November 3, 1934
Homer Kenner was born the 12th child in a family of 14 children in a partial log house in the Rattlesnake Buttes community about 20 miles east of Walsenburg, Colorado. Homer learned to work at an early age by milking cows, slopping pigs, and feeding chickens. He was working the lines of a six horse team at the age of nine years to help disc dryland farm ground.
He attended classes in a one-room school through the eighth grade, then graduated from high school in Walsenburg, Colorado in 1952. This was after taking his Junior and Senior classes in one year with an “A” average in all classes but typing where he scored a lowly “B”.
Homer continued farming and ranching with his parents until the fall of 1952 when he enrolled in college at Fort Collins, Colorado, thinking of majoring in History or preparing for law school. However, his Dad became bedridden shortly thereafter so he went home to help care for his Dad and the ranch. During this time, he also helped pull spikes for the railroad to help make a living. Homer rode saddle bronc, bareback and bulls at rodeos in Colorado for 3 years.
Homer’s Dad passed away in 1954 and he and Clarabelle were married the same year. For a time their home was a compact 8’ x 12’ room and with the help of relatives and friends a large 24’ x 26’ house was built where 3 sons, Paul, Lyle and Bryan and a daughter Sandi joined them. They soon learned that God was the only real source to provide for them spiritually, physically and materially giving strength and guidance during sickness injury, droughts, crops being hailed out, and other heartaches.
To provide additionally for the family, Homer did long haul trucking for cattle and hay. He worked as a carpenter, dug earthen dams with a tractor and tumble bug and cut thousands of fence posts with an ax. He trained horses for the family and for many other ranchers. In Colorado, Homer had to haul water for the house, as well as livestock in pastures and corrals. He contracted for a school bus route for 6 years. While in Colorado, Homer served on the ASCS Committee and was a 4-H leader with horses, cattle and sheep.
Homer and his family moved to Northern Minnesota near Wannaska in 1972 continuing to ranch and where water didn’t have to be hauled everywhere! It proved to be a friendly community where Homer was active with ranch research for the University of Minnesota. He also served on the county school board which served a large area.
In 1980, the family ventured into Nebraska settling near Springview where they received a bruising education in pivot irrigation without ample number of systems. Of course, they had their horses and cattle but in 1982 they sold cattle, machinery, and their home in Minnesota. Homer again answered an ad for packing silage near Chambers where enough was earned to pay all remaining bills.
Homer and Clarabelle moved to the Skull Lake Ranch in 1986 which blessed them with a wonderful community and wealth of friends. They came back to the Wood Lake ranch in 1993 as buyers where they presently reside. Homer calls it a good investment. The ranch is presently leased to son Paul and Homer enjoys putting out salt and mineral and hauling bales with Grandson Brandon. He and Clarabelle have 7 saddle horses, 1 old mule and 2 stock dogs and great grandchildren close by to spoil.