In January 1949, a massive blizzard rocketed through central and southeastern Wyoming and nearby states killing 76 people and tens of thousands of animals and leaving memories in its wake that are still vivid more than 65 years later.
Browse Articles about Agriculture
|Sheep Business in Wyoming||Samuel Western|
|Shepperson, Frank, oral history||Mark Junge|
|Sommers Ranch||Stephanie Lowe|
|Spring Creek Raid||John W. Davis|
|T Cross Ranch||Stephanie Lowe|
|Taylor Grazing Act, 1934||Russel L. Tanner|
|Toomey’s Mills||Nicole Lebsack, Stephanie Lowe|
|War horses, Wyoming as breeding ground for, 1897-1949||Rebecca Hein|
|Wyoming Cattle Boom, 1868-1886||Samuel Western|
The vivid, charismatic J. B. Okie raised sheep near Badwater Creek at the turn of the last century, and was so successful he was called “Sheep King.” A businessman with great vision, he soon owned half a dozen stores in small towns in central Wyoming, and eventually an equal number in Mexico. Lost Cabin, Wyo., named for the legendary Lost Cabin Mine, was his base. Okie built an opulent mansion there, a big bunkhouse for employees, bungalows for guests, an office building, a roller rink, a golf course and an aviary full of birds of paradise (left), cockatoos and macaws.
Wyoming’s sheep business never had the fame or cachet of Wyoming’s cattle business, but at the turn of the last century sheep raising was more widespread and probably more lucrative. Cattlemen, however, reacted violently to sheepmen’s entry onto the public range, and for a time deadly raids by cattlemen on flocks, sheepdogs and sheepherders were chronic. A gradual decline in wool and lamb prices since the 1920s has left only about a twentieth as many sheep on Wyoming ranges now as there were in 1909.