Mel Stonehouse

1912 - 1982 Cody

Mel Stonehouse

Mel Stonehouse was three years old when his father froze to death in a snowstorm in 1915. Mel was placed in a Denver orphanage. He struggled until he escaped at age seven and began bouncing from one ranch to another trying to find enough work to survive. Mel ended up in Tijuana, Mexico, working as a jockey where he met stock contractor and rancher C.B. Irwin, who brought Mel to his N Bar V Ranch on Horse Creek, Wyoming. Mel worked on the ranch and learned to ride broncs. After being injured in a rodeo accident, stock contractor Ed McCarty took Mel under his wing and to the S Lazy S Ranch in Chugwater to recuperate. There he trained horses for the US Army Remount and became as part of McCarty’s rodeo stock contracting crew. He later settled in Cody. He managed the J Bar 9 Ranch on the South Fork and then had an outfitting operation at Pahaska Teepee, near the east entrance of Yellowstone. After selling the business, Mel went to work for western artist Harry Jackson on the Salty Dog Ranch outside Cody.