FLAT TOP SHEEP COMPANY

Now owned by Peaveys




Before the snow flys, summer pasture ends and the sheep are trailed to lower elevations.

Sheep were brought into the Wood River Valley in the late 1860s. By 1890 there were 614,000 sheep in Idaho and by 1918, 2.7 million. Based on recent estimates, Blaine County, which includes Ketchum, Bellevue and the Peavey ranch, has 32,000 sheep and lambs, the most of any Idaho county.

John Thomas began putting together the Flat Top Sheep Company around the 1920s. This sheep ranch is about 24 miles on pioneer dirt road from nearest town, close to Carey and Sun Valley, Idaho. John was twice appointed a Republican U.S. Senator from Idaho. He had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, born in 1908 in Colby, Kansas.

Arthur Jacob Peavey, Jr. was the eldest son of Arthur Peavey, Sr. He was born about 1906 in the Twin Falls area of Idaho. His father was a distinguished businessman and farmer and was a highly respected leader in the community. After he turned eighteen he worked as a time keeper one summer in British Columbia, Canada.

Arthur Jr. started college in September of 1924 at the University of Idaho in Moscow. He was tall, athletic, muscular and very good looking. He became a lawyer and was a great public speaker. He married Mary Elizabeth Thomas. They had one son. He became a very influential operator of his father-in-law's, John Thomas, Flat Top Sheep Company. Arthur's son now owns the ranch.

Arthur was killed in a boating accident in 1941 leaving his wife and 8 year old son. Mary and her son went to Washington D.C. to be with her father who was serving as a Senator from Idaho.

Mary was later introduced to a colleague senator of her father's, Senator C. Wayland Brooks from Illinois. They were married. Senator Brooks retired from the Senate in 1948 and they returned to his home state. In 1957 he died and Mary was widowed again.

In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed Mary as the Director of the United States Mint.



Mary Peavey Brooks, left, looks on during her tenure as director of the U.S. Mint as Treasury Secretary John Connally presents President Richard Nixon with the new Eisenhower dollar coin. Eisenhower’s widow, Mamie (Mary) Eisenhower, stands between Connally and Nixon. (Photo courtesy of John Peavey)


In her home in Hailey, Mary has four large pictures hanging on the wall of her with Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.

Mary liked being in Washington but she was happy to leave the capital for her Idaho home. The outdoors was where she loved to be, seeing the sandhill cranes and sage hens in the Little Wood River drainage and watching the antelope.

Mary Elizabeth Thomas Peavey Brooks, of Hailey and Carey, passed away on Monday, Feb. 11, 2002 at the Bridgeview Estates in Twin Falls. She was 94.


Sources:
Ann Peavey (granddaughter of Arhtur Peavey Sr.) - written Sept 4, 1924 by Arthur Peavey Sr. of Twin Falls, Idaho
Idaho Mountain Express Newspaper
Range Magazine


HOME        ALPHABETICAL INDEX