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Bill Thomsen

Bill Thomsen at White Horse Ranch
Bill Thomsen at White Horse Ranch

William Warren Thomsen (1883-1958)

On February 16, 1883, William Warren Thomsen was born in Pilot Rock, Oregon to William Green Thomsen and Lydia Alcott Thomsen.

The Thomsen family moved to the Vale, Oregon area where sometime after that date Bill was raised and schooled through High School. Later on he attended Portland Business College, Portland, Oregon for two years. He later returned to Vale, Oregon where he did freighting with a jerkline team, hauling freight to the old town of Watson, Oregon. Also, at this time Bill hauled materials to build the Oregon Shortline Railroad between Vale, Oregon and Crane, Oregon.

Then he acquired a ranch Southwest of Vale, Oregon known as “Dry Creek”, which is now under the waters of the Owyhee Reservoir. He managed mainly horses and some cattle until the reservoir filled with water. Although it put him out of his own ranching business, Bill and his younger brother Ross went to work for the Miller and Lux Cattle Company, better known as the PLS Company (Pacific Land & Livestock) in the fall of 1924. Bill transferred from the Whitehorse Division to Quinn River, Nevada where he served as the Buckaroo Boss on the Quinn River/Blackrock Division.

In 1927, the Miller and Lux Cattle Company started going out of business and began selling all of the ranches in Nevada. Bill was then transferred. Bill and his younger brother Ross bought a small ranch near Harney City, which they operated as partners.

Bill Thomsen was one of the great Buckaroos of the early 1900’s as well as a good Buckaroo Boss to work for. All of his men went with him as he was transferred to different divisions, Ross Thomsen, Shirley Scoggins, Frank Larenzano, Weaver Bond, Pete Fordyce and Waltzy Elliott.

Bill Thomsen passed away at the age of 76 in 1958.

Bill Thomsen was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 1997.

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