Lyman A. Harmon was born September 20, 1937, in Fairview, Lincoln County, Wyoming. He is the son of Orson Willis Harmon and LeNora Barrus Harmon.
One of Lyman’s first recollections was riding horses when he was three years old. His dad put him on one of the team horses named “Old Dick”, and he rode back and forth from the house to the hay field.
When Lyman was eight years old, he started training his first horse. In the late 1940s and early 50s, Lyman’s dad would go to Rock Springs and bring a truckload of wild mustangs off the desert for Lyman to train and sell. He trained approximately 100 horses and mules as the years rolled by.
Living in Star Valley, the winters were long with lots of snow, so feeding the livestock was done with a work team and sleigh. Lyman was instrumental in training several teams of horses to work. As he was feeding the livestock, he always had a colt or two tied to the back of the sleigh teaching them to lead.
Lyman graduated from Star Valley High School in May 1956 and went to work for an outfitter that fall. In 1958, he married Anita Potter, and they settled in a little house next door to his parents. Lyman worked with his dad until his father passed away in 1989.
Lyman hunted in the Yellowstone Teton Wilderness for approximately 10 years. Base Camp was at Turpin Meadows near Moran, WY. The hunts were booked for ten days. Lyman was Camp Boss at the Open Creek Camp and Pass Creek Camp. It was a 100-mile round trip horseback ride that took two days to reach camp. The season was from early September until the first week in November, which usually meant tearing down and moving camp in deep snow.
Each fall Lyman traveled many miles riding and leading pack strings in and out from camp to base camp. He had two memorable experiences during that time. In 1963 one of the hunters from New Mexico killed a very large grizzly bear. When the bear was skinned out and measured, it was the biggest bear killed in the United States and the fifth largest in the world at that time. In 1970, Lyman was the first person to find a plane that went missing on June 30 with five people aboard. Lyman found it on September 30. The Civil Air Patrol had been looking for the plane during those three months.
In 1998, Lyman was involved in helping out with another plane wreck. Barry Bayorek, a former schoolteacher, wrecked his airplane on the big ridge above the family home. Barry walked to the house and Lyman took him back to Barry’s home. The next day Lyman took Barry on horseback along with the search and rescue to get the plane. Lyman had to blaze a trail through a deep canyon and up the side of the mountain so the plane could be recovered.
Lyman met and made many friends over the years. One of these friends was Coach Bobby Knight. After two fishing trips, they are still in contact today.
Lyman is an accomplished dutch oven cook. He has cooked dinners for community gatherings and family reunions.
Lyman joined the All American Cutter Racing Association in 1967. He later purchased two 2- year old colts “Steppin Reed and Fancy Falcon” from the Stewart family in Las Vegas, Nevada. He trained the colts to race on a cutter for a snow track and a chariot for a dry track.
In March 1969, Lyman won the Wyoming Futurity for two year olds in Pinedale, Wyoming. He won the All American Cutter Racing Championship in 1972 and raced at the World Finals in Pocatello, Idaho in 1971, 1972, and 1975. Lyman also served as president of the All American Cutter Racing Association.
Lyman and his family moved to their present location in 1972. They own and run a cattle ranch in the Spring Creek Area southwest of Fairview. The ranch borders the Bridger Teton National Forest. The family started from scratch in the building of the ranch that includes the house, barn, corrals, and other buildings.
During the past 69 years, Lyman saddled and rode a horse almost every day. He was president of the Spring Creek Cattle Association as well as the cattle herder on the forest allotment. This job is where he taught his sons to pack. Lyman has also taught neighbors and friends how to pack horses.
Lyman was always respectful of his parents. After his dad passed away, Lyman spent one winter building a garage on skids for his mother. When the garage was finished, he pulled it down the canyon to his mother’s home. She had always wanted a garage, and finally she had one!
When the grandchildren were young, they loved coming to grandpas and riding on the sleigh with the Christmas bells attached to the harness on the team. They enjoyed delivering “Christmas goodies” to the neighbors down the canyon. Another fun family memory was when the cattle went out on the forest in the spring. The grandchildren rode horses and helped drive the cows and calves to the summer range.
Lyman drove a regular school bus route and a sports activity bus for Lincoln County School District #2 for twenty years. He kept the bus at his home and picked up the neighbors’ children as he drove down the canyon.
During the summers of 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972, Lyman worked for the forest service building trails. He worked hard and enjoyed his time outdoors.
Lyman has been a member of the Fairview Cemetery Board since 1989 and has served as president since 1999. He has given countless hours of service especially in the wintertime with the removal of snow and the opening of roads. Lyman is in charge of marking the gravesites and opening and closing the graves.
Because of health reasons, Lyman sold his cattle and forest permits and trimmed his herd down to 50 head of cows and calves. He has been blessed with surviving his battles with cancer and other serious health issues.
Lyman has had kidney and prostate cancer, skin cancer that required a skin graft, and a hip replaced. In December of 2013, he had a stroke. Lyman drove himself to the hospital and was flown to the University of Utah. Because of the quick thinking by the medical staff and the amazing medicine given stroke victims, he has fully recovered with no side effects. The day after Lyman returned from the hospital in Salt Lake, he was back outside doing his chores and feeding livestock.
Many times in the afternoon Lyman will open the kitchen door and tell his wife “I have a horse saddled up and I am going for a ride up the canyon, I won’t be too long.” He still loves his time on his horse.
After raising two sons and two daughters and following nine grandchildren in all their sports and activities, Lyman is still going strong at the age of 77. Some of his favorite things include good western movies, Pepsi, pie and popcorn. You can find him in the evenings in his recliner having a snooze by the fire.
Lyman is a “home body,” a kind, gentle man, a good neighbor and friend. He is a “Jack of all Trades and a Master of Many.”