and continued riding in this event for 20 years, mostly in BC and the United States. Lawrence was a well-known, highly-respected man, who had his own fan club follow him to rodeos “just to watch him ride”. He competed in the Interior Rodeo Association (IRA) now BCRA, Northern Rodeo Association (NRA), and BC Indian Rodeo Association. “Lot of people say I should have ‘done the Circuit’ but I chose to stay in BC instead …” He continued to dominate in the sport he loved, dazzling the crowds with his unique, flashy riding style, and at age 30 retired on his own terms. Back home he continued ranching & taking out American hunters for his father in 1962-1975 and then took over the business from 1976-present. Retiring from cattle ranching in 2004, he still works/cowboys for local ranchers & Chilco Ranch to keep himself busy. In last few years, he began instructing and supplying well-trained horses for the Youth Horsemanship Program in both Anaham & Redstone communities.

James William “Bill” Holland came up from Washington State in July 1912 to the Cariboo and in September, filed for a pre-emption on 320 acres, bordering Roe Lake, BC. Bill’s wife Martha and five of their children arrived soon after. The family worked together to get the homestead cleared for crops and a garden and things began to shape up. The original log home was built by Bill on the shores of Roe Lake. In 1922, daughter Bertha married Elis Granberg. Elis had emigrated from Sweden and had a homestead near Lone Butte. Bertha & Elis Granberg took over the Roe Lake property from her father in 1926. The original log house burned down in 1927 and a new log home was rebuilt by Elis. Bertha and Elis raised cattle and hay crops on both the Roe Lake land and Elis’ pre-emption near Lone Butte for the next 35 years. Bertha and Elis had five children and in 1961 they retired leaving the management of the Roe Lake ranch to their son, Harold “Curly” Granberg. Curly remarried Gun Granquist in 1971 and they raised four children on the ranch: Michael, Norman, Vicktoria and Lars. In 2012, the Roe Lake Granbergs were recognized with the Century Farm and Ranch Award by the BC Government. The Roe Lake ranch continues as a working ranch today and is home to Gun, Vicky and Norman Granberg and their family.

Charlie Moon (Sr) was born September 29, 1872 in Old Shoreham, Sussex, England. In 1888, he travelled to Canada at age 16, ending up in Ashcroft, BC. After going back and forth to England a few times, in 1902 Charlie bought property in the Chilcotin area. Through the years of frugal living, hard work & thrifty management Charlie acquired an empire, purchasing the Meldrum Creek Ranch, Hillcrest (Bristol Place), Till Place, Cassidy Place, Sheep Creek, Kinlock Ranch, Kinlock Meadow, McRae and Ross meadows and other smaller homestead properties as they became available. Charlie built a cattle empire, but also invested in his community, becoming one of the founding members of many organizations such as BC Livestock Coop, BC Beef Growers Association, and the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association. Charlie and his wife Jessie had 5 children. In the early 1940’s Charlie divided some of his properties between his three sons. The Meldrum Creek Ranch went to Melville – his family operated the ranch until 2012; the Hillcrest Ranch went to Pudge – operating the ranch until 1954; and Cyril retained the Deer Park Ranch – his family operated the ranch until 1981. Charlie’s leadership, organizational skills and community involvement were inherited by his children and grandchildren. Some have pursued individual careers, but some of the grandchildren and great grandchildren are involved in ranching, are well respected cattlemen, and continue to serve their communities.