Autobiography of Ralph John Wesley Howard


(Page 9)

Frank hired to a rancher located on the Paladora River. This ranch ran both cattle and sheep. The owner R. H. Howard (no known kin to us) was considered the best stockman in the southwest. Frank worked for him for four years, in charge of the sheep herd.

That is where Frank was when I arrived at Bull Creek, Bert had just left with a plow team for Paladora, to help ranchers plant their feed crops. I stayed over night at Bull Creek and left the next morning for Paladora.

It was twenty-five or thirty miles to Paladora the same distance that Bull Creek was from Liberal. When I quit farming and left Manhattan, the only property that I possessed was a walking twelve-inch moleboard plow that I paid one dollar for, at a sale. I plowed gardens in Manhattan until I had nine dollars to see me through the three hundred miles to Liberal. I took my plow along, thinking that I might come to a good place to drown it and get rid of it. But alas, when I got started, I forgot all about it; and when I arrived at Paladora the next morning, I hitched to the plow instead of the wagon and trailed Bert up and down the fields for two months. We broke thirty acres for a rancher, the Sheriff of Housford, Texas. Done an equal number for Tom Ward, a rancher and about the same for Mullock of the Circle Y ranch. Then we went to Bull Creek and put in twenty acres for ourselves. Thatís the way I quit farming; but I was also starting in the livestock business, so I thought, (instead of the deadstock business).

Shortly after our crop was planted, I put a new thirty-five dollar saddle on my smallest workhorse and went back to Paladora to hunt for a job. The first place I stopped was at Mullock he was getting ready to put up hay. He offered me twenty dollars for a monthís worth of work. I told him that was okay with me if he would lend me a horse I would go back to Bull Creek and get my bed, which I did. We moved camp out four miles from the ranch to some sloughs. There had been some snow the winter before and there had been some spring rains; some of the sloughs had grass that made the best hay I had ever sawÖBAR NONE. When we finished the sloughs, we moved back to the ranch and cut the flat land that reached back from the river that was sub-irrigated. By the time we finished, this grass was dried up and brown and if ignited would burn like gunpowder. The ground was baked as hard as a brick. Mullock had no fireguards plowed and he knew what would happen if a fire got started. He told me one morning to take the mules and go out and start plowing guards. He said, "Iíll be along in a day or two to see how you are making out." I told him okay. Mullock had a twelve-inch sod breaker that didnít weigh more than fifty

The Howard Clan webpages were submitted by Patrick K. Best The Howard Clan were some of the original homesteaders of the North Bend District. It is hoped that you and many more people enjoy this history that this clan went through everyday to strive to live and provide a great part in making the history of Saskatchewan come alive.

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