top of page

Luther Lurton “Lute” Penfield

He never owned land, cattle or sheep, but, he worked them all.  He made his living in the saddle.  He broke his own horses, knowing that it was the miles you put on them and the work you asked them to do that made them a good saddle horse.


He grew up in a home, nestled into a bank along Lance Creek.  Blankets were hung to separate rooms for the seven children born to Luther “Buster” and Reba Penfield.  February 26, 1930, Luther was the third of seven children born to this couple.


When a first grader, he rode three miles (one way) to school on a Shetland pony.  He worked for his dad while in grade school and started working for the Jim Thompson outfit during High School summers and vacations.  He helped put in miles of fence, gather and brand calves, dock, shear, nose brand and spray sheep.  He lived in an old sheep wagon for several years while there and claimed the only time he went to town was at two in the morning with a cesarean cow.  It was nothing to ride fifty miles a day looking for a bull.


He graduated from High School in 1947 and was still working for the Thompson outfit when he got called to the Army.  He was stationed at Fort Lawton, Washington where they shipped supplies to Alaska for the soldiers stationed there.  He married Barbara Hilton while in the service and when he was discharged, they returned to the Thompson Ranch to work.  He was there for twenty-two years.  Luther and Barb first lived in a one room bunkhouse and later moved in a larger home where they raised 5 children.


Luther was an active 4-H leader working with young people who were interested in horse showmanship, caring for horses and such.  He, along with Ralph Sides, started the 4-H horse program for Niobrara County.  Luther, himself, was interested in the Appaloosa horse, so raised and showed a few of his own.


After moving his family to town, Luther worked for the Ed Boner ranch, again working with sheep and running yearling cattle.  Six years later, he went to work for the Earl Slagle ranch, again working with cattle and sheep.  So being a cowboy was a very important part of his life and he loved what he did.


In later years he lived in Las Vegas, worked as a bouncer at the Sands Casino but always found time to ride for enjoyment.  He is now retired and lives in Lusk, Wyoming.

bottom of page