September 1901 – November 1963
Morris E. Rosseter was born in 1901 on the family homestead south of Cody, Nebraska, where his father was engaged in ranching. The family moved to Valentine, Nebraska in 1907 when his father, Clyde, was elected to the office of Sheriff of Cherry County – an office held by Clyde until 1916. Morris’ s mother, Harriet, died in Valentine during the 1918 influenza epidemic.
He located on the Fawn Lake Ranch around 1920, where his father was in charge of management of the Fawn Lake, U-Cross and Star ranches – the ranches that comprised the Fawn Lake Ranch Company. He learned ranch management under his father’s tutelage – all this time his love for ranching and animals grew even deeper. When Clyde died at the age 54 in February 1930, Morris took the reins and complete control of the facility.
Morris married Marie Frederiksen on August 6, 1943. The couple lived together on the ranch until his death. They were not blessed with children, but his love for children was showered on his niece and nephew and the many youngsters who resided on the ranches throughout the years.
Morris – Mose to his friends – had a special passion for horses. His fondest dream was to someday retire from cattle ranching and raise racehorses. He had begun to build a stable of thoroughbreds, a few of which he raced at various area racetracks. Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack in Omaha was a regular venue for his horses such as Angle Eyes and Skippy Tubow. He also had an impressive string of draft horses that were used for various types of ranch work, such as putting up hay. All tack was kept in top condition and replaced when worn on a regular basis. There were no tractors ever used on any of the ranches. When asked why use horses instead of tractors, he would always reply: “Horses will always start, regardless of the weather conditions and are easier to maintain.”
Morris served on the Sheridan County Fair Board for close to 30 years. He also served as Arena Director for the Sheridan County Rodeo throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s. This was a position he took very seriously. He ran a tight ship and was constantly traveling around the country recruiting top PRCA cowboys – such as Casey Tibbs – to compete. The result was always a top notch show with top caliber cowboys and specialty acts.
Morris loved and protected his family all his life. He was always expressing pride in the accomplishments of his three sisters. He often mentioned his sister, Frances, who was chief RN of the nursery at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado; his sister Clydene, a teacher and guidance counselor at an Englewood, Colorado junior high school and Reva Rosseter Evans, his sister who owned, published and was editor of The Gordon Journal for 40 years. Family was extremely important to him, and he to them.
He was an avid fan and strong supporter of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. He held season tickets and attended any games he could manage to get away fro – this during the lean pre-Devaney years. His joy was unmatched when Bob Devaney took the helm and finally beat Oklahoma.
Morris was active on the ranch until a week before his death. He was hospitalized with what was thought to be the flue, but suffered a fatal heart attack on November 25, 1963 – the day of John F. Kennedy’s funeral. Morris enjoyed life to the fullest. He was well-liked by those who knew him and admired for his ranching and animal care expertise. His pride of the land was evident in the care he gave it. His love of ranching, animals, family, the Cornhuskers and dedication to his various goals was recognized by all who knew and respected him.