Wyoming Sheep


From Wyoming Tales and Trails

Thhis Page: Sheep Herding continued, F. S. King Brothers,

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About This Site

"Approaching Rain over F.S. King Brothers Sheep Co."
Based on 1939 photo by M. P. Wolcott.

With the decline of the cattle industry, many large cattle companies converted to wool growing. Among them The Spur, the Swan Land and Cattle Co., Ltd., the owner of the famed "Two Bar" in Chugwater, and the Warren Livestock Company. Foremost among the sheep breeding outfits was F. S. King Brothers in Albany County, located near the headwaters of the Chug in eastern Albany County was noted for its breeding stock stock which was sold internationally.

King Brothers Sheep, approx. 1907

The King Brothers Ranch was founded by Francis Stocker King (1867-1933), the son of a Methodist minister. King emigrated to the United States from Britain in the late 1870's. In 1884 King joined with Paul Pascoe (1845-1926). In 1885 he participated in a winter drive of sheep to Nebraska. On the drive two sheepherders froze to death, but King completed the drive. In 1888 he was joined in Laramie by his brother Herbert J "Bert" King. In 1891 a third brother Joseph H. "Joe" King came from England. In 1892, the three brothers began their own operation on Frank's homestead. Frank and Joe cut the logs and with the help of a carpenter constructed the original homestead themselves.

F. S. King Ranch, approx. 1910.

The ranch grew from its original 160 cacres to at one time holdings of 120,000 acres. and as the ranch the original homestead grew. The brothers turned from range stock to breeding stock purchasing top sheep.

King Brothers Homestead, undated.

Left, 1922 Advertisement for breeding Stock, F.S. King Brothers, Laramie.
Right, F. S. King

The ranch was incorporated in 1904. The Brothers' sheep repeatedly won grand championships at the Chicago Inernational Stock Show, St. Louis and San Francisco. In 1914, F. S. King travelled to New Zealand and Australia at his own expense in search of better stock which would combine good characteristics for wool as well as meat production. In New Zealand he discovered on the Carriedale Estate a breed which met both requirements. Thus, he is credited with introducing the Carriedale sheep to the United States.

In 1916, F. S. King withdrew from the Laramie operation selling his interest to his two brothers. He then established his own operation, the Wyoming Corriedale Sheep Company. Following World War I, there began a slow decline in the production of sheep and wool in the United States. King explained:

The summer of 1919 was one long to be remembered: drought was univesal throughout Wyoming and in the fall at least one-third of the livestock had to be shipped out of the State. The remaining herds compelled the purchasing of hay and grain at prices that were appalling. Winter started from a month to six weeks earlier than the average and in October snow coverd the State LOng cold months followed, ending with an April storm that has been unequalled since the March storm of 1878. This resulted in the loss of about two-third of the stock of the state and in many cases the cost of carrying though the winter was more than the sheep were worth in the spring. On top of this calamity came the depression in prices and sheep and wool were among the first to feel its effects. In a week wool fell from 80 to 25 cents and sheep from $18.00 to $12.00 down to $3.00.As quoted by Larson p. 412

Following, Frank's withdrawal from the original operation, Frank formed his own separate sheep breeding operation near Cheyenne, the Wyoming Corridale Sheep Company. His son, Arthur joined him in the business. At age 12 Arthur at the National Wool Growers's Association won first place beating out his own father. Artur was followed in the business by his son Jerry King. That operation sold its last Corriedale sheep in 1968 and converted to cattle.

The original F. S. King Bros. operation continued until the youngest of the original brothers, Joe died in 1949. The flock was dispersed and the original ranch was sold the following year. One hundred sixty acres have now been designated as an historic district on the National Register.

F. S. King served in the State Legislature for twelve years and served as Grand Master of the Wyming Grand Lodge of the Masons. and also served as Grand Master of the Wyoming Masonic Grand Lodge. .

Distant View of Southern Wyoming Sheep Camp

Next page, Warren Livestock Company.