CARL AND FRIEDA JOHNSON EMMONS
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
My parents, a brother Rowe and a sister Ester, came to Sheridan, Wyo., by covered wagon in 1861. 1, Carl, was born Oct. 8, 1895. When I was six months old my father, Henry (Bud) Emmons, died as a result of an accidental gunshot wound. Later a stepfather got the property put in his name and soon after left my mother with seven children and no means of support. In 1909, my uncle, Charley Wilkinson, asked us to come to help at his sawmill at Stacey, Mont. My mother cooked for the crew and my brother and I helped in the timber. Homesteading opened at this time and my uncle helped my mother to file on a homestead claim on the Mizpah near Olive, Mont. Later I proved up on a homestead at Stacey which I sold. We gradually got started raising cattle and horses as there was yet open range. I bought cattle and a brand from Clayton Bidwell, this is (H Lazy K) on right ribs of cattle and right shoulder of horses. This is the brand we have used throughout the years. The saying was, "The latch string is out." Over night stoppers were always welcome as they brought us up to date on other rancher's activities and "grubline riders" with their gift for "yarn spinning" broke the monotony during the winter when we were more or less isolated. In 1917 1 was called to serve my country in World War I. I sold my sawmill and left my mother and sisters to take care of the stock and ranch while I was away. After the armistice, I returned to the ranch. The long, cold winter of 19191920 almost proved disastrous. It took a week to make the trip to and from Miles City for feed and we couldn't bring out large enough loads to keep the cattle from starving. We just cinched in our belts, picked up our lagging courage and hoped for a better "next year." I had been corresponding with a girl I had met in Portland, Ore., when in the service by the name of Frieda Johnson. We were married June 10, 1920, and will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in 1970. The first summer we lived in a sheepwagon in the Elkridge Mountains near Stacey where my sawmill was located. Nothing was modern; bread or biscuits were baked in a small sheepwagon oven and meals were served outside, roundup style. That fall, my wife taught in a little log school, across the fence from where we lived. I was at the sawmill a great deal and my wife was alone with only a saddle horse to ride if she had to go somewhere. In 1934, because of the drought, grasshoppers and depression, we sold the stock and moved to Sheridan, Wyo., for a few years. Our children attended school there and both graduated from Sheridan High School. During their high school years they stayed with my mother, Etta Brinegar. About 1938 we returned to the ranch and although we had some reverses we moved steadily forward. We planted alfalfa and put in a dike system, also adding land to the ranch over the years. We, our son, Charley and wife, Doris Jean formed a partnership. New methods and machinery and lots of hard work has made a fine hay and stock ranch of what began as a homestead. Our family takes charge of stock in the winter which gives us the opportunity of going south to milder climates for several months each year. Our son Charley and Doris Jean have five children. Our daughter Betty is married to Lyle Bird and lives in Seattle, Wash. They have four children. Now, as we, face into the sunset of life, our courage is still mostly high and faith undaunted.