February 14, 1934
Walter L. Rhoades was born February 14, 1934 to Alpha and Sadie Rhoades. He has two brothers, Claude and Marion Rhoades, and three sisters; Madaline McFate, Joyce Fowler, and Pat Cone. He moved to the Sandhills when he was two years old to a sod house near Brewster. He attended grade school in a one room school west of Brewster. He attended high school in Brewster and graduated from Dunning in 1953. After graduation he enlisted in the army where he served for two years. After his time in the military, he went to work in Climax, Colorado in the mines.
He later returned to the Sandhills, where he worked for ranchers and competed in matched calf ropings and steer wrestling. After some time he purchased his own ranch. In 1960, he married Marilyn Miller and they had two children; Delten Rhoades and Tracy Bradley and have seven grandchildren.
Walter and his family raise Black Angus cattle and quarter horses. Walt has always had a keen eye for a good horse. He had numerous studs and bred mares throughout the Midwest. Walter was an ABS rep for 19 years. He was one of the first in implementing the Artificial Insemination programs to help ranchers improve their genetics. He was known as the neighborhood vet; preg-checking and performing many cesareans for nearby ranchers. He served on the County fair board, promoter of 4-H and served as Blaine County Commissioner for 12 years.
Walter’s true joy is ranching in the Sandhills as well as raising and producing ranch and rodeo performance horses. He has a weakness for horses and greyhounds, both which cost him money but gave him great pleasure. Walter rarely misses an opportunity to watch his grandchildren compete in rodeo events. Even today, you will find him putting out salt and mineral, visiting with friends, traveling to rodeos and going to local sales.
Walter continues to mentor the younger generation to continue on with the traditional cowboy way of life.