August 30, 1936
Jerry D. Carson was born August 30, 1936 to Gerald J. and Mabelle (Siefers) Carson on a ranch west of Marsland, Nebraska. He has an older sister Lois (Hampton). When Jerry was 11 years old, the family moved to the Moran Cattle Co Ranch and worked for M.D. Shepherd, south of Hyannis. Jerry started 7th grade in Hyannis. Jerry began honing his roping skills riding over the hill and roping calves when no one was around. He also began breaking colts—even some that he wasn't supposed to Jerry competed in basketball during his high school years, graduating in 1953 at the age of 16 and began working for Harvey Evans at the Hager Ranch south of Hyannis
on October 3, 1953. In 1957, on a dare made by his good friend, Pete Rhode, Jerry met Sharon Porter. They were married October 26, 1958 and made their home on the Hager ranch. Two children were born to them—Becky Lynn on July 4, 1960 and Stuart Morgan on July 30, 1962.
He was also a member of the Grant County Roping Club and served as president of the club. He participated in many weekend ranch rodeos, competing in team roping, calf roping, occasionally bareback riding, team penning, and team sorting. The family was also involved in the club with Sharon serving as secretary and occasionally, Stuart as his heeling partner. Jerry became active in team-pulling contests in Arthur, Nebraska, and competed in several competitions around the state and even into South Dakota. He and Harvey Evans hauled horses to many of these together in an old cattle truck. Some of Jerry's favorite teams were Shag and Doc, Dick and Dumbo and Dick and Chauncey. hi 1975, Jerry won the Nebraskaland Days team pulling contest in North Platte with Dick and Chauncey. Jerry also raised coyote hounds and many a weekend was spent hunting coyotes with family and friends many times, horseback. In 1979, the Hager Ranch sold. Jerry had worked for Harvey for 26 years.
In Spring of 1979, Jerry and Sharon moved their family to the Jack Lowe Ranch west of Whitman. Jerry continued with his ranch rodeos and jackpot roping's at the Carver Weekend Jackpots. When Jerry was no longer a participant, he became a flagger and helped keep the cowboy spirit alive. Jerry had raised a horse named "Elmer". He competed in a saddle puling contest with Elmer and won 2nd place at the Fall River County Fair in South Dakota. At Lowe's, Jerry began raising greyhounds for racing. Many of the "Heart C" greyhounds raced on the tracks on the east coast and the hounds won a few stakes races. The dogs were known for their racing stamina.
In 1992, after 13 years at the ranch, Jack Lowe retired and sold the ranch. Jerry and Sharon then moved to the McMurtrey Ranch at Nenzel to work for A.W. Moursund. Jerry's dad, Gerald, also moved to the McMurtrey Ranch with them. Jerry retired from racing greyhounds and since horses were no longer used as work horses, Jerry retired from team-pullings. Jerry worked for A.W. Moursund and then the Kime family until 2002, when Jerry and Sharon retired to their property in North Platte.
Jerry was always known for his strong work ethic, as he treated each ranch as his own. Jerry was also known as having a good sting of horses for both riding and pulling. He broke many colts through his career, and kept the cowboy spirit alive with his sense of pride in being a sandhills cowboy. The summer hay crew that worked for Jerry always had a good experience with Jerry—his dry sense of humor, and tricks that he played, kept the hard work enjoyable.
Jerry and Sharon have been married for 59 years and currently live in North Platte, Nebraska. Jerry has 4 grandchildren Ashley Carson in Ogallala, NE, Benjamin Carson in Elkhorn, NE, Page Fitzgerald in Lexington, NE and Jera (Fitzgerald) Smith of Chadron, NE, two great grandchildren—Molly Carson and Owen Smith.
Jerry is a true cattleman. Jerry did not own a ranch, but he had a few cows with his brand on them. Jerry's life was centered on ranching in the Nebraska Sandhills. He took enormous pride in his work, and was well-known for his work ethic—he stayed at the job for many years. His pride and joy was how the cow looked to the owner, the tightness of a fence, or the weaning weights of the owner's calves at shipping time. Even though he didn't own a large herd, he treated all the cows as if they were his own. He fought adverse weather, even risky conditions to make sure the owners cattle had feed and water. He made sure the quality of hay harvested was of the highest quality—baling or stacking at the right moisture content. The cows never missed a day of feed due to illness when Jerry was at the ranch. Jerry was one who 'rode for the brand'— he was a loyal ranch hand, and could be entrusted with the ranch when the owner/manager was absent. He lived by the adage to "always do your best" and it shows in all his work. Now that he is retired, he is still proud of the work he has accomplished over the years, even to the benefit of others. Jerry exemplifies the true spirit of the American Cowboy. Several ranches in the Sandhills own their success to Jerry Carson-a ranch hand, father, grandfather, and most
Jerry was president of the Grant County Roping Club and was active in the local ranch rodeos and jackpot roping. He was active as a participant and also helped with the operations of the contests. He won several awards at these weekend contests.
Jerry's pulling teams competed at team pulling contests in Ogallala, North Platte, Alliance, Rushville, Valentine, Chadron, Nebraska, and White River and Edgemont, South Dakota. Jerry won 1st place at the Nebraskaland Days Team Pulling Contest in 1975, 2nd place in the Saddle Horse Pull at Fall River County in 1979, and 1st place in Hyannis Team Pulling in 1973.
Jerry's greyhounds won stakes races at race tracks in Abilene, Kansas and Jacksonville, Florida. Jerry was also active in coyote hound races, winning at several races with his hunting hounds.
Jerry competed in the Hyannis Old Timer's Rodeo in Calf Roping, Team Roping and one year in bareback riding.