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Buckaroo Museum, Winnemucca Nevada

Charles Wesley Chapin

Charles Wesley Chapin (1933-?)

Charlie was born in 1923 in Elko, Nevada, to Edwin and Alice Chapin and attended schools in Charleston, North Fork and on the Tremewan Ranch growing up.  He started working as a cowboy from an early age until well into his twilight years; he buckaroo’d at many outfits over the years. As a young man, Charlie started working for Moffat Cattle Co. While he was camped at Gold Creek, he met Lois Reed who lived at the Wild Horse Ranch. They married in October of 1942. He then worked at the Hot Springs Ranch for ten months before moving back to the Jiggs outfit for a couple years. In 1945 he and Lois moved to the Rancho Grande and he worked there for Moffat; during this time they had two children, Chuck and Susie. In 1948 Charlie and Lois moved to the Haystack Ranch; while there they had their third child, Judy. 

In 1950 Charlie moved Lois and their three children to Elko while he worked on the TS Ranch. After a year, they all moved to the Quarter Circle S Ranch and that is when they had their youngest child, Eddie. Charlie, Lois, and their four children moved to the 25 Ranch in Battle Mountain, Nevada in 1954. Charlie was able to take some nice horses to the Elko County Fair while working at the 25 Ranch. Just to name a couple of the horses he showed and won on were, Tucker in the hackamore class and Dixie in the snaffle bit class.

Charlie and his family moved back to Elko in 1958 and for the first time in his life he worked not as a cowboy, but drove truck for Silver State. However, in 1966 he went back to the life of a cowboy and worked at the Gilmer Ranch in O’Neil Basin until 1979. During the winters Charlie would take his vacation and go see his brother, Harold, in Paradise Valley.  There they would rope mustangs.  Roping mustangs was Charlie’s passion.

Tired of the cold winters, they headed south to Tonopah and he went to work for Wayne Hage on the Pine Creek Ranch; they stayed there for two and half years. Moving again even farther south to the Alisal Ranch in Solvang, California, he began working there for the next two years for Dean Talbert, who was his daughter Judy’s husband. 

Charlie and Lois moved back to Nevada and he started working at the Horseshoe Ranch for their son, Chuck before moving to Battle Mountain. Over the next several years he helped Tom Marvel at the Wilson Ranch, Joe and Pete Marvel in Buffalo Valley and Eddie King at the 25 Ranch. Charlie worked for his brother, Jerry at the Mule Shoe Ranch for about ten years before retiring. 

As was stated earlier, Charlie started working at an early age as a cowboy and buckaroo’d many different outfits over the years.  At the early age of 12, Charlie was already training horses with his dad and brother George.  He first showed a horse at the Elko County Fair when he was 15 and became a regular, excelling in the bridle classes.

Charlie worked at many ranches in Nevada and California where he was well known and respected for his vast knowledge of horses and expert horsemanship.  Charlie’s wife, Lois passed away in 2001. During the remainder of his life Charlie settled down to enjoy his time with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family, and friends.

Charles Wesley Chapin was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in 2015.



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