James “Buck” Allemand
“I don’t have to get ready. I stay ready.”
These are the words of Buck Allemand whose life began on the home ranch in 1931. Buck’s grandfather, Jacque, and father, John, homesteaded where the Staple Three Sheep Company now resides. As a child Buck learned the sheep business out on the range while his mother Florence, cooked for the lambing crews. Later he broke horses, moved sheep camp, hayed the draws, and fed stock himself. He learned when there was real open range, communication by word of mouth only, transportation primarily by way of four legs, and supply shopping twice a year. School was held on the ranch for Buck and his siblings John, Hester, and Joyce. Later he boarded in Casper to attend and graduate from Natrona County High School in 1949.
The year was 1949, when a blizzard hit with temperatures of 44 below zero. For thirty six days Buck, now a senior in high school, did not see another human as he rode seven miles daily to feed ranch cattle. Buck resided in a sheep wagon, which was covered in blowing snow with only the stovepipe visible. He had to force his way out every day. His dad would fly about every few days and drop a note with a case of wieners. The note said to wave when he heard the plane so they knew he was okay.
The service drafted him in 1952-1954. This was the first time he was ever away from the ranch and there was a newborn freedom that emerged. He was a member of the United States Air Force- 82ed airborne and enjoyed the excitement of parachute jumping. Weekends were filled with boxing and rodeo to fill in the emptiness of not being on the ranch.
After returning from the service he met Margaret Immel who was going to nursing school at UW, she stole his heart and married him in 1955. They raised five children, Mary, John, Bill, Tom, and Annie. Together they raised children, operated many hunting camps, other ranches, partnered on a construction outfit, and of course ran the home ranch which they now owned. After 47 memorable years together Margaret passed away.
With a drive to expand his own land, Buck worked for Herman Warner and was foreman to the his holdings in Johnson, Carbon, and Converse Counties. In 1969 Buck ramrodded the trail drive of over 1215 head of cattle from the TTT ranch near Kaycee to the Bolton ranch near Rawlins for Herman Warner of Casper. The manuscripts of the trip reside in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City OK.
Thanks to Buck’s desire to help all his kids, he figured out how to purchase five ranches from Metropolitan Life, sell one and along with cousin Raymond, the kids purchased a ranch at an affordable price with only one being sold. He not only helped his kids but also supported all kids as a buyer at the county 4-H livestock fair, county banquets and the community that he supported monetarily.
Buck Allemand’s exciting western way of life has never faltered: from riding a bucking horse for the Marlboro commercial to representing the family at the Ten Sleep Raid memorial. To this day he still has cattle and participates in ranch activities and a year ago was in the saddle. In the last decade he has tried to retire three times by selling his cattle and part of his land but in the end he just bought more. Buck Allemand exemplifies a true Wyoming livestock man.