Early Sublette County Brands Project
Campbell Ranch
Kevin and Tammy Campbell
Interviewed by Stuart McKinley

Stuart:  All right, Kevin, if you will give me your full name and date of birth and birth place we'll have Tammy give hers and then if you like you can give your mother's and father's.
Kevin:  Okay, Kevin Walden Campbell is my full name and I was born August 27, 1954, in Jackson.
Tammy:  Tammy Campbell.  I was born June 6, 1959, in Jackson, Wyoming.
Kevin:  My mother was born--her name was Patricia McGinnis Campbell and she was born March 2, 1929.  And I believe she was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  My dad was born February 9, 1921, and his name was Walden Lorenzo Campbell.  And he was born in Preston, Idaho, but he grew up on part of this ranch we have right now, not where we are at but at the other homestead, at the original Campbell homestead.
Stuart:  We'll get into that in just a minute.  Where did you go to school, Kevin?
Kevin:  I went to school in Bondurant through the eighth grade and then I went to Pinedale for high school.
Stuart:  Tammy, where did you go to school?
Tammy:  I went to school in Big Piney.
Stuart:  All grades?
Tammy:  All grades.
Kevin:  When I went to school here in Bondurant it was still summer school.  I went to school starting the first of April and went through the summer until the middle of December because the roads weren't plowed during the wintertime.  I went through the eighth grade that way.
Stuart:  So you stayed home then from the middle of December?
Kevin:  Until the first of April.  The roads would snow up and they would come in with the county cat and plow the roads about the first of April so that school could start.
Stuart:  And you said that your father was raised on the original Campbell homestead?
Kevin:  Um huh.
Stuart:  And where was it in relationship to this place?
Kevin:  It is just over the hill about two miles there on that other flat next to the Little Jenny Ranch, there.
Stuart:  Now, your granddad homesteaded that?  Do you recall what year he homesteaded that?
Kevin:  1913.  I might be mistaken here, but I think that's the only piece of ground left in the Basin here still owned by the same name that it was homesteaded under.
Stuart:  Originally?  You are probably right.  Jake's is under a different one.  So you probably are right.  Now, the place you are on here, was it originally owned by the Campbells, or was it homesteaded by someone else?
Kevin:  No, it was homesteaded by Bill Bowlsby, Banty Bowlsby's dad.
Stuart:  Do you remember what year he homesteaded it?
Kevin:  No, it was pretty early, right around the 1900's.  It was pretty early for this Basin.  I know around the Rim a lot of that was settled earlier but right from what I can gather there wasn't much of this Basin homesteaded before right around 1900.
Stuart:  Did the Campbells purchase this from Banty Bowlsby, or were there other owners in between?
Kevin:  There were other owners.
Stuart:  Do you happen to know who they were and can you get them in sequence?
Kevin:  Bowlsbys had it and then a fellow by the name of Marshall Purvis had it and then a fellow by the name of Anson Hoyt had it in partnership with Doc Fisk, Roy Fisk's dad.  They had a partnership with this place and the place below us that Victor Mack owns now.  And they split up their partnership and Anson Hoyt got this piece and Fisk got the place below us and Hoyt sold this place to my dad and mother.
Stuart:  And what year was that?
Kevin:  1953, I believe.  If my mother was here, and she should be here, she could tell you for sure, but I believe it was 1953.
Stuart:  When your granddad homesteaded the original Campbell homestead what was his brand?
Kevin:  At that time he evidently did not have a brand registered, but this JNF brand was the first Campbell brand registered in the State of Wyoming.  And it was the brand that he used from the time that he started ranching in Wyoming, here.  And he registered that April 22, 1920, under the name of Lorenzo Campbell, the JNF.
Stuart:  And do you still have that brand?  Is that brand still in existence today?
Kevin:  My brother has it.  My granddad's actual name was Lorenzo Campbell but everybody called him Lenny and that's my brother's name, too.  So Lenny Campbell still owns the brand that was registered in April 22, 1920, to Lenny Campbell.
Stuart:  Now, let's come back to this place.  Do you remember what Bowlsby's brand was?
Kevin:  No, I don't.
Stuart:  Okay.  In the succession of the people who owned it after Bowlsby, do you recall the brand of any of them who owned it after Bowlsby  had it?
Kevin:  This was called the C Heart C Ranch.  When Marshall Purvis owned it, he run dudes out of here and he built the other end of my mother's house on it.  That was closed off tonight when we were there.  There is a nice big room there that he had for his lodge.  And the door going into that has got that brand in the door in the form of a window.  There's the C Heart C cut out of the door and windows are put in where it is cut out.
Stuart:  I wish we could have seen that.  It would have been nice to see that.  That would have been interesting.  We can always come back again.
Kevin:  I believe that Joany Mack owns that now, Victor Mack's daughter.
Stuart:  It would be in the brand book.  We can check that.  Is that one of the brands you have written down for us?
Kevin:  No.
Stuart:  All of the additional ones that you can remember if you would write them down after we have finished, because that will be part of the history of the brands even though they didn't stay here that long.  But if they've been passed down or sold then someone in the county still has them now.  We can trace it down.  Anyone else after Hoyt?
Kevin:  No.  I just don't know what brands Hoyt used.  My dad would know all of that, but I don't.  There is an old branding iron around here in this old shop that I believe was Bill Bowlsby's.  So I could try to find that branding iron.
Stuart:  Yes.  Next time you have an opportunity.  If it didn't belong to him, maybe we could trace it down, anyhow.  That's what we are trying to do is trace the history of all the brands.  If you have a chance...
Kevin:  Uh huh.  I'll look for it.  I remember seeing the iron up there and asking my dad what that was and he told me it was one of Bill Bowlsby's old irons.
Stuart:  And since he was the original homesteader, that would go back to the beginning, anyhow.  And if we could attach it to something, that would make sense out of it.
Kevin:  Right.  And we have this original Bondurant Place down here, too.  I don't know anything about the brands on that deal.
Stuart:  The next one down on the highway.  Do you know who the owners were from the time it was homesteaded up until the time you purchased it?
Kevin:  Well, I know Bondurant had the places there and then my granddad bought the place from Carroll Noble.  Carroll Noble owned that place there, and I don't know if actually maybe even his dad bought the place.  I don't know.  They talked about when old Jim Noble used to run cattle in here and they owned several places.  They owned the place that Jake's got over here now and they owned that place and there was a place over the hill next to our original place over there.  But I don't know if they owned that or if they leased that.  But anyway, Granddad bought the place from Carroll Noble.  And I believe he either bought the place from Bondurants themselves or there was some people by the name of Hansens.  Mrs. Hansen was a Bondurant.  And they had a place over here that the Little Jenny's got now, this Hansen place.  And I'm not sure but what they might have had that of Bondurant's, too.  I think maybe they had that and Jim Noble may have got both those places.  But I am real foggy on that, for sure.  But I do know that my granddad bought that place from Carroll Noble in the forties while my dad was in the army.  I am not sure what year it was but I think it was forty-two.  My dad was in the Service when Granddad bought that place.
Stuart:  You don't happen to recall what the brand was that Noble used?
Kevin:  Well, Carroll Noble--Dave's got Carroll Noble's original brand or the brand he was using at the time I knew Carroll Noble.  He had the LV brand that Dave's got.
Stuart:  That was used up here?
Kevin:  I don't know whether it was used up here or not, but I assume it was because it was being used at the time I knew Carroll Noble.  When I was a kid, my dad bought some bulls from him and they had the LV brand, so whether it was actually used here or not, I would assume so.
Stuart:  How about Hansen?  Do you happen to know what their brand was?
Kevin:  No, I don't.  I just wish my dad was here.  He could really tell you the history.  He was good at that.  He knew all that went on until the time he died.  He was under sixty years old when he died so he remembered real well, all of it.  He knew it real accurately.  He told all of these stories that I wished I had paid closer attention to him.
Stuart:  That is one of the things we hope that this will accomplish, too, you know.  We can get records and keep the records in the museum where people can come in the future and play the tapes and look at the videos, and do the research.  Now, so you didn't pick up any additional brands then, when you picked up the Bondurants' Place.  You just used the brands that you had been using?
Kevin:  No, we didn't pick up any additional brands then, but my dad applied for and got a brand in 1941 which would have been before we bought either one of these places.
Stuart:  And what was that brand?
Kevin:  We call it the Pothook S.  It is a good brand, and is the main brand we use today.
Stuart:  Do you have a brand of your own?
Kevin:  Yes.  It is called the Two Flying U's.  It is one Flying U up and one Flying U down, on the right hip.
Stuart:  How about ear marks?  Do you have them?
Kevin:  Yeah.  We, the Pothook S brand that was my dad's and is now my mother's brand, we use a Double over seven ear mark with it and my brother's brand, the original JNF brand, it has got an underbit in the right and an overbit in the left.  And my brand has a  swallow fork in the right ear.
Stuart:  Tammy, do you have a brand?
Tammy:  No, I don't.
Kevin:  She's got part of mine.  This is maybe a bit of information that might be interesting to you.  My sister, Katherine, she has the original Lee Cootz brand.  Lee Cootz was an oldtimer that was settled there over on Dell Creek.  And he--the Little Jenny owns what he had there, now.  But she's got that brand and it is the Reverse EG connected.  We just call it the EG connected, but the G is turned around backwards and it has a little hook in the middle of it.  And that makes it look like--well, you kind of have to imagine, to get the E out of it, but that's what old Lee called it.  And she (Katherine) applied for it and got it.  It's kind of funny, when I applied for my brand I went in and tried to get that as one of the brands I would like to have and they wouldn't give it to me.  And she applied two or three years later and got it, you know.  But it's a good brand.
Stuart:  That's Katherine Bond?
Kevin:  Katherine Bond.  My other sister, Colleen, she has the brand that used to belong to my Aunt Mollie and her husband, Jim Bosone.  They owned the next place down from what Cootz owned there on Dell Creek.  The Little Jenny's got it now, too.  But she's got the brand called the Open Eight Rocking Arrow and the only difference is that they had it on the left rib and she's got it on the right ribs.
Stuart:  Now, did the Bosone's homestead that place originally?
Kevin:  No.
Stuart:  Who did, do you know?
Kevin:  A fellow by the name of Gus Riley.
Stuart:  Do you know how many people owned the place between the original homestead and when Bosone got it?
Kevin:  No.  I'm pretty sure on this Gus Riley.  I'm pretty sure he homesteaded it.  I'm sure my dad told me that.  There is another place that The Little Jenny has that they call the Riley Place that they didn't own, too.  So I could be wrong on that.  I do know some people by the name of Frazier owned the place at one time.  And I believe Frazier is the one my Uncle Jim and Aunt Mollie got the place from.  My Uncle Jim originally had this place down here on the highway.  Crenshaw's got part of it now and Jack Downs has got the other part of it.  And he traded that to Frazier for this place up here on Dell Creek.
Stuart:  Yah, because I asked Jake and Jake just couldn't remember any of that history.  He said you would be able to tell us, that you knew more of that than he did.
Kevin:  The only thing is that I wasn't there.  I got it from my dad and different people, you know, so I might not be real authentic on some of it.  I know that some of it is a little foggy, because I wasn't listening close enough, I guess.
Stuart:  Hopefully, we can get enough of it down, because the old original homesteaders are gone.  Do you have a wattle or a dewlap on any of your cattle?
Kevin:  No.  Just an ear mark.
Stuart:  Do you brand your horses on the same hip that you brand the cattle?
Kevin:  No.  Most of  the horses have got this Pothook S brand on them, a lot of them do.  That Pothook S is on the left hip on cattle and on the horses it is on the left shoulder.  And the same way with my brand, some of the horses have that on, too.  And it's on the right hip of cattle and the right shoulder of horses.  My brother's brand, this JNF brand is on the right hip of horses and cattle, both.
Stuart:  I was trying to recall.  I think most of them do them on the left and so when the Brand Inspectors are running them through, if you have a mix of cattle, and most of them are on the left and you got a few on the right, then they have a little problem because they are on the wrong side of the chute.
Kevin:  I personally like a left-side brand.  They are pretty hard to get anymore unless you get something that isn't a good kind of brand.  And so that's why I wound up with my brand on the right.  My granddad's brand was originally registered on the right hip.  And I don't know for sure what his reasons were there.  I do know the brand, this JNF brand stands for John Naf who was my granddad's step-dad.  They were originally over there in southern Idaho and there is a little town over in Idaho still there today, Naf, Idaho.  I think it's really small.  And we weren't able to find out because the brands, like my mother said she tried to call over to Boise to the Brand Office over there, but they didn't register anything before 1936 or something.  But I wouldn't be surprised but what this brand was used in Idaho before it was brought to this country.
Stuart:  You don't happen to recall the first year they had to register brands in Wyoming?
Kevin:  I don't know.
Stuart:  We've asked that question several times and nobody knows.
Barbara:  I'm sure Jonita knows.
Stuart:  I'm sure they know, but it's interesting because some of them are in their mid-eighties and they just can't remember.  They had the brand and that's the way it was.  And didn't really remember when they had it registered.
Kevin:  Probably a lot of them used the brand for a long time before it was actually registered.
Stuart:  Quite a few of them did.  Like the 67 brand which came with the the old original Daniel Budd out of Nevada.  That came in very early, well, you can't say that early.  One date Mildred mentioned was 1868.  That might have been--that date might have been a little too old.  But anyhow that brand came, that's when they moved the cattle from Nevada back to Wyoming.  And so that is when the 67 brand came to Sublette County--it wasn't Sublette County then.  That was a long time ago.  And that brand is still in existence today.
Kevin:  Um huh.  Well, like I ...
Stuart:  The first branding irons your grandfather had, did he make them himself or did he have some blacksmith make them?
Kevin:  Well, I wouldn't know that.  But I would guess he had a blacksmith make them.  But I wouldn't know that.  He probably didn't have the forge and that kind of stuff.  He probably had a blacksmith make them.
Stuart:  And your father and yourself, did you have them made or did you build them yourself?
Kevin:  All of the irons we are using now I built, except for a set of horse irons that my dad had a fellow in Jackson make years ago.  I don't remember the guy's name.  I do remember he was a blacksmith.  Can you remember his name?  You've heard it, Mother? (asking his mother, Pat, who had come in)
Pat:  Was it a Brown?
Kevin:  I think it was a fellow by the name of Harry Brown, in Jackson.
Stuart:  And other than that you built all of them?
Kevin:  The ones that we have now.
Stuart:  Now, of all the brands you have, which is the best brand when you are branding cattle?  Which is the best one that you are able to recognize and not confuse with anything else or any other brand that might be in the valley?
Kevin:  The Pothook S brand, by far.  It is a real good brand.
Stuart:  In that case, if anyone decided to alter it, it would be very difficult to alter?
Kevin:  I would think it would be pretty hard to, yeh.
Stuart:  Did you have any brands that were maybe easy to alter?
Kevin:  Well, I suppose the brand of my sister that I was talking about, the old Cootz brand, could have been made into something else.  I don't know how to alter brands, so I don't know whether it would be easy to alter or not.
Stuart:  Kevin, you mentioned that there were relatives that owned a place just below the Fronk place.  Could you fill us in on that?
Kevin:  Actually they were between the Fronk place and my granddad's place.  My granddad's brother settled right above him and then right above him, my granddad's brother-in-law and sister settled.  So they had three places right there in line together.  And later on this Shell Baker, he was my granddad's brother-in-law, Arthur Campbell was his brother.  Later on this Shell Baker bought out Arthur Campbell and then later on sold out to Fronk's there.  Also Shell Baker's son homesteaded a place there afterwards.  There was some of the homesteads on that flat were made later.  Actually my granddad and his brother and brother-in-law were the first three homesteads on the flat.
Stuart:  Now, your granddad's brother, do you recall what brand he used?
Kevin:  I have no idea.
Stuart:  And the same with Baker, you wouldn't...
Kevin:  Yeah, he had Bar S B.
Stuart:  And who has that brand now?
Kevin:  His son.
Stuart:  And where does his son live now?
Kevin:  In Divide, Montana.
Stuart:  So the brand went to Montana, then?  And do you know when he moved to Montana?
Kevin:  It was in the forties there sometime, after the war.
Stuart:  And whereabouts in Montana did he move?
Kevin:  To Divide.  It's there about 25 miles south of Butte, north of Dillon.  Divide's just a little town.
Stuart:  I know where it is.  We just went through there a month ago.
Kevin:  Actually there was two parts of the family.  One part of the family, the one that got the brand, bought a place and settled there at Divide.  But the other part of the family settled up by Silver Star.  There was Shell Baker who had two sons and two daughters.  The one son died before they left the country.  He died as a young man of appendicitis.  And then Shell Baker had died before they left the country.  Howard Baker is the son that owns the Bar SB brand and he bought a place at Divide and his sister and sister-in-law bought a place at Silver Star.  He had a sister who went into partners with him on the place at Divide.  And then his other sister and his sister-in-law, his brother's widow, they bought the place in Silver Star.  I said sister and sister-in-law.  His sister was married,too, to a man by the name of Gene Holt.
Stuart:  Now, he homesteaded a place around here, didn't he?  How where was his place?
Kevin:  Yes.  It was up there in that same area.
Stuart:  Do you remember the brand that he had?
Kevin:  No, I don't.
Stuart:  And Wagstaff has all of that now?
Kevin:  Um huh.
Stuart:  The one thing we haven't asked and probably should is what is the Wagstaff brand?
Kevin:  It's a Bar Lazy W, on the right hip.
Stuart:  Now the original brand that your granddad had, do you happen to know why he designed the brand the way he did?
Kevin:  No, I don't.  Like I say it stood for this John Naf but I don't know.  The JNF was all connected there and I guess they probably just liked the way it looked.  And back in those days it was probably pretty easy to use whatever brand you wanted.
Stuart:  Now, the brand you chose, why did you design it?
Kevin:  Well, I didn't design it.  I sent in three different brands I would like to have and they said all of those were unavailable and they sent back some brands that were available.  And so I decided, my dad and I, that the one, the Two Flying U's, would work, so I went ahead and got it.  I was only about fourteen at the time.
Stuart:  I wouldn't suppose--did they send any history of that brand or did you know where it came from originally?
Kevin:  No idea.
Stuart:  It was just one you had a choice of?  It's too bad the Stockgrowers didn't say this came from some ranch somewhere in the state, so that you have a little background.
Kevin:  I suppose a person could find out.  It was pretty easy for you to get the information today, Mother, wasn't it?
Stuart:  Maybe through the Stockgrowers' Association in Cheyenne.
Kevin:  It's through the Brand Board, I think.  I think they had all that.  I'm not sure how my dad came up with the idea for this brand here.  Maybe Mother remembers how he did.  I do remember when he applied for it.  He didn't apply for it the way it is.  He applied for it tipped up and down instead of across and he applied for it on the left rib.  And they sent back and told him that he could have it the way it is.
Stuart:  Kevin, when do you usually start your branding?
Kevin:  Well, we brand those spring calves between the middle of May and the first of June, depending on the year.
Stuart:  On Mother's Day?  A lot of them I have asked that and the wives say, "On Mother's Day, naturally."
Kevin:  Oh, no.  We are never that early.
Stuart:  Do you just brand in the spring, or do you have another little branding in the fall?
Kevin:  Oh, no, we brand some late calves in the fall, of course, a few.
Stuart:  Do your neighbors come over and help?
Kevin:  Um huh.  We all get together and brand in the spring especially, not so much in the fall because it is not such a big deal.  And in turn we all help each other in the Basin, when they are ready to brand.
Stuart:  What time do you start branding?  Let's put it this way, to gather them in the morning to begin with, what time do you start?
Kevin:  We don't get as early a start as some of them do outside there, about sun up.  We're a lot closer in than some of those bigger outfits that are outside and have quite a gathering deal, you know.
Stuart:  About five o'clock?
Kevin:  No, it's not sunup that early.
Stuart:  I thought it started getting daylight then.
Kevin:  It starts getting daylight then but I said sunup, not daylight, around seven.
Stuart:  Oh, when it comes over the top of the mountain?  That's what Jake said, between seven and eight.  And I thought that sounds awful late because Mildred Miller said yesterday, how about between one thirty and two o'clock in the morning, they have breakfast and then get started.  So, since I have come up here now, everybody is sort of laid back and they don't get such an early start.
Kevin:  Well, I think like with the Millers it was quite a gathering operation and they had a lot of cattle to gather and they branded a lot of cattle at a time, you know, more so than most of us brand here.
Stuart:  Well, describe more or less a typical branding day--one with good weather.
Kevin:  Well, we just always get together and usually everybody's kind of got their job, you know.  Different people.  I usually brand at these different brandings around the Basin, here, you know, and there's other people, the fellows that usually cut or rope.  Everybody kind of has their job from one branding to the next, you know.  And we brand and the women always put on a good feed at noon and most of us will be done before we eat.  Once in awhile we have to do some in the afternoon.  We do some at the Little Jenny Ranch after we eat, but noontime the women always put on good food.  And everybody has a beer or pop or two.  And we eat and go home or go back to branding, depending on whether you are done or not.
Stuart:  You just rope and wrestle them, you don't use a table or anything?  Just the same way they have been doing them since the turn of the century?
Kevin:  We all just put them in a branding trap of some kind and then catch them and rope them and drag them...
Stuart:  You just rope them, you don't run them into a corner and separate the cows out and then leg the calves out?
Kevin:  No way!