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Roberts, Benjamin “Ben”

Ben was born on a ranch in Sand Creek in northern Carbon County. The ranch where he was born is now part of the Buzzard Ranch. His father was a cowboy for Swan Land and Cattle Company and his mother taught school in the Sand Creek area.

In his early child hood his parents sold their ranch and returned to their Nebraska roots. When Ben was twelve years of age he returned to Wyoming first working for the Bothwell ranch and then later working for his Uncle Lynn on the A Bar ranch. After his uncle passed away he ran the outfit on shares eventually purchasing it from his aunt. The A Bar became the Bug ranch and thus his empire began. Through the years Ben began adding to his holdings; he purchased the JE ranch from Jim Grieve, the Diamond 6 from Jack Grieve, the Linn ranch, the Radar ranch, the Cross L and the Mike Ward ranch. It was said of Ben that he did not let a year go by without increasing his land holdings. At the time of his death his holdings were ninety miles long and thirty five miles wide and included land in Carbon, Natrona and Fremont counties. Ben was one of the largest individual land owners in the United States.

He was a member of the Stockgrowers, the Wool Growers, the Farm Bureau and the Rawlins Elks Lodge. He married Iva May Irwin in 1947, they had no children. He was an excellent roper and rider and well regarded as an all-around cowboy. He was a well-known performer at many early rodeos and won many saddles and belt buckles. It was said of him that if there was a horse that no one could or would ride Ben would willingly tackle it.

His interest in rodeo was lifelong; he was an avid spectator. In a poem book written by Lawrance Jameson there is a poem titled “Are You a Hand?” within the poem there is a picture of Ben with the script “Always a Hand”. Ben was a quiet man with a vision, he was determined, hardworking, a one of a kind cowman and a sheep man. Even now all these years later, people mention Ben Roberts, the Legend. They discuss relatives that once worked for him, the roundups that Ben had twice a year, and the many events that happened on the huge Ben Roberts range. They continue to discuss the Legend, Ben Roberts!