Wells Beck

Wells was raised on his parents ranch/farm in Rigby, Idaho. At a young age, he was very good at handling cattle and horses. One way his family made a living was freighting grain with teams and wagons from the dry farms located on Idaho’s Antelope Flats to market. Wells at the young age of 12 was driving the team for his folks freighting business. He won a lot of team-pulling contests with his driving. As a boy, Wells learned stock. He was shown how to care for cattle during calving, branding, and whatever came up. Wells had a special ability with horses that can’t be taught or learned.


Young adult years as a young bachelor cowboy he came into Sublette county looking for work. He went to work for Austin Richardson. He worked on horseback during calving season riding through the mother cows to make sure they were all right. In the winter, he fed the cows with a team and sled.


For quite a few years he worked for different ranchers in Sublette county, one of these being Bob and Mildred Miller of Miller Land and Livestock. Bob Miller at this point in Wells’ life, gave him a new, Porter saddle. He wanted Wells to break horses for him because of his skill with horses. Still being a bachelor and a cowboy, Wells was looking for greener pastures and came to Jackson Hole in Teton county.


He went to work at the Half-Moon guest ranch as a wrangler and as a guide leading trail rides. While working in Teton county, he met Catherine (Kay)Wham. They married in the winter of 1953, and this cowboy bachelor took on a ready-made family including Kay’s daughter, son-in-law, two grandsons, and a dude ranch. Wells’ deep love for the cowboy life called them back to Sublette county to work for Miller Land and Livestock. There Wells was the working manager of the Dunham Ranch for over 20 years. The Dunham Ranch was one of several ranches owned by Miller Land and Livestock. Visiting with Bob Miller one day, Bob mentioned to Wells that he had worked for them for 10 years. Wells answered all right, so I’ll work for you another 10. At this period in Wells’ life, he was teaching a lot of people to ride. He also owned a small herd of cattle and some horses. Being the generous cowboy that he was, Wells wanted everyone to enjoy horses and actually gave horses to individuals who would enjoy and take care of them. He taught both his grandsons as well as Kay’s nephews to ride and also gave them horses. After working 20 some years, Wells was drawn to old friends in Utah, and went to work as a working manager for Deseret Livestock, Skull Valley Ranch. From there both Kay and Wells wanted to come home to Wyoming. Last Years Wells and Kay came back to Teton county to be near family.


All of his life, Wells did everything he could possibly do on horseback, including fishing. So not ready to retire, Wells went to work for Governor Clifford Hansen as a cowboy on horseback, watching the cows on summer range. One of his last joys as a cowboy was taking care of Walton’s cattle for Walton’s Cattle Operation on the Togwotee summer range. Summary After family and friends, stock came first to Wells. He took the responsibility for their welfare very seriously. He had no respect for anything less. If you gave less, you soon ended up on the wrong side of Wells Beck. Wells knew the value of humor. He was always ready with a story or a funny saying. Wells was always a cowboy in the truest sense

 

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