Harry Walker Haythorn

Harry Walker Haythorn

July 11, 1895 – October 8, 1948

Harry Walker Haythorn, the younger brother of Walter P. Haythorn, was born to Harry & Emma Gilpin Haythorn July 11, 1895. Growing up at the turn of the century Walter and Harry were given much responsibility at an early age, quickly learning the ways of cattle, horses and the Sandhills. Though different in ability and personalities, they built on their family relationship through their lives. Confident in his two son’s ability, father Harry sent them out on the P.A. Yeast Wagon so he could spend more time overseeing his own ever expanding ranch. The young brothers were becoming accomplished bronc riders so whenever they came across a rank horse they would trade for a broke one from the Yeast Remuda so they could hone their skills. The following summer the boys were hired with explicit instructions to trade for all the good horses they had traded away. By the time Walt and Harry were handed the reins to the ranch the Haythorn brothers had become synonymous with the Sandhills and the cowboy way of life. By the late “teens” the ranch was dominated by horned Herefords with little evidence of longhorns remaining. Horses always played a huge part on the ranch and utilization of remount stallions and marketing of horses to the government was a major source of income. Walt and Harry W. broke every horse to drive then continued working the biggest ones and rode the small ones. The two brothers also put together a string of bucking horses which they trailed or shipped by train to local rodeos. They later sold most of these horses to Bill O’Conner to put into his rough stock string. They continued to sell bucking horses to Bill that may have been ridden on the ranch for more than 6 years.

Harry W. was drafted into the US Army and was involved in a skirmish in Europe called “The Great War”. He returned home in 1918 and later married a local gal. Harry Walker Haythorn was wed to Emeline Menter in Los Angels, CA on February 1, 1921 witnesses by his parents Harry and Emma.

Harry W. tried his hand in the movie business and was a stunt driver in the chariot race scene of the original movie “Ben Hur” all the while raising a family and running a ranch with his brother.

Emeline and Hazel, Walters’ wife, were sisters and were daughters of the first licensed vet in the area, Charles Menter. The union of Harry W. and Emeline produced four children. Helen Marie, Harry Knight, Howard Conrad and Patricia Ann. The two oldest died at very young ages.

Harry W. and Walter ran the ranch as partners, Walt at Arthur and Harry at Lemoyne. Construction on Kingsley Dam began in the mid 30’s to be completed by 1940. The lake would flood much of the south end of the Haythorn Ranch sending Harry looking for another ranch. After looking at many places in both Colorado and Nebraska, he ran into an old friend on the train from Omaha after selling some cattle who told him he had a ranch for sale. Harry got off the train, looked at the ranch, got back on the train, went home and told his family to start packing, he had bought a ranch. Walter and Harry split the cattle and horses and Harry trailed his half the 70 miles or so to the Ranch in Maxwell. It took them 9 days including 3 days at Birdwood Creek where they split the heifers. They leased the Birdwood where they ran yearling heifers. After they split the heifers and keeping some each, the rest were trailed to Sutherland where they were loaded on a train and shipped to Omaha.

In 1948 Harry became ill and died leaving his son Howard to take over the ranch at the young age of 19.

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