Howard Peterson was born in Glenwood, Utah in 1924. He loved to work on his father’s ranch and farm. Howard was always helping other families in the community with ranch work. You would find him riding his horse all over Glenwood area to do whatever needed to be completed in the line of cowboying. Growing up he always wanted to be a Veterinarian.
When Howard turned 17 he began a rodeo career riding bareback and saddlebroncs. He compete in many states including the Cow Palace in San Francisco and the National Finals at Madison Square Garden in New York. His riding career was cut short when he was drafted into the Army. He received a deferment from the Army but all of his friends were going to serve so he wanted to also. He asked for the Calvary but they didn’t have that any more. He asked for the marines, but he had broken his leg in a rodeo, so they told him he couldn’t walk well enough, so they sent the poor cowboy, afraid of water, into the Navy. Howard served in the US Navy during World War II being stationed in the Pacific Islands. He was a radar man unless in battle then he was a gunner. He was badly injured in battle and spent 9 months in the hospital learning to walk again. When he was discharged he returned home to Glenwood.
He began herding cattle on the deserts of Southern Utah when he met a man named Alton Morrell and went to work for him. This is where he met the love of his life, Beverly Morrell. In 1949 they ran away to Provo and married, but no one believe them at first. Their first home was a tent on the desert, and their second home as a sheep camp. They herded cattle and broke horses for a living.
In 1951, Alton bought a ranch at Hilliard, Wyoming and they moved to Evanston to work the Morrell Ranch. A longtime friend of theirs came to Evanston for a visit. He was just starting out his stock contracting career. They had run and worked cattle together on the desert. This friend was Swanny Kirby. Swanny began his contracting business with the Cowboy Days Rodeo after that visit.
Howard raised and sold many Brahma bulls to Swanny. When Howard met a horse he couldn’t ride he was traded for bucking stock to Bar T Rodeo. Many of these horses and bull went to the National Finals including Hilliard Flatt a well-known bucking horse by the rodeo cowboys. Howard always loved rodeos. Participating when able, helping with chutes, judging, timing whatever was needed and continued to attend all the events he could.
Howard competed in rodeos most of his life. When he was too old to ride Bareback and Saddlebronc he began team roping and cow cutting. He was well known for his expertise in cow cutting and won many awards.
Howard worked for Myers Land and Livestock and J.R. Broadbent Cattle Company from 1951 until 1990. He was foreman for both companies and was very successful with their companies. He had cattle buyers from all over the United States come to purchase their livestock because of the successful stock he raised. Howard had a real knack for livestock management and loved all the work and joy he felt in a good day’s ride. Howard would ride day after day to look for cattle or sheep and never tire of the life style. He raised his children to love the land and life as a cowboy.
Howard was a 4-H Leader for nearly 30 years and continued to help his Great Grandchildren. He was a Wyoming State Brand Inspector for more than 20 years.
Howard exemplified the life of a Cowboy. He loved the life, he breathed the life and was a true example of a cowboy. He loved the lifestyle, horses, ranching, rodeo and spending his life in a saddle. He was admired by many and there was always a cowboy story to be told around his cup of coffee.