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Lawrence W Miller
Lawrence W. Miller, PX Ranch, Elko, NV, 1939
Lawrence W. Miller, PX Ranch, Elko, NV, 1939

Lawrence W Miller (1913 - 20__)

Lawrence W. Miller was born September 7, 1913 at the family home in Drewsey, Oregon to William W. and Frankie E. Ward Miller. He was the second youngest of 4 children. He lost his mother when he was five years old. He acquired a nickname, "coon " when he was a small boy because he had a favorite book he kept with him about a raccoon. He is still called that by some of his friends today.

Lawrence's dad owned 2 ranches in Harney County, Oregon where he ran 600 to 700 head of cattle. The buckaroo lifestyle came very natural and easy to him. When the opportunity presented itself, one week before Lawrence turned sixteen, he quit school and went to work for Miller & Lux Cattle Co. (Pacific Livestock Co.) at the Pine Creek Ranch. During the winter of that year he was sent to the Island Ranch and then back to Pine Creek in the spring. During the winter of 1930 when the work was slow he went to Anderson Valley (in the Princeton, OR) area and worked for Jim Paul breaking horses. Then he went back to Miller & Lux. While working there he was involved in several cattle drives from the White Horse Ranch in southeastern Oregon to Winnemucca, Nev. Most of them were with about 500 head of steers, while one of the cattle drives consisted of 1,500 head of cattle. He worked on several shorter cattle drives from the Island Ranch near Burns, OR to the White Horse Ranch. One of the highlights of Lawrence's career was that he was involved with the last cattle drive to Winnemucca, NV as well as being the youngest person to carry the Bullhead Draft Book for the Miller & Lux outfit. He carried it for two and a half years to pay expenses for the buckaroos when they were away from the ranch.

In 1932, Lawrence went to work for Bill Moffat, a rancher who had over 15,000 head of cattle and ranged from Elko, NV into California. When the work slacked off, he caught a ride with a wagon, loaded his 2 slick fork saddles and his bedroll and went to the PX Ranch or better known as the Kearns Ranch north of Elko, NV

In 1935, Lawrence realized that he would never advance in life without an education. So, at age 21 he returned home and finished high school. After he graduated he joined the army and served at Scoffield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii for two years.

In 1938 he returned to the Moffat Ranch. When World War II broke out he was still in the reserves, but since he was in an industry determined vital to our country, he was not called to duty. He then returned to the Kearns Ranch where he met his wife, Margret, the boss' daughter, they have been married 65 years. In 1944, when the Kearns Ranch was sold to Bing Crosby, Lawrence was kept on as ranch manager. Although Lawrence would have rather been on a horse, he did enjoy taking care of the ranch, feeding the cattle and working with Bing. In 1949, Lawrence went back to work for Dr. Arnold Stevens and managed the Stevens Ranch north of Elko until 1961. The Stevens Ranch put up 1,400 tons of hay each year and ran some 600 commercial Hereford cows & calves. Lawrence was still able to work as a buckaroo, his favorite kind of work, but his responsibilities had increased to manage the overall operation.

Lawrence, Margret and their five children next moved to the White Horse Ranch in southeastern OR, which was owned by Ted Naftzger of Livermore, CA. Lawrence was placed as manager over the cattle as well as the farming end of the ranch. The ranch consisted of approx. 25,000 deed acres and 2,600 head of cows. The family then moved to Roaring Springs, owned by the Allied Land and Livestock headquartered in San Francisco, CA. They had holdings in Nevada, California, and Oregon. The Oregon holdings included six ranches that totaled 154,000 deeded acres. Lawrence was the manager of all the Oregon holdings. He was responsible for overseeing the operation and handling of the 5,000 cows, 250 bulls and 4,000 sheep as well as the farming.

In 1968, after a back injury prohibited him from riding in a pickup all day, Lawrence took a position at Simplot Cattle Company in Caldwell, Idaho, where they had a feedlot of 50,000 or more cattle. He was able to be back in the saddle while checking the cattle.

In 1980, Lawrence retired on a small ranch in Parma, ID and was happy to be on his own ranch with his own cattle to manage. In 1997 he sold the ranch and moved to Adrian, OR area and really retired. In the fall of 2005 he broke his hip and now he and his wife Margret reside in Nampa, ID... with their hearts still out on the desert watching the dust roll and the cattle graze.

Lawrence Miller acquired many skills during his long years as a buckaroo. He was an excellent hand with a horse, braided his own rawhide ropes and he made friends where ever he went.

Lawrence Miller was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 2006