January 5, 1937
Darty Schilke was born January 5, 1937 to Robert and Anna Schilke in rural Chase County. He had 3 older brothers Robert, Marvin and Kermit as well as 2 younger brothers, Wayne and Larry. At an early age he was actively involved in the daily activities of caring for livestock and crops on the family farm. Darty attended a country grade school until the 8th grade and then started working full time on the family farm.
Darty married his wife Marla and together they built the farming and ranching operation they still run today. Starting small they continued to add to their operation eventually adding a feedlot and cow-calf operation. In 2000 they purchased part of the Kilpatrick ranch. He is involved in everything from treating sick calves, figuring rations, driving a semi during harvest or loading out fats.
Darty roped calves in his younger years but later took up team roping becoming a respected header and winning many buckles and jackpots. He greatly enjoyed the time spent roping with his family and his roping buddies. He was always willing to lend a hand whether pushing steers or working on the arena.
Darty and Marla had 3 children; Russ, Deb and Mark. All 3 learned to rope, ride and work cattle alongside their Dad, learning his work ethic along the way. Russ and Mark both worked in the family operation until Russ’ death in 2018. Mark continues to work with his dad today.
Darty is the kind of guy who won’t ask any employee to do a job he won’t do himself. He often times is the first one out in the morning and the last one in at night by his choice. He takes great pride in his cow her, feedlot and crops. He is constantly rebuilding fences and maintaining equipment and buildings. This week he is still putting in railroad tie corner posts by himself. He’s known and respected by cattle buyers from here to Canada. He has broken his back, had a horse roll over on him and broke his collarbone. At age 80 he was run over by 3 fat steers and broke his pelvis, cracked his femur and hurt his shoulder and every time he gives you that signature grin and asks you how you are. The nurses at the trauma center called him the Rockstar Cowboy.
He is a man of his word and does business with a firm handshake. Darty has lived by his powerful faith and no doubt will continue to be out there still cutting the bulls at branding and roping and dragging calves at his and all the neighbor’s brandings for a long while yet.