Robert (Bob) Ward
Robert Ward, or Bob, as he was known to all his friends and family, was
born in Northern California. His parents were Elisha and Sarah Ann (Price)
Ward. Elisha was a young Teamster, born in Illinois, who came west from
Texas. Where his parents, Jeremiah and Nancy Freeman Ward, had homesteaded
on Ward Creek, in Fannin County.
Bob was one of a large family. His family moved to Oregon in 1878 or 79
living on a homestead in Lake County for several years until they moved
to Harney County in Eastern Oregon, where they lived on a Ranch at Calamity,
or Van, as it was known later, which is close to Burns, Oregon.
After a dispute with his step-mother over chopping and packing firewood,
Bob saddled his pony and left, rode to Lake County, Oregon, where he got
his first job wrangling horses. One winter he stayed with a couple of
Buckaroos who were living in Klamath County, George Lamb and George Durkee.
Soon great stories of Bobs success were coming back to the family.
He learned to handle horses like an expert. He had grown into a very tall,
slim young man, and carried himself straight and tall, all of 6 foot,
1 in., very agile and graceful.
Around 1912, Bob was back in Harney County, Oregon staying with his brother,
Charlie, who had taken up a homestead on Black Creek. He Buckarooed for
several different outfits, among them, Pacific Livestock, Co. (Miller
and Lux outfit), who had a division in Winnemucca, Nevada. At this time,
Bob met a young lady, Maude (Street) Hart, and they were married September
11, 1912. The marriage didnt last, and, Bob ended up in Nevada.
In Nevada, his reputation as a top-notch Buckaroo grew, working for many
outfits, but seemed to stay with Able and Curtner (Circle A Ranch). Bill
Able, a partner in the ranch said Bob Ward was, in his opinion, the best
horseman and cattleman they had ever hired on. Bob was sometimes cantankerous,
but Art Able remembered a time when they sent Bob on a week-long cattle
drive, with just Art and his brothers, who were all pretty young, and
when they complained of being cold, Bob would get off and build them a
Bob was a salty old Buckaroo, but evidently knew his trade
well, and worked hard and played hard. Bob worked with another Buckaroo
for many years, Tom Pedroli. Tom said, Bob taught him everything he knew.
Tom also said Bob could lay a horse down on its side and step away just
as spry as a young Buckaroo. Bob could be darn ornery. said
Tom. Bob like to pull pranks and one time when he was breaking horses
for the Pitchfork Ranch, he used a workhorse bridle with blinders to break
them, and then when the other Buckaroos tried to get on his horses without
blinds, they were all thrown because the horses could see them.
Not long before Bob died, he and Tom Pedroli were riding on the desert,
out in the Tom Creek area, when they saw a big rattle snake. Tom asked
Bob if he was going to shoot it? No, let it go--Im not going
to be around much longer anyway, so hes not going to bother me.
Bob Ward passed away in Winnemucca, Nevada on December 2, 1935.
Bob was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 1993.
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