Elmer & Ruth Nettleton
story by Ruth Nicolaus Elmer and Ruth Nettleton spent their life in rodeo, and are making sure the next generation of rodeo kids gets to […]
Lloyd Palmer learned how to ride bucking horses by being born in the ranching business. “Your transportation was horses,” said the 87-year-old rancher from Kremmling, Colo. “I was born in Summit County up the Blue River just before the great Depression. We rode horses to school and kids that were born on these small ranches seem like they could get started in life if they were a good hand. Riding horses was part of the business. Rodeo was a way of getting ahead. I wasn’t the greatest, but rodeo never owed me nothing when I was done. I wasn’t crippled up and I wasn’t an alcoholic. I came out ahead.”
Lloyd was drafted into the Army in 1945 and served 17 months, 28 days, and four hours. “I was a limited assignment guy on account of injuries.” After he got out of the Army, Lloyd broke colts, trapped, and went to work at the saw mill in Kremmling. He met his wife, Edna, during WW11. “I went to a bond drive dance. She was there with her dad and mother and he was buying war bonds.” That was November of 1944, and the couple married on October 26, 1947, after Lloyd got out of the Army. “I won enough money riding broncs to buy the rings.” He went to work on a ranch for six years, rodeoing on the weekends. He saved and borrowed money to buy the ranch where he still lives in 1963. Two years after that, in 1965, after 20 years, he quit riding bucking horses. “The last horse I got on was in Walden, Colo.”
Edna passed away March 19, 2012. They had been married for 64.5 years of marriage. Together they raised two sons and two daughters, created a ranch and a raised a herd of Maine Anjou cattle. “I sat on a stump and had a long talk with myself about the cattle business. I applied my ignorance put everything I had learned together to start raising a champion herd.” Along with their ranch, Lloyd and Edna built a castle in the pines – a two story cabin nestled amongst the forest service ground they ran their cattle on. Lloyd is quick to share some advice he has learned from his years. “After 60 years old, a person should start after the things they have missed in their life. I’m too old to enjoy this cabin,” he admits, but is quick to add that he is proud of his family. “I raised world class athletes – they weren’t just ordinary – my boys, Zane and Weston, were ski jumpers. Zane made a good bronc rider, and Weston was a bull rider, but they both were skiers. Edna and I saw the world with the accomplishments of our sons.” He was able to offer his sons a program that was done in Winter Park through the Denver Post. “They were putting on a ski school for Nordic ski jumping. An old Olympic coach was teaching it. I got them into that and moving on, and the next thing they made the Junior team and Zane moved on. When he made the National Team, we got to see the world. I went to the World Championships Ski Flying in Planicia in Sylvania in 1997. Zane jumped there prior to that on the circuit. He went across the ocean 40 times. He now lives in Edward with his family. Weston is in the ranching business and lives about a mile and a half from me.” Their two daughters are Martha and Joyce – Martha lives in Limon and Joyce lives at Edwards.
Lloyd learned the cattle business from years of watching the ranchers he worked for. “I left home and had a job at 12 years old working for a rancher,” he said. “He raised World Champion Herefords. I went from there to Kremmling and worked for a great cattle man. They had Scottish Herdsman – most of them came from Scotland. They knew how to feed and show cattle. I worked with those guys and watched them feed those cattle. I self-educated myself.” Lloyd was raised with four brothers and sisters on a ranch that was a distance from the middle and high school. When he finished the ninth grade, he had to drop out because he could not find enough work to pay for board and go to school at the same time.
Lloyd has accomplished a lot for his limited education. “I’ve done whatever it took to keep active and busy,” he said. He is a self-proclaimed world champion post hole digger and trap shooter and bench rest shooter, spending hours loading his own ammo. “As I grew old I lost my ability to do the job, so I kept my home here and sold the rest.” He spends his days visiting with friends that stop by and whenever he can, he gets up to his castle in the pines. Lloyd was honored at the 2011 WNFR during the rodeo as a member of the Old Cowboys Turtle Association.”
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