Week 1 History Question was: "How many Wyoming livestock brands were registered by Sublette County residents as of 2015?" Winner was Tara Holmes of Daniel, Guess 760, Answer: 821
Sublette County History Contest
Week 1 KPIN 101.1FM Radio announcement (3.02MB mp3)
Winner: Tara Holmes, Daniel, WY, guess: 760
Answer: 821, based on the 2015 Wyoming Brand Book
The 2015 Wyoming Brand book lists all the brands registered for that year. Everyone who registers a brand is associated with a town and zip code in their county, even rural residences. Sorting the 2015 brand database for all the registrations by zip codes for the 6 towns in Sublette County, show a total of 823 brands. However, there were two apparent errors in the Wyoming Livestock Board 2015 brand database in which two people, from the towns of Etna and Evanston (which are not in Sublette County), are listed with the 83113 zip code for Big Piney/Marbleton. This appears to be a data entry error assigning an incorrect town zip code to the people with those two brands. So subtracting out those two brand entries from the total county brand count, gives the answer of 821 livestock brands registered to Sublette County residents in 2015.
Week 1 Clues:
1. Branding is a technique used to mark livestock to identify ownership. Each livestock owner in a given area has a unique brand. In Wyoming, brands are managed through the Wyoming Livestock Board in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Brand registration and renewal cost $300 for each brand for a period of 10 years. Brands can be obtained for cattle, horses, sheep, mules, buffalo and turkeys. Brands are composed of letters, numbers, and symbols in various combinations.
2. Wyoming began recording brands in 1909. Prior to that, brands were registered by county. Brand records prior to 1909 may be found at the Wyoming State Archives. The Wyoming Livestock Board has old brand histories consisting of copies of the three by five cards that were used to record brands prior to computers. There are currently more than 25,000 brands registered in the state of Wyoming.
3. There are 1120 brands in the 1985 Green River Valley Cowbelles & Cattlemen’s Association Brand Book. This is mostly Sublette County brands, but does not necessarily show all registered or in use, and includes owners from out of area who run cattle in the valley. Copy located at the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney.
4. The unique brand means cattle owned by multiple ranches can graze freely together on the open range and then can later be separated at roundup time for driving to market, or returned to their owner if lost or stolen. Brands eventually became so numerous that it became necessary to have a managing system and overseeing organization. Over time, brand books became available that allowed ranchers to know all the livestock brands in their area. States began to pass laws requiring the registration of brands, and the inspection of cattle driven through various territories. Penalties were imposed on those who failed to obtain a bill of sale with a list of brands on the animals purchased. The Wyoming Livestock Board now publishes a brand book every two years (frequency of publishing in earlier years was less consistent). The 2015 book has 843 pages of brands with an average of 34 brands on each page. There is also a cross-reference alphabetical list of brand owners to their brands. Copies of the brand books for earlier years are available for download as PDFs on the Wyoming Livestock Board website (note, these are very large files).
5. Every two years a certain percentage of brands are renewed. The next renewal period will be January 1, 2017 thru March 1, 2017. The first renewal notice will be sent out in October 2016. Renewal Notices are sent out to the last known address listed on the brand record. Once paid and renewed, the brand will not be renewed again for 10 years.
6. Wyoming is broken into six Livestock Brand Inspection Districts. Each District is composed of several counties. Each District has a Brand Commissioner. The Wyoming Livestock Board has Brand Inspectors throughout the state to verify livestock ownership prior to any change of ownership or movement. Brand inspectors inspect cattle, horses, mules, asses and sheep for brands and ownership. Brand inspections are required for a change of ownership and to legally cross country or state lines.Each county has several Brand Inspectors. District 1 is composed of Teton, Sublette, Lincoln, Uinta, and part of Sweetwater County. Sublette County has three Brand Inspectors, one for Big Piney, Daniel, and Pinedale.
7. The Green River Valley Cattle Association will hold their annual meeting on Friday & Saturday, February 26 & 27, 2016. Meetings convene at 1PM at the Marbleton Town Hall, 10700 Hwy 189. More info: (http://www.pinedaleonline.com/news/2016/02/GreenRiverValleyCatt.htm)
8. Not everyone who owns a brand owns livestock or operates a ranch. Some families retain old unused versions of brands for legacy and historical purposes. Sometimes people buy brands for personal or business marketing reasons that have nothing to do with raising livestock.
9. The Pinedale phone book shows some brands in the front of the book.
10. The Pinedale and Big Piney Library have access to some Wyoming brand books. They have some hard copies as well as some on CD available for reference.
11. The Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney has a complete set of Wyoming brand books. They also have the old brand panels that once were once on the side of the Cowboy Bar in Pinedale. The Museum is open during the summer season only. (See links to related stories about the Cowboy Bar brands below)
12. In January 2015, the Green River Valley Cattlewomen (GRVC) began researching a book about the histories of local brands. They asked Sublette County brand owners if they would be interested in having their brand in the book. There are two ways for the research to be done. People can do their own research on the history of their brand, write it up and turn it into the GRVC along with $10.00. The other way is for the GRVC to research the brand, write up the history and the brand owner pays $30.00. The GRVC is charging $30.00 because it costs $22.50 to get the information from the Wyoming Livestock Board and then researchers may have to go to the American Heritage Center or Wyoming Livestock Board archives and look up the history before 1913. For more information, contact any of the following people who are on the GRVC Brand Book Committee: Deanne Bradley, Jonita Sommers, Brenda Carnahan, Liz Wardell, Sharlene Lozier, Sherri Bohleen, Rita Donham, Terrie Springman. (http://www.pinedaleonline.com/news/2015/01/Sublettebrandshistor.htm)
Brands and Branding - From Wyoming Tales and Trails
Uncovering history - Old brands found on exterior walls of the
Cowboy Bar in Pinedale
Early History of the Cowboy Bar and Its Brands
Brand Awareness: Decoding Cattle Brands
River Valley Cattlemen's Association Annual Meeting Feb. 26 & 27
Sublette brands history book being written - Brand owners can
submit to have the history of their brands included
articles on local brands:
articles about local brands from the book Wyoming’s
1 History Question:S
2 History Question:S
5 History Question & Clues:
Winner: Lisa Williams, Cora, Wyoming
Radio ad for Week 6
Meet Jean-Francois Lefebvre, your friendly Pinedale area delivery driver for Schwan's. Orders are placed online via www.schwans.com. Jean-Francois comes up to Pinedale from the Rock Springs Schwan's distribution center several days a week to deliver orders. He can be reached at 307-360-FOOD (3663).