Robert Bertram “Bob” Dixon
Robert (Bob) B. Dixon was born on February 14, 1903 to Snowden R. and Augusta Schmidt Dixon at Newcastle, Wyoming. Snowden Dixon was born in Shifnel, England on December 10, 1870. He came to Wyoming in 1888 and worked as a cowboy on Bill Keaton’s ranch among others. Augusta Schmidt was the first white child born in Custer, South Dakota in 1877. Augusta was a schoolteacher and married Snowden Dixon on February 19, 1897.
The elementary school Bob attended was in Weston County on the family ranch. Bob’s father was responsible for hiring and paying the teacher’s salary most of the years Bob was in school.
Bob bought his first heifer cattle when he was 12 years old. He kept these and all their offspring until he was 17 years old when all but three steers perished in the bad winter of 1919-1920. He sold the three steers and bought heifer replacements and started over again. Bob left the family ranch and started on his own first in Weston County then he leased the Lou Cook Ranch on Cow Creek in Converse County. In the spring of 1927 Bob bought the Jim Brenson homestead in Niobrara County. This became the headquarters location of his large ranch holdings. He homesteaded an adjoining section in 1928. The ranch grew to the size of approximately 46,000 acres by the time of his death in 1966. The Dixon Ranch ran 800 head of commercial grade Hereford cattle and sixteen hundred head of commercial grade Columbia and Rambouillet sheep. Bob Dixon raised some of the best Quarter Horses and Thoroughbred horses in Wyoming. At one time he had one of the largest herd of horses in the State. Many a young Cowboy would show up at the ranch the day they “ran horses”. Most of the horses were broke and used on the ranch. Some were sold at horse sales in Lusk and Edgemont, SD. Bob encouraged the kids to ride the green horses through the sales ring after they were dizzy from the truck ride.
One of the toughest summers he had was in 1934 when there was no grass and he was forced to trail the cattle to Yoder, Wyoming. The trail took a month to get there. His hardest winter was during the 1949 blizzard. Bob was marooned in Douglas by car and he borrowed horses and gear and made a ride of over one hundred miles to check his stock.
Bob’s first marriage was to Helen Fisher. To this union were born two children: Helen Mae and Clayton Raymond. In 1945 Bob Dixon married Laura Kolego Rodgers. Her brother was a well-known bronc rider Francis Kolego. She had two children from a previous marriage; Jess and W.C. (Bill) Rodgers. The children all grew up with a wide range of ranching knowledge.
Bob was known as an excellent roper both on the ranch and in the arena. He built a highly respected herd of Hereford cattle from nothing. He was a Cowboy of the first degree.
Robert B. Dixon passed away in December 27, 1966