RAY E. BABCOCK
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
Ray E. Babcock
My parents, Frank and Neva Babcock, along with my sister Hazel, brother Earl and myself came to Montana in the fall of 1914 by covered wagon from Osage, Ia. My father filed on land 12 miles north of Frazer on the little Porcupine Creek. I was 15 years old.
I went to work for A. P. McClamey and his brother Bill, a horse outfit. They branded the Big on the right shoulder. I worked for A.P. until the next fall. I then went to work for old Dan Knapp, father-in-law of A.P. I worked in the store and Indian trading-post. In the spring of 1917 1 went to work riding for Fred Scott, a cow outfit. His brand was 9-0 (l.r.). In 1918 1 was married to Annie Johnston of Frazer, Mont. We had four children, Margaret, Virginia, Dave and Ned. We were divorced in 1924. 1 took the children home to my mother and went to work for the Fry Cattle Company for a time.
I started rodeoing in 1924. In 1926, at the Kirksville, Mo., Rodeo I met and married Gladys Opal Wilson. We took my children, settled north of Frazer, Mont., ranched, farmed and rodeoed some. I clowned the Miles City rodeo five different years and won the steer roping there in 1928.
Knew all the old time working cowboys around this country. They are about all gone. I worked some for the CBC outfit at Oswego, Mont.
We moved to Yakima, Wash., where I ranched, farmed and rodeoed. I was homesick for Montana from the time we left until we returned in 1951. The children were all married and away from home. I continued ranching until 1956 when I went to work on the Wolf Point police department. I was 57 years old and I worked on the force a little over nine years, was also deputy sheriff.
I still ride and work some for cow outfits, and keep two good saddle horses; also still team rope. We have two boys, Wes and Walt., who are cowboys. Wesley was a bronc rider and Walt a calf roper. All four of my boys have been in some branch of the armed service. I have 13 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. I have a grandson who just got back from Vietnam with a shattered knee cap. The children are scattered. Margaret (Mrs. James) Pephyss lives in Seattle, Wash., as do Dave and Ned, Virginia died in 1928, Wesley Lives in Alva, Okla., and Walter at Cut Bank, Mont.