When the TS
an a Wagon
Smith was the buckaroo boss on northern Nevada's TS
Ranch in the 1970s and 80s. He contacted us with some
historic photos that belong to him and said, "I would
really like for them to be posted." The photos
show some real authentic buckaroo history and we are
proud to present them with a little of the ranch
background. For another story on the TS Ranch see
our article The Historic T Lazy S
Ranch of Nevada.
those days, they ran a wagon on the TS, a ranch that
stretches over 48 miles from headquarters to its most
distant cowcamp at Coyote. Buckaroo boss Thad Smith and
his crew of five buckaroos camped with the cattle for
six or seven months to be close to their work of
doctoring and branding cattle. They had a
cook wagon with a cook. They arose early and
worked long hours every day. They had only a
couple of days off during the summer. It was a
hard life, but a fulfilling one.
After leaving the TS, Thad
and his family moved back to his home state of
California and he became a full-time firefighter.
He has since retired as a Battalion Chief. He
says, "Life has been good to me...I have been a surfer
from Southern Calif in my teens to a Marine in Viet Nam
in 68 and 69 where I got shot 7 times and received 3
Purple Hearts.. then became a cowboy workin' feedlots in
central California then a Buckaroo boss on the good ole
TS ranch then a firefighter...YES Lee I have lived a
very exciting life...I am 61 yrs young now and still
raise a few head of cattle."
Here is a pic
of the brandin crew in 1984..."We branded around
6,000 calves from when the wagon went out around May 1st
and was mostly done brandin' by mid July..course for the
4th of July all the buckaroos went to town for 3 or 4
days seein' as how we had no days off in May or June.
We heeled all the calves by 2 heels ONLY...No calves
where brought to the fire without both legs in the rope.
Mostly they came in layin down so as not to have to much
trouble muggin' 'em down.
Names are from left to right."
Bo Bo from
Steve Sharp from Texas
Buffalo McCormick from Colorado
Thad Smith (Cow Boss) from California
Jerry Souza (Jigger Boss) from Wyoming
Allan Macdonald from Idaho
pic of the brandin' crew of 1985 was taken at Brush
Creek Brandin' trap. "The wagon was camped at Packers
Cabin . Most of the crew had been with me for a few yrs.
brandin' crew names from left to right."
Jeff McCormick from
Steve Sharp from Texas
Ed Grewsavich from Wyoming
Jerry Souza (Jigger Boss) Wyoming
Allan McDonald Idaho
Thad Smith (Cow/wagon Boss) California