From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 1 - March 31, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


Markley St. John

Markley St. John, 89, of Pinedale was called home to his maker on March 25, 2005. He and his wife, Myrtle, have been residents of the Sublette Center since 1998, moving there from their Rock Springs home where they resided for 37 years.

Markley was born in DeBeque, Colo., on Dec. 12, 1915, to Bert and Edna St. John. He attended school in DeBeque and was an important member of both the track and basketball teams in this small rural town north of Grand Junction, Colo. After graduating from high school in 1934, he worked in a local general store and for several ranchers in the area. In addition, he spent some time with his father at the South Pass mine in South Pass City employed as a machine apprentice.

He and Myrtle Franklin, also born in DeBeque, were married on Nov. 1, 1938, in Grand Junction. They moved to Fruita, Colo., where he worked for a short time on a peach farm.

To this union a daughter, Maxine, was born in 1941; shortly after Markley moved his family to Chicago, where he and his brother-in-law drove a long-haul transport truck before and throughout World War II.

In 1945 they returned to DeBeque and Markley worked for his father in the family-owned garage until 1947, when he found employment with El Paso Natural Gas Company in Farmington, N.M., as a rig hand. Throughout the following years, Markley was a loyal and hard working employee. When El Paso Products became Odessa Natural Gas, he transferred to Rock Springs in 1961 and worked as a pumper until he retired in 1981.

Markley, known to his friends as Mac, was an avid collector of antiques and also prided himself as a history buff. His favorite pastime before suffering a stroke following a heart bi-pass in 1998 and losing most of his vision, was reading magazines and books about the Old West. He was a lifetime member of the Animas Masonic Lodge in Farmington.

Survivors include his wife, Myrtle of Pinedale, one son-in-law, Bill Goede of Daniel; one grandson, Lance Goede and his wife Kelly of Riverton; one great-grandson, Joshua Goede, also of Riverton; one sister-in-law, Eloise St. John of Boulder, Colo.; and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, three sisters and daughter Maxine.

Cremation has taken place and his ashes will be scattered somewhere near DeBeque.

Floyd Eugene Bousman

Floyd Eugene Bousman was born in 1919 to Oscar and Minnie Holman Bousman in Springfield, Mo., the third of four children. With an adventuresome youth, he worked his way west and into Wyoming.

He took a haying job for Gladwon Jensen near Boulder and became acquainted with Margaret Jomen, Gladwon's stepdaughter. They were later married at an Army base in Louisiana, in 1943. Floyd and Margaret eventually returned to Boulder, where they operated an outfitting business and cattle ranch, as well as raised their three children, Bradford, Joel and Edith Susan.

One of the last old cowboys who broke horses and tried to tame the mountains, Floyd also loved talking about political issues, public service and ranching. Floyd was a member of the VFW, American Legion, the Masonic Lodge and received a lifetime membership from the Green River Valley Cattlemen's Association.

He served on the Sublette County School Board and as a Sublette County Commissioner. Floyd was instrumental in the opposition to the Wagon Wheel Project.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret, and his sister, Ruth and her husband, Lewis Doll; and by his brother, Harold and his wife Anne.

He is survived by his youngest sister, Irene, and her husband, Bob Vaughn; his three children, Brad, Joe and Susie; nine grandchildren and nine great-grand children, with two more expected soon.

Floyd Bousman Eulogy

Floyd Bousman's life was one long, terrific adventure.

His parents, Minnie Holman and Oscar Bousman, were both school teachers in Missouri. Floyd Eugene was born in 1919, joining Ruth and Harold, and later followed by Irene. When Floyd was about eight years old, his father left the family with no explanation. His mother and the children lived for a time in Denver with her relatives. Floyd attended junior high school in Denver and as an adult he remembered how to get around the streets of Denver quite well.

Throughout his life, Floyd was known for his hard work, keen business decisions and an eye for excitement. These characteristics were evident even in his youth. He left home for a time at 14 and traveled west by train and hitchhiking. He recalled one ride while lying on the top of a train car. Another runaway youth was there with him, and when that boy fell asleep and began to slide off the train, Floyd caught him. He hitched rides or rode the rails to Seattle, Wash., then worked his way down the coast.

In Los Angeles he was placed in a detention center for runaways. If he did not contact his mother for the fare to return home he would have to stay and work at the juvenile center. He did contact his mother - the first she'd heard from him - but he wasn't ready to go home. After working a week, he escaped the detention center by climbing the wall and jumping. He broke a bone in his foot, which bothered him the rest of his life.

After working his way through Arizona and into Texas, he contacted his mother for fare home, which was a requirement of a soup kitchen in El Paso. He said he got too hungry.

Back in Kirksville, Mo., he graduated from high school at16 and worked on his uncle's farm. But he didn't stay long on "mean Uncle John's farm." He was soon off again for the West. He most fondly remembered the jobs with good food and good wages, and even at an old age he could remember this time to the smallest detail.

He came into Wyoming while working for a Union Pacific tie crew. In Wamsutter, he went to work for a farm family. He remembered the workday starting at 4 a.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m., because feeding the pigs and cows alone took four-and-a-half hours each day. But the food was good and he had a place to stay. He also worked for the Buckboard Marina at Flaming Gorge.

While working in Utah in 1938 he bought his first car for $50. The car sunk while crossing the Dirty Devil River, so he got it out, repaired it and traded it for a horse. He later bought another horse for $30 and a saddle for $75. He then rode to Cedar City, Utah, with a friend to try for a part as an extra in a movie. But the wait was too long, so he rode back towards Wyoming.

After the first 400 miles, he lost the best of his two horses from drinking bad water, possibly poisoned from a nearby mine. He traded his other horse and saddle for a 1932 Chevy, but soon had to spend $10 more to fix the clutch. While in Wyoming, he had cached supplies and coyote traps in an abandoned dugout near Green River. After Floyd fixed the clutch, he planned to travel to Green River and spend the winter in the dugout trapping coyotes. The supplies and traps were intact, however the dugout had burned, so he headed north.

His car broke down north of Farson. A traveler going to Rock Springs noticed Floyd trying to fix his car. On the return trip, Floyd was still there. The driver was Leo Jensen on his way home to Boulder, so he pulled Floyd's car with him. Leo can take credit (or the blame) for bringing Floyd to the area, where they later worked and lived as neighbors for years.

Floyd's first job in this area was at Ed Pennock's sawmill in the Big Sandy Openings. In 1939 he went to work in the outfitting business for Charlie Howell, where he trailed 100 head of horses from Green River City to Mosquito Lake. Floyd must have enjoyed his first experiences packing horses in the mountains, because he spent a large part of his life in similar endeavors.

He left Charlie Howell to return to Missouri for one semester of college, where he studied mostly math. Although college couldn't keep him from the mountains in Wyoming, he was always glad for the experience and used the knowledge later in the service. In Missouri, Floyd did what he could to get by, from carpentering at $5 a day to selling candy on the military base at Fort Leonardwood.

The following spring, Floyd was back in Wyoming again working for Charlie Howell. While at the Big Sandy Openings, Floyd quit his job over a disagreement when he was blamed for another man's mistakes, and he took off riding through the mountains from Big Sandy. He met Gladwon Jensen at the cow camp above Wolf Lake and hired on to put up hay at Olson.

There he met his future bride, Gladwon's stepdaughter, Margaret Jomen. He worked again at Big Sandy, but quit to enlist in the Army, which he did one week before Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Floyd and Margaret kept in touch and she traveled to Monroe, La., where they were married March 16, 1943, on the Army base. Floyd was an air navigation officer and helped ferry planes during the war. He also served as an instructor in the air navigation school. He was stationed in California during part of the war and that's where his first son, Brad, was born in 1944.

In 1945, Floyd and Marg purchased the Boulder Lake Ranch and went into the outfitting business. Their son Joe arrived in 1948 and then Susie in 1952. They also purchased the ranch called the Roop Place in 1948. They sold Boulder Lake Ranch, later bought it back, then sold it again in 1960.

Besides ranching and raising a family, Floyd's other great love was discussing political issues. In the early 70s, Floyd traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby against the Wagon Wheel Project, a proposal to detonate a nuclear bomb in order to stimulate gas production. He also was interviewed on the "Today Show" about his opposition to the proposal.

Floyd was involved in public service, serving on the Sublette County school board and as a county commissioner for eight years. He also served on boards for the Farmers Home Administration and A.S.C.S. He held membership in the Masonic Lodge, American Legion, VFW and the Green River Valley Cattlemen's. His grandchildren remember listening in on conversations about the "important stuff" Grandpa, or Papa, was involved in.

His legacy of hard work, loving the outdoors and animals, public service and making the most of each day lives on in his three children, nine grandchildren, and nine - soon to be more - great-grandchildren.

Now, his last pack trail has ended at the perfect campsite - the fire burns bright and there's plenty of wood. And no matter what the work is, the food and the wages are always good.

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