Early Sublette County Brands Project
Fear Ranch
 Buss Fear was interviewed by Mary Fear with Kenneth Fear, Jr. assisting
January 19, 1991 at 3:30 P.M., at Buss & Mardell's home in Marbleton, Wyoming.

     The Fears were fairly early homesteaders in the Big Piney area and would like to have the history recorded of the brands that they have used through the years.

 I. Clifton Fear, Sr., born February 20, 1895 in Iowa and came to Big Piney with Mother and Father, Jessie and Frank A. Fear, in 1897.

 2. Clifton Fear, Jr. born March 10, 1919 to Clifton Fear, Sr. and Cornelia Fear.

 3. Kenneth Fear, Sr. born March 4, 1920 to Clifton Fear.  Sr. and Cornelia Fear

 4- Mardell Fear born August 5, 1921 to Rodney Bennett, Sr. and Ines Bennett.

      Kenneth Fear, Sr., known to most people an "Buss, was born March 4, 1920, at the home ranch southeast of Big Piney.  They lived there until be retired in 1988 and moved to Marbleton, Wyoming.  He and his wife Mardell celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary there on the ranch.  His parents were Clifton fear, Sr. and Cornelia O'Neil Fear.  The ranch was known as the Old Norris place and his parents moved there in 1918 or 1919.

      Buss' grandfather, Frank A. Fear, came from Iowa and the first brand used was I0WA. The Hat L brand used by Clifton Fear, Sr. since 1909 was later used by Fear Ranches, Incorporated for almost 30 years.  When the Corporation was dissolved, Kenneth Fear, Jr. was given the brand.

      Kenneth Fear, Sr. designed the K Spear Brand and sent in and had it recorded in 1934. Later in 1952 it was transfered to Kenneth Fear, Jr.  It has only had two owners.  We plan to keep it in the family and probably transfer it to either Mandy Fear Norris or Jay T. Fear.

The Three Box Brand now owned by Kenneth Fear, Sr. was an old Oscar Beck brand and it came with some cattle Clifton bought from Oscar Beck in 1925 or 1926.

      The Two Bar Four brand which Kenneth still has came with some cattle he bought from Link Schidler in 1945 or 46.

      Frank A. Fear's first trip out here to Big Piney was for an elk hunting trip.  He hunted with some people who had moved out earlier from Iowa.  Frank ran a store and farm in Iowa and moved out here when Clifton Fear, Sr. was two years old in 1897.  His homestead was south of Big Piney on South Piney Creek.  Fred Reardon and wife Ella, who was Frank's sister, came out from Iowa with the Fear family.  Frank and Jessie Fear each took out a 320 acre homestead and Fred and Ella Reardon each took out 320 acre homesteads.

       Kenneth's Grandfather used the I0WA Brand and the natives here called all the people from Iowa the Pumpkin Rollers.  Grandfather Frank changed his brand to the S Bar 0.  The S Bar 0 was the only brand Kenneth can ever remember his Grandfather using.  Don't know how that brand was acquired.

      The Hat L Brand that my father used for so many years came with some cattle he
had purchased in about 1915 or 1916.  Not sure of date. (1909)

      Three Bar brand Clifton Fear, Sr. acquired when he bought cows from Oscar Beck, after Beck had sold the ranch out to Mickelson's or Jimmy Jenkins. The brand went with the cattle in 1925 or 1926.

      The Two Bar Four brand originally belonged to Link Schidler and when he retired and went out of business, Kenneth Fear, Sr. bought the cattle and the brand went with the cattle.  Reason for doing that is that it saves rebranding the cattle.

      The Ranch gets its water supply from Middle Piney and South Piney Creeks. They both run through the ranch.

      `Floyd Norris owned the ranch to the west of us and P. W. Jenkins owned the Muleshoe ranch to the east.  In about 1926 or 27 Butch Norris bought the ranch.  Later Phil Marincic, Sr. bought the Muleshoe ranch and he used the Seven X L Bar brand.  Floyd Norris used the U & I brand.

      For the ear mark with the Three Bar brand, originally I cropped both ears or tipped the ear.  Ear marks for the Hat L brand was a swallow fork in the  left ear.  After I received the Two Bar Four brand, I used the under bit in the left ear and cow bit in the right ear.

      My Father used a waddle and called it the Jug Handle for a few years.  This scared the cattle and he quit using it

      We made all our own branding irons.

      These Brands are all excellent brands.  They quit using the older I0WA brand because it took so many branding irons and was slow to put on.

      The brands we have now we plan to keep.  Most of them were purchased with cattle and we didn't design them.  Since I have retired I have kept three different brands.  I use them on horses and have kept than so I'll have then if I need them.

      When I was 8 years old I went with my father on the July Roundup.   That was when everybody turned out their cattle and there were 12 to 15 operators (the different ranches) and they worked their cattle up the country.  They turned the cattle out early April or the month of April.  Then in summer along in July, they would have groups from the ranches or a representative go out to brand.  Some would hold up the bunch of cattle and one person would rope.  He knew all the brands and he would catch the calves when they were mothered up with the cow.  The calves were then branded.  This would take about three weeks.

      In the fall of the year a representative would go from each ranch and they would gather the cattle and sort the beef.  Left the cattle out in those days until the storms brought them in.  Sometimes it would be in November before the cattle were gathered up.

      As time went on, more ground was fenced up.  The forest was fenced in th 30's.  In 1933 or 1934 we had to start counting the cattle onto the forest.  By then they had gotten the forest boundries fenced.

      In 1934 the Taylor Grazing Act, which in now the Bureau of Land Management, went into effect and they fenced and started dividing the allotments for the different operators and changed the methods that they were doing.