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Theodore Brown

Theodore Brown (1915-20__)

Theodore Brown was born in Paradise Valley, NV on October 15, 1915. His parents worked for the William Stock Farming Company and lived on the ranch. His father did general ranch work, his mother did laundry, and also helped harvest the grain and potatoes. Theodore was born in a small house behind the old main house at the ranch. He learned to ride as a young boy and moved to Owyhee with his family when he was small. It was there he spent his boyhood, riding horses, roping, and breaking horses to ride.

When Theodore became a young man, he returned to the William Stock property, now widely known as the 96 Ranch in Paradise Valley. The ranch records show that he started work there as early as 1931, and full time work there in 1934.

He worked as a buckaroo with the ranch, enjoyed the company of fellow native horsemen, like his Uncle Albert Skedaddle. Fredrick B. Stewart, 96 ranch manager until his death in 1959, often said that Theodore was at home in the saddle and was the most naturally talented man with a rope that he'd ever seen.

Theodore spent most of his time out on the range near the Martin Creek drainage and out on the Owyhee Desert. There wasn't much of this territory that he hadn't ridden, and most of it many times over.

Les Stewart cow boss of the 96 Ranch remembered fondly his 45 or more years of working with Theodore. "He was a quiet man. A calm man, who knew who he was and how he wanted to live his life. He was confident in his abilities without ever having to boast."

Les Stewart also said about Theodore," Everyone just knew that Theodore would get the job done, no question about it." He was the top man to stay out with the cattle all summer. He had a small Indian crew, and they always did a good job. Les Stewart would go out to the camp to check on them and take them some supplies. Theodore was usually the camp cook too. According to Les Stewart he was one of the best camp cooks.

He was a man of few words. Les Stewart claimed that Theodore would go days without saying a word. On one occasion, he rode with Theodore for four days, sunup to sundown without a word. Then as they peeked over Buttermilk Mtn., they spotted something very unusual up ahead. Both men recognized what it was... Theodore simply said "What's that, a billy goat way up here?" And that was it, nothing more.

Theodore enjoyed riding horseback and seemed to take in everything that was around him. He rode enough to take in plenty. From Paradise Valley, east to the Snowstorm Mts. then north to Calico Mt., Eight Mile and throughout the Santa Rosa Mt. Range. He rode on an average of 15 miles a day 230 days a year. It is estimated in his 45 years riding for the 96 Ranch, Theodore logged over 148, 500 miles in the saddle. It is estimated that he wore out more that forty horses in his long career at the 96. He also worked cattle in the corrals with the best of them. His slow, easy work with a rope was like watching a great artist at work.

Theodore has a quiet and unobtrusive nature, one time he was standing outside Les Stewart's ranch home on the porch, not wanting to bother anyone. Les saw him standing there and went out to see what he wanted. He asked Theodore what was happening and he calmly replied, "The bunkhouse is on fire."

Theodore married his wife Eva in the early 1940's and together they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Charlotte. The family generally lived separately throughout much of the year while Theodore was working at the 96. His family usually came over from McDermitt to visit him on Sundays or Theodore would travel there to see them on his days off. He retired from the ranch in 1979 and move to McDermitt with his wife Eva. Eva passed away in 1989. Today, Theodore lives with his daughter, Charlotte in McDermitt, NV. He makes periodic visits back to the 96 Ranch and the Santa Rosa Mts. to collect fire wood for winter fires. He is widely respected as an elder amongst his native community and participates in tribal functions whenever possible.

Theodore Brown was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 2006