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