We left Lester as he began working for the Grand Canyon Sheep Company. He was given a Dodge truck and he was to catch up to three bands (6,000) of sheep that were on the trail going from Valle Ranch located north of Williams to Springerville and the old Colter Ranch. He caught up with the troubled ban south of Winslow as he was informed by the foreman that 300 sheep were missing. Lester had the bands keep moving as was required and he headed back down the trail locating the lost sheep at a ranch.
He now was responsible to get the 300 sheep to Winslow which was a three-day drive from where he found them. Shipping them to Holbrook by train was his first move. He then hired extra burros and two herders to take the sheep and catch up with the rest of the flock which was at this time near St. Johns. Lester stayed with the 300 sheep until they were north of Springerville. By April all the sheep were grazing together. But, he was not done with his work as he headed back to the Double O Ranch near Seligman to take care of the 18,000 ewes ready to lamb within the next month.
Life was not easy for him as he had not seen his family for three months as they were living in Chandler. He moved them to the ranch and the family remained there until the fall of 1936. Changes took place during this time as the assets once owned by the Arizona Central Bank, Flagstaff, were bought out by a bank in Los Angeles. Will Anderson replaced John Simpson as general manager in 1935. The Grand Canyon Sheep Company was consolidated with the VVV Livestock Company and was called the Arizona Livestock Company.
The sheep and cattle were signed to specific areas. The 25,000 head of sheep were put on the range southwest of Seligman and some company holdings that were to the south of Kingman. The cattle were north of here. With prices high in 1936, the Double O was sold and 26,000 sheep were moved to the forest south of Flagstaff for the summer and the rest went to Valle Ranch north of Williams. When the sheep were moved to the winter range in 1937, Lester was the foreman and was responsible for the sheep which covered a area from Congress to San Luis on the Mexican Border (over near Yuma). Lambing took place in Litchfield as well as at the Valle Ranch. With the exception of 10,000 ewes, all other ewes and spring and feeder lambs were sold. Those sheep were sold in the fall of 1937 and shipped to Santa Barbara from Bellemont, near Flagstaff. The sheep were then loaded on a ship and turned loose on an island off the coast.
Final part will be posted later this week.