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McQueen, Dub

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Dub was born March 18, 1902 in Dudley, South Dakota. Dub’s mother died and his Scottish father, Charlie McQueen, raised Dub, the youngest, and his six siblings Ray, Mary, Ruth, Ruby and Amy. In 1906 the family left their home in South Dakota and came to the Thermopolis, WY area because they heard part of the Wind River Reservation had been opened up for homesteading. Homesteading didn’t work out so Charlie started a freight line between Thermopolis and Worland.

Charlie later purchased a farm on Owl Creek across from the headquarters of the Arapahoe Ranch and purchased a band of sheep.  Dub began herding the sheep and while riding his horse around the sheep would train his dogs to become sheep dogs. Dub could send his dogs around a band of sheep by just using his hat to tell the dog which way to take the sheep.  He could also keep two bands of sheep from mixing by placing his dogs between his sheep and the neighbor’s sheep.

Before marrying, Dub worked for a brief time at the refinery in Casper, WY but didn’t like being inside all the time.  In 1924, Dub and Lillian Freudenthal were married and lived in a sheep wagon. They raised sheep on the McQueen Ranch until 1945. They then sold the sheep and purchased and raised Braford (Hereford and Brahma) cattle as well as Appaloosa horses.  Dub and Lillian raised two children, Arley and Ruby, who attended school at Hamilton Dome and later graduated high school from Thermopolis High.

Dub was on a horse most of his life. He sold horses to almost everyone and if he couldn’t sell you one, he would trade you a horse.  Dub and Lillian furnished dry mares for bucking and brahma bulls for the riding events at both the Meeteetse Labor Day Rodeo and the Cody Nite Rodeo for several years.

Dub and Lillian’s homestead and ranch was on Cottonwood Creek and they purchased land on Rock Creek, a tributary of the south fork of Owl Creek. Moving their cattle from the ranch on Cottonwood Creek to Rock Creek took three days.  In June, the cattle would be gathered early in the morning. Around noon they started the cattle on the long trail. Most of the riders had an extra horse that trailed along with the cattle. The first night was spent camped with the cattle on Punteney Flat.

The second day they went past Coyote Coolie and on to the north fork of Owl Creek. In the afternoon they would climb the very steep hill up out of north fork making their way to the middle fork where they camped at the base of the long slope up the mountain. On day three they started climbing up the “slope”, past the “S” curve and over the mountain.  After making it down into Rock Creek they enjoyed a great meal, a good night’s rest before trailing the extra horses back down to Cottonwood Creek.  The cattle would stay on the mountain until September or October, depending on the weather or first snow fall, when they were brought back down to Cottonwood Creek and the home range.

Dub died mid-June, 1955, of a lightning strike on the middle fork of Owl Creek while moving his cattle to Rock Creek. When he was killed, Ross Rhodes, 10 years old, was also struck by the same bolt of lightning. Ross was unconscious when Arley, Dub’s son, found them.  Arley placed Ross on his stomach on the side of Dub’s dead horse so he wouldn’t drown in the deep water from the hail and rain.  Dub died doing what he loved most, riding his appaloosa horse, moving his cattle and visiting with his family and friends.