Forgotten Cowboy of the Sandhills
The Spade Ranch had the beef issue
For the Indians at Pine Ridge
And each time that he's take the herd
Mollie'd go along with Sid.
The Spade had been good to them
By now they numbered four,
The time had come for them to find
A ranch that was their own.
They took a homestead east of Gordon,
At last they had their chance.
And when Sid's brother joined them it became
The Irwin Brothers Ranch.
They later leased the Ross Ranch
And here was born child three,
A sickly little daughter
So delicate, so wee.
To complete their preemption
A homestead they did seek.
Southeast of Gordon near Lavaca,
Down by the Ol' Pole Creek.
Here a daughter and a son
Were added to their life,
Then fire struck and they were left
With hearts full of Strife.
For years they wandered here and there
Seeking out each lead
A hope or promise was all they asked
For their ailing daughters need.
Though the years were fruitless
And no cure was found
Their last child was born to them
A daugher in health abound.
Time took it's toil a short seventeen
Their daughter would laugh no more,
So many years they searched in vain,
And now their hearts were sore.
The long years over, at last they came home
To the hills so sandy and green
On a ranch south of Cody, down by the Niobrara,
So sparkling fresh and clean.
Sid first lost a son,
Then two weeks later his own Mollie too,
With two such blows he hung up his spurs
His cowboy days were through.
His life wasn't easy thought it was long
He died at age ninety-three
In the same sandy hills that a lad of fourteen
Once said, "You'll be home to me."
This poem first appeared in the Centennial Edition of the
Nebraska Cattleman Magazine.