Early Sublette County Brands Project
Edna Swain Ranch
Edna Swain with Jonita Sommers,
July 24, 1990, at her ranch on the Green River

Jonita- How long have you been on this ranch?

Edna- 47 years this fall.

Jonita- What kind of animals do you run on your ranch?

Edna- We have mostly cattle, some saddle horses, a work team.

Jonita- How did you come to have this ranch?

Edna- Well, we leased it to begin with 47 years ago when Bill and Christina lived here and then Christina became very sick and Bill had arthritis so bad that he couldn't lift his arms to get the harness on the team any more and so they decided to lease it so we leased it and have been here ever since.  Then when Christina died and when Bill was living alone in town and was so lonesome and homesick to be on the ranch, he had the older boys, you know, come in and stay with him all the time and they got so they didn't want to stay in town; they wanted to be on the ranch.  And so we just said, you know, why don't you just come out and live .... be the easiest.  So he lived 25 years -with us before he passed away and he willed me the ranch when he died.  That's how I got it.

Jonita- OK, now are there any other brands on this ranch before you came here?

Edna- Yes, Christina had a brand and it was the L.open A. L.

Jonita-  OK, how many brands does your place have now?

Edna- We ... just the two.  Garly's is the B Slash K and mine is the Grubbing Hoe.

Jonita- OK, and from what stream do you irrigate?

Edna- Mostly out of the Pool slough, but the Pool slough comes out of the Green River.

Jonita- Who are your nighbors and what are their brands?

Edna- Red Matheson lives just below us, and his brand is _T and John lives just below him and his brand is the Lazy EX.

Jonita- OK now, just about your brand--what is your brand, describe it and tell where it is on the animal.

Edna- Originally, the brand looked like the regular old grabbing hoe that the oldtimers used to use when they first settled up in here and grubbed off the sage brush which was called a grubbing hoe.  But down through the years, it has changed so much.  In the drawings of them, now it looks like a candle, but it really isn't.  It's supposed to be the grubbing hoe.

Jonita- Where is it located on the animal?

Edna- On the left rib.

Jonita- What is your earmark?

Edna- Slit in the left ear and the 2 L's taken out of the right ear so it comes up with a stem right in the middle.

Jonita- Do you have any wattles or dewlaps?

Edna- No....  no.

Jonita- How long have you had the brand?

Edna- Since 1963, when Bill died and we settled the estate, it became mine.

Jonita- OK, can you tell me some history about the brand?  Where it came from and how old?

Edna- Well,, the brand originally was applied for by Bill Woods in 1911 when he, I believe, at that time acquired this particular place which is the Slate place where the buildings sit and some land across the creek which I think was 360 acres.

Jonita- Has your brand been a good one?

Edna- Yes, very good.

Jonita-  Why?

Edna- Well, it's real easy to put on and it's easy to see and we like it very much.

Jonita- Is there a plan to keep the brand in your family?

Edna- Yes, whatever happens probably to the ranch, the brand will go with the ranch
and as of now, why Garly's interested in it and then I think mayby probably, one of his boys will be interested hopefully.

Jonita- OK, now Garly' s brand, the V Slash K. do you know when he got it?

Edna- When he was in high school, he applied for that and when he first went into
FFA he applied for the brand and he accumulated himself a little herd of cows.

Jonita- When do you usually brand?

Edna-Oh, try to brand around the middle of May, oh, the 20th, somewhere along in there.

Jonita- And has this always been the case?

Edna- Pretty much so.

Jonita- Who helps you brand?

Edna- Well, the neighbors and friends -and kids out of town and whatever ... whoever.

Jonita- Do you help others brand?

Edna- Yes, we have ... usually always.

Jonita- Describe a typical branding day.

Edna- Well, sometimes it's rainy, sometimes it is nice.  A very busy days specially for
the cook, and wrestlers.

Jonita- Has your branding procedure changed over the years?

Edna- Not too much, no.