Lifelong Beaver Creek rancher, Wayne Winthrop Platt, 93, of Encampment, Wyoming, passed away at the Saratoga Care Center on November 10, 2016.
Wayne was born May 9, 1923, at the home of Wynn Sr. and Aurilla Condict, sister and brother-in-law to his mother Awilda and father Ralph H. Platt. After two days, he traveled by wagon, with his mother and father to the family ranch located on Beaver Creek, where he would spend the rest of his life. He attended the Beaver Creek School, located on the family ranch, and finished at Encampment High School. He started college at the University of Wyoming, but was there only a semester, when his father brought him home to take over the family ranch so his father could pursue the mining interests that were developing on the ranch.
In 1950, Wayne married Georgia Romios, a Beaver Creek rancher's daughter, he had gone to school with, and they drug a one room cabin in about 1/4 mile form his parents' house. Georgia was an asset to Wayne's lifelong career in ranching. Raised on a ranch just a few miles away she already knew how to work, and worked on the ranch with Wayne, haying, fencing, building ditches, helping with all the cattle work, and cooking for hunters as the family started an outfitting business. Even after the had two girls, she just took them along, and they learned every facet to ranching as well.
Wayne and Kermit, Wayne's youngest brother, partnered with their father R.H. Platt on the ranch, building their own cattle herds and buying equipment along the way. Wayne and Kermit borrowed $80,000 from their dad and bought the Canyon Ranch, owned by Brush Creek now, and they ran two ranches together for a few years. Wayne then paid back his share to R.H Platt and they ran the two ranches more independently, still helping each other at branding, weaning and shipping.
The three brothers also had started a successful outfitting business. Wayne got the Outfitters License and Kermit got his Guides' License. A year later, brother Ralph joined in, getting his Guides' License. The three of then enjoyed many successful years hunting throughout the states, Canada and at home. Ralph's son Ronald joined them later and when Wayne retired took over the business, which is still in operation today.
When R.H. Platt passed away the four siblings, incorporated the family ranch. Wayne and Georgia operated the family ranch. They hired Floyd Brown, and his brother Richard to help and along with their girls, Kathy and Alice they operated the ranch for years. Floyd Brown was to spend the rest of his life there also, passing away at the ranch.
Approximately, 1988-1989, Kermit and Erma decided they wanted to dissolve the Corporation, and partition the ranch. It was amicably split, and the Platt Trust was formed with Wayne and Ralph as tenants-in-common. In 1998, the ranch was leased to Wayne's daughter Alice. Wayne never missed a day of work. Right up to his 80's, he would rumble down in his old Ford truck, and crawl in a tractor to work on ditches, help in the field. When he got to the point he couldn't to that, he would still work in the shop at the main ranch. He and his wife Georgia, at this point in time had built a log house across highway 230, where they created a beautiful yard and had a huge garden which they shared with family and friends. They were both avid hunters, always living off the land. They were very humble and frugal, not forgetting all the lean, early years on the ranch where they needed to put all their income into the developing ranch. After, Georgia passed he still lived at their beautiful home for another 4 years, taking care of their yard and garden. His Granddaughter, Shannon, would come from Denver every few weeks, and paint his house, take care of the yards and gardens, cook and clean and haul him around the ranch. They enjoyed a special relationship and he loved her dearly, asking 5 minutes after she had driven away, how soon she would be coming back.
He was an officer and member in Farm Bureau, Lions Club, Masonic Lodge and the Wyoming Outfitters Association.
He moved to the Saratoga Care Center in September 2015, He joined in meeting new friends and had fun in all the activities, but his eyes were always turned toward his beloved ranch where he and Georgia lived, loved, cried and smiled, from, sweated and sacrificed for the sake of the land.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Henry Platt, Awilda Platt, brothers, Ralph Jr. and Kermit Platt, and sister, Erma Platt Logan.
He was survived by daughters, Kathy (Scott) Thomas, Pinedale, Alice Platt, Bill Nation, Encampment. Three grandsons, Keith (Dee) Burgess, Casper, Jeremy (Debbie) Otte, Elko, Nev., Shawn(Jesse) Streeter, Pinedale, Wyo., one grand daughter Shannon Streeter, Denver, Colo., four great grandsons and one great grand daughter, several nieces and nephews. His legacy will live on forever in the fields and pastures, and reservoirs he built on the ranch which at one time encompassed 8000 acres. We will all miss him very much. He was instrumental in shaping all of our lives with his honesty, integrity and hard work ethic.
No services are to be held. He is to be cremated and buried on the family ranch. Friends and family are welcome at the ranch. Memorable contributions are to be of your choice, condolences to Platt family, 11205, State HWY 230, Encampment, Wyoming 82325.
The following was a news paper article printed in The Wyoming Stockman-Farmer, November 1956. Please excuse the sheep in the picture, it was his mothers' pet.