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Leland Ward “Buck” Alameda

Buck Alameda was born March 7, 1918 and died January 3, 2003. His parents bought Pass Creek Ranch in 1922 and lived there until 1948. It was a primitive and harsh life, and everyone had to work to make a living. Buck rode a horse to the Campbell School where he completed his education at 8th grade.

They raised cattle, then added sheep and later raised saddle and draft horses to sell. The work horses were sold to timber companies in herds of 10 to 15 and young Buck sometimes got to deliver them. He said it was the only way he could get off the ranch.

In his teens, he worked with his sister, Jessie, and her husband, Jim Karstoft on the Cherokee Ranch, which was located south of Piker Springs between Rawlins and Creston Junction. Besides raising cattle and horses, one of their main sources of income was running wild horses. Buck continued this until it was no longer allowed. Extra money for his own family was often gained from selling a wild horse or two.

He married in 1941 and he and his family lived a year or so in Baggs where he worked for the Ladder Ranch. He served in the US Army, Headquarters Troop, 15th Cavalry, from 1942 to 1944, going to Cavalry School at Ft. Riley, Kansas. He returned to the home place until it was sold.

He was at Powder Wash when the blizzard of ’49 hit and was recruited to plow snow, and plow snow, and plow more snow in the Little Snake River Valley. After that he moved back to Rawlins with a growing family. He worked for the PH Livestock in the 50’s and 60’s. The summers were spent at Fillmore Ranch, west of Rawlins, and winters at Luman Ranch, north of Wamsutter. All his kids (4) were now in school so he and his wife, Fern, bought a house in Rawlins and he worked from there.

During the 60’s, he was actively involved in the Rawlins Saddle Club, Little Britches Rodeo, and was a volunteer fireman. In the 70’s, after all the kids were gone, he and Fern moved back to Pass Creek, this time working for Francis Ravenscroft. Between ranch jobs, he drove truck for Neuman Trucking in Rawlins and along the line, became a skilled heavy equipment operator and pursued this later in life.

His love for horses and the cowboy way of life never wavered, no matter what he was doing. He was able to trade a motor grader seat for a seat in the saddle as weekend help for his son, Glen, who by then had ranch jobs of his own. He once ran for Carbon County Commissioner, and after losing, was informed if he’d run on the other ticket, he’d have won. So, goes life. Win, lose, or draw, Buck stood by his beliefs. His shelves held no trophies or awards, and his word and a handshake were his honor. Long, lonely nights in line camps developed his skills as a whittler and harmonica player. And if he were driving, and you were riding shotgun, he let you open the gates.

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