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Frank Hammond

FRANK HAMMOND (1886-1960)

Frank Hammond was born March 24, 1886, at the Jake’s Creek Ranch in Northeastern Humboldt County, Nevada, to Frank Hammond (born in France) and Emma Wirtz Hammond (born in Switzerland).

Frank left home at the age of 12 to wrango horses for the Double Square outfit. Frank Hammond married Elizabeth May King, in Austin, Nevada in August of 1917. They had four children, Francis M. (Hot Springs Ranch, NV), Orvin S. (California), Albert J. (Eureka, NV) and Emma F (Gondolfo) (Fallon, NV).

Frank & Elizabeth made their home in Battle Mountain, Nevada. Frank worked many years for the Jenkins Ranching Co., which was owned by Cap and Louise Marvel. He then moved his family to the Martin Ranch, where he was hired as ranch foreman by Cap Marvel. He broke horses to be used on the ranches. It was here that his reputation as a Buckaroo bronc rider spread throughout the country. One horse in particular that he broke gained the reputation as the best reined horse in the state of Nevada at that time. A fearless, lithe and wiry young man, he was unbeatable in riding bucking horses, and his talent in roping with a reata soon spread through out the ranching communities. Stories by other men that worked with him, told of the time he was at the Y/P Ranch roping horses, using a reata, roped twenty-three head by the front feet and he never missed a shot.

A storyteller himself never bragged on what HE had done, it was always about someone else’s accomplishments. Everyone had something good to say about Frank Hammond, and considered him the best all-around Buckaroo that they had ever known. He did everything with ease, and made many difficult jobs look easy. He had a terrific sense of humor and many of the stories told on him were unbelievable.

In 1939 Frank moved his family to Austin, Nevada, where he was hired as ranch foreman for the Tillie Walsh Ranches, a large spread on the Reese River. He had to retire from his beloved duties of ranching and buckarooing because of an automobile accident in Fallon, Nevada, which caused him to loose his right leg above the knee.

In 1942, he decided he would run for Sheriff of Lander County, Nevada. He was elected Sheriff of Lander County in November of 1942 and took office in January of 1943. He was Sheriff for twelve years, which left another colorful trail of history in his exciting life. He was never hindered in his work by his leg, worked long hours as Sheriff and continued to tell stories of his Buckaroo days, a keen memory of the past, remembering names of horses, men and events that were humorous. He always has a crowd around him listening to his stories. He worked for most of the big ranches along the Humboldt River, the Filippini Ranch, and the Horseshow Ranch to name a few.

Frank Hammond passed away in Reno, Nevada in 1960. He was buried in Austin, Nevada with the largest gathering of friends ever recorded in attendance. Frank took with him many colorful tales of the west and Buckaroo history.

Frank Hammond was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 1991.