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Richard T. “Bucky” Barnette

Born into a ranching family, Richard Temple “Bucky” Barnette was a lifetime rancher on the Emma Ranch south of Lusk, Wyoming. For over 60 years, he lived on the ranch that he loved. He took a great deal of pride in raising good cattle and he loved riding horses and colts. When he was younger he enjoyed the rodeo; riding saddle broncs, calf roping, and team roping. In addition to owning the Emma Ranch, he leased the neighboring Agnew and Ord ranches starting in 1966. The Ord ranch is still leased today.


Bucky enjoyed working with aspiring ranch youth and was a volunteer for many years as a 4-H leader, teaching and helping youth with their 4-H horse projects, including teaching them the many aspects of horsemanship, as well as shoeing their horses. He was also very active training and working with award winning 4-H horse judging teams.


As a teenager, Bucky worked for Cliff Dorman on the 010 ranch. As a young man, he worked with some of the old time cowboys, including Roscoe “Peach” Shaw, Shorty Milliken, Andy Malm, and John Agnew.


As the saying goes, “behind every successful man, there is a hard working lady.” Bucky would have never been successful without the support of his wife Nila. They approached their life on the ranch as a partnership with Nila working alongside him in order to get the job done.


Bucky was active in a number of community organizations, including St. George’s Episcopal Church, Harmony Lodge No. 24, and Wyoming Stock Growers Association. In addition, he served for many years as a School Board Member for the rural Moore Springs Community School District.


Bucky was the only son of Richard “Dick” and Sue (Shoults) Barnette. Dick and Sue Barnette homesteaded in Goshen County in 1916. Dick was born in New Jersey and came west seeking adventure. Sue was born in Iowa and came west with her parents. She taught school in Guernsey and Wheatland. Dick and Sue were married in Wheatland in 1906 and had one child Richard Temple on November 1, 1922. He was nicknamed Bucky when he was very young and most people continued to call him Bucky throughout his life. Dick and Sue moved to the Emma Ranch in 1928.


Bucky attended school at Moore Springs School, west of Jay Em, Wyoming and graduated from Torrington High School in 1941. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II. Bucky and Nila Sylvester were married in Torrington on June 20, 1950. They were the parents of three sons: Scott who lives in Denver, John in Cheyenne, and Andy who lives on the Emma Ranch with his wife Twila. Bucky died on March 19, 1997 at the age of 74.

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