Early Sublette County Brands Project
Swift Ranch
Bousman Ranch
 Interviewer - Stuart McKinley
 Phelps Swift and Floyd Bousman
 
 Phelps: OK. I'm Phelps Swift.  I was born in Chicago in 1926.  I am the great-grandson of the founder of Swift and Company, a fact of which I'm very proud, controversial, perhaps.  I grew up in the Chicago area and attended boarding school in Connecticut, and then I put 2 and 1/2 years in in the Army, partially as an enlisted man, partially as an officer, partially in the U.S. and partially in the Phillipines.  After Army service I attended Yale where I had been accepted before.  There was a very large undergraduate group - 75% of them returning service men, including George Bush, who I knew slightly.  Wonderful athletic teams, wonderful scholastic records, and all the rest of it.

 After college I went to work for an offshoot of the family business which had producing plants in Australia, Asia and South America.  Then I lived in Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, and New Zealand.  I also worked extensively in continental Europe and England.  After 17 years of this endeavor it became pretty clear that my future was non-existent in this company in that other financial interests were taking over the company and we weren't compatible.  And also the English were entering the Common Market which ruined our exporting business from the Southern Henisphere.
 At which point the Circle 9 Ranch, which I established, acquired in August 1967 the J Diamond Land and Livestock Company owned by Joe Hicks of Pinedale and Ned Payne of Chicago.  The Circle 9 and the Quarter Circle 9 brands were established around this period and registered at the Cheyenne brand office.  The initial property consisted of what we now call the main ranch, approximately 2800 acres on the East Fork River and included land put together by Joe Hicks, including at least the Radakovich Place, the Martin field, the Finis Mitchell homestead.  The purchase included farming equipment, 1/2 of the minerals, all after 20 years and 350 Angus cows.
 Before we go on, we are fortunate to have Floyd Bousman here who knows these properties far better than I do.  And perhaps he could give us what background he has on the Radakovich place, the Martin and Finis Mitchell homestead as well as any other properties in that particular piece of land.

 Floyd Bousman: Well, there were two or three other small pieces involved in there.  Probably recall some of the names.  Some of what you have belonged to the people that the State purchased the rearing ponds from.  I don't recall his name--Jack somebody.  I knew him, too.  I should remember his name.  The Martin place was really the Patrick place.  He sold it to Buster Martin.  I knew Radakovich.  They had several kids that are still alive.  One of them, Steve I think, lives in Rock Springs, and one of the girls is married to Pete Olson.  She was a Radakovich girl.

 Phelps: Radakovich.  He homesteaded that.

  Bousman: I think so.  As you know the house is still there.
Those kids all went to school in Boulder.

Phelps: Right.  And the Buster Martin.  Who homesteaded that place?

Bousman: I'm not sure whether Patrick homesteaded that or whether somebody before him because that was before my time because I didn't come here until 1937.

 Phelps: Now Finis Mitchell.  His parents homesteaded that place as I understand it.

 Bousman: They very well could have.  You know his brother Dennis, I'm sure.  And Finis is still alive.  He lives in Rocks Springs.

Phelps: He was quite well known for his mountaineering ability and so forth.

Okay.  Also included was the McIntosh Place on Boulder Creek, a private grazing lease on Cottonwood Canyon, and a BLM Lease, the Fremont Butte Allotment.  Now the McIntosh place, Mr.and Mrs. McIntosh.  Is there anything you can add about those people?

 Bousman: Well, I think Levi McIntosh was dead before I came here.  Of course, I know his son, and daughters.  Three daughters: Jennie McPherson who is still. alive, and Flora Graham was another daughter, and a third one was Grace, who is married to Bob McBride and lives down in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Phelps: Now Jennie's parents.  Do you think they homesteaded the place?

Bousman: I think so, but you'd have to go back to the records to find that.

Phelps: The next property purchased approximately in 1974 was the Sparks tract known tiD some as the Zeeta (sp) Roop homestead, including 240 acres of deeded land and a BLM  lease known as the Walter Rake (sp) allotment.  The last property acquired... Let's go on about the Sparks place and Zeeta Roop.

Bousman: Her husband was Skinny Roop, and I believe Skinny homesteaded that and Zeeta was Don Sparks' sister, and she in later years turned it over to Don Sparks who sold it.  He lived out there for many years.

Phelps: Yes.  A lot of these buildings are still in stages of disrepair around.  And Sparks was the Treasurer of Sublette County?  Is that right?

Bousman: Yes, in later years he became Sublette County Treasurer, and at that time I believe he still lived on the ranch over east of here.

Phelps: I see. 0kay.  In the early '80s we acquired the New Fork property which lies along the New Fork River contiguous to the McIntosh place but separated by the highway.  We call this the Olson place and the transaction was the result of a land swap between Pete Olson and another individual in Big Piney, whose name I can't recall.  It might be interesting to note that Pete Olson, who is a well-known rancher in the area, is married to one of the Radakovich children, Anne, and we've enjoyed a relationship with the Olsons.

Bousman: Well., that's true.  And most people, old timers, call that the Martin Brandt place.  And I believe, I'm not certain, that Martin Brandt's wife was a sister to old Jim Jensen's wife. He used to be for many years a County Commissioner from the East Fork area and that's the name that place was known by by most of the older people.  There was one other owner in between the Brandts and Pete Olson.  I can't recall his name, and I knew him, too.  I believe he had one arm or lost part of an arm.  I just offhand can't think of his name.
 Phelps: Floyd, would you care to give us a quick run-down on your properties in this area?

Bousman: Well, gosh, that will probably take a while.  I sold most of what I had to my kids as you well know.  I was pretty well acquainted with the Roops.  The first place I bought in Sublette County right after World War II was Boulder Lake Ranch which we got from Chris Berg.  His wife spent many years on this place right next to you.  She had previously been married to Alvy Thompson, who owned the place that Larry Lozier has, and after he died, Cchris Berg eventually sold it to Carl Jorgensen, and then Carl sold it to, I believe, Buddy Jensen.  But it changed hands several times before it got to Rob Lozier and Larry who has it now.  But the second place that we got, we just call it the Roop place, had been owned by three of the Roop brothers (Frank and Ed and Claude).  And Frank, I think, got killed during World War I, and we bought it from Ed and Claude, and still have it--I sold it to my daughter (Susie Blaha and John Blaha).  The rest of what we had in that particular area had been homesteaded by several people.  We have what we call the Bergen place, 160 acres along the Boulder Lake Lane and it was homesteaded by the Friezens and they were related to the Bergens and later sold out to them and they sold it to Roy Lozier and he sold to a boy from Kemmerer, and we bought it from them, and that included I think 160 acres that the two Bird brothers owned right along the other side of the Boulder Lake Lane, and Johnny Steele owns some land in there.  And then there is a fellow by the name of Trout that had 160 acres right along the highway.  Years ago there were a lot of people that scraped out a living on these little patches of ground.  How they did it, I don't know.  They didn't live that good.  But they did make a living and stayed here for many years.  And then we in later years acquired the old Olson place from the wife's mother and brother over on the East Fork, which we sold to our son Joel over there.  So really all I have now of my own is the Buckskin Crossing place over on Big Sandy, and I still have that Bergen place along that Boulder Lake road.
Phelps: Thank you, we don't want to go on about this forever.  Are there any quick questions you want to ask us?

 Q: About the brands?

 I can draw the brand if you want it,

 Q. Does Floyd want to tell about his brands?

Bousman: The brand that we got with the Roop place was a Box Quarter Circle and previous to that I bought a new brand from the Livestock Board for the Boulder Lake Ranch which was a Reverse B Cross.  And then after that I purchased a brand from Gladwin Jensen - a Spider brand which I've used mostly through all the years.  There were 2 or 3 other brands - one which my oldest boy has called the Seathook which was a realy old brand, one of the Springsteads.

Phelps: Well., I should have said something, I guess, about how we happened to dream up this Quarter Circle 9 or Circle 9 Ranch.  At that stage of the game we had 9 children between the two of us, all living under one roof, who was later joined by the tenth.  So we figured, you know, that's pretty good to have 9 kids, and we'll just call it the Circle 9 ranch.  We think it's a good brand.  We haven't had any problems with it.  You talk about branding and parties and whatnot.  The normal thing in this area is the neighbors join each other.  Loziers are mostly always there and Bargers are most always there and various others.  Merley Morss has been there. And it is in the spring.   I think we
have said quite a bit.

Bousman: Well, it was the luckiest thing that could have ever happened to me because I was able the last year or two in the service to save enough money to buy that Boulder Lake Ranch.  On per diem allotment, and we made a lot of money.  We'd play a little poker.  And all this stuff.  I ran around a lot.  When I was in Africa, every two weeks I'd have to go on a route check and we'd go up to London, over to Paris, down to Rome and back down to Naples, and maybe to Tunis and Tripoli and Algiers and back home.  There were three of us ran the briefing office.  We briefed all the air crews that went through there, whether they were going to England or going to Italy or on out to Cairo or wherever.  And we had to travel all these routes where we'd send airplanes.  We'd get up and make about a 30 minute talk to all these air crews every morning.  And we had a continual stream of combat crews coming through there, maybe 30 or 40 crews a day, you see, and they had to be briefed about where they were going because they didn't know the country.  We'd answer all the questions these fellows had.  I had opportunities to make a little money.  I bought a set of golf clubs in London one time and hauled them down to Africa and sold them for about four times what I paid for them.  So I saved a little money.  I was lucky.  The right place at the right time.  I hauled four bicycles from McCraw down on the Gold Coast of Africa up to Marrakech for my buddies there.  They gave us a converted B-24.  They called it a C-87.  Took orders from everybody on the base for booze because at McCraw you could get good Scotch whiskey that the British had.  Hell, a light colonel, assistant CD of the base there, took the damn plane down there.  We went along and got him there.  It'd take a month for anyone on the base to buy booze.  We got down there and got in a hell of a battle with the darn finance officer on the base.  He only wanted to exchange a couple hundred bucks apiece of our French francs for the local money which was in pounds.  We had a hell of a time getting our money converted where we could go into town.  Stayed down there 2 or 3 days.  We used to do all kinds of those things -- for Christmas.

 Phelps: Just at Christmas time.

Bousman: Well, yeah. (laughter) You wouldn't believe a lot of the things we used to do.  We liked to take a fishing trip up in those Atlas Mountains about 60 or 70 miles south of Marrakech.  They go up pretty high, you know, 13-14000 feet.  Lot of good fishing for little Eastern Brooks.  The French never let the Arabs fish, you know the local people illegal for them to catch a fish.  But hell, we could check out a recon car and hire a local barber that spoke Arabic to go along and interpret for us. The CO would put us on leave orders so if we got in any trouble we would be legal.  Then when we got back, provided we gave him enough fish, he'd tear up the leave orders so it didn't count against oour leave time.  Boy, there was lots of stuff.  I don't think of anything else.

Phelps: I'll write the the J Diamond.  You don't remember if there was a bar between there, do you?

Bousman: No, I don't think there was, just the J Diamond.  I can't remember for sure where he put it.  You see, Joe (Hicks) didn't have the place very long--very many years.

 Q. Now was that Joe's brand, the J Diamond?

Bousman: Yeah, I think it was a brand that he got out of a book.

Phelps: Now it could have been his father's because he felt very strongly about the brand.

Bousman: Could have.  But old Ralph, he didn't have animals.

 Phelps: He was more of an outfitter, wasn't he?

 Bousman: More of an outfitter, and the boys did that.  About 1938 they used to have a check station up there at Kendall, up the Green River, and I was working up there at Mosquito Lake for Charles Hall at a hunting camp, and we had some hunters come in one day that he had booked, and they said this guy down at the check station says there isn't any elk up here.  All the elk are over there in the Hoback Basin.  That was Joe Hicks.  Old Casey Cline was the Game Warden that hired him.  He fired him over that.  All the hunters that'd go up the Green River he'd try to steer them over to the Hoback to his boys that were running the hunting camp.  That was Ralph.
 

 Phelps: He was quite a colorful guy, was he?

 Bousman: Well, sort of.
 Q.  Was Sam Hicks here then?

Bousman: Sam was still here then.  He was the best one of those boys.  Sam took a job working for Erle Stanley Gardner that used to write mystery stories out in California.  And I understand Sam is dead.

 Phelps: He did pretty well for himself.

 Bousman: Yeah, I think he did.  And another boy, what the hell was his name, the oldest one, he left here and I think he went down around Aspen, Colorado, and had some kind of little construction business.  I can't remember his name, but I used to know all of them.  But the first place that Joe got was the old Black place up here on Little Half Moon Lake, the one that Bandy has now, you know that black guy that bought it?

 Phelps: Now is it right on Half Moon Lake?

 Bousman: Yeah, down at the lower end, below it.

 Phelps: That's a nice area.

Bousman: Oh, yeah, it is.  It's a good location.  I'm trying to thing of the name of the guy he bought it from--a gambler--I knew him, too.  There was still at that time gambling in Pinedale--everything was wide open.  You played 21, poker, roulette wheel, anything.  All the restaurants and bars and everything had slot machines.

Phelps: Does Mrs. Bandy have that place now down on Half Moon Lake?

 Bousman: Yeah, and she's trying to sell it.