1928 - 2017
Ben Kern was nine years old when he arrived in Carbon County with his family. His father worked for the Dixon Ranch on the Albany-Carbon County line and Ben drove a team of horses during haying season on ranches near McFadden, Rock River, and Medicine Bow. He attended school until he was a teenager, but one day he saddled his horse and told his dad he was done with school. He rode west to the Elk Mountain area where he worked for Ab Irene on the Spade Ranch. He later worked in the Encampment area on the Henry Finch Ranch and on the Boyd Ranch before he joined the US Navy and served in the South Pacific during WWII. He returned to Rawlins after the war, and then found a job on the TA Ranch near Buffalo. Ben then moved to Oregon and worked on ranches in the Prairie City area. He organized and led his first wagon train from Prairie City to Pendleton, Oregon, for the Pendleton Roundup in the 1950s. He also picked up for the Pendleton Roundup, before returning to Wyoming where he worked on ranches and for the city of Casper. From 1993 until 2010, he took part in wagon trains on the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, Bozeman, Cherokee, Overland, and Cheyenne- Deadwood Trails. In all he traveled well over 10,000 miles by wagon train. His wagon was donated to the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center as a permanent exhibit in 2016.