F.S. King Brothers Ranch: Scientific Breeding

August 8, 2018

Information from F.S. King Bros. Ranch Laramie, Wyoming 1888 – 1950 by the American Studies Program, Mary Humstone & Sarah Schill.

What made the King Brothers sheep business unique was their scientific focus on breeding. They meticulously selected and bred their sheep, traveling long distances and paying top money to buy the best breeding stock. In 1901, the King Brothers decided to diversify their stock with the introduction of Rambouillet ram. By 1911, “the American Sheep Breeder stated that the F.S. King Brothers Company had ‘the largest purebred flock of Rambouillets in the country.’” (Burns, 528)


The sheep industry started to change when sheep breeders were becoming unsatisfied with the ability of sheep in America to produce excellent mutton as well as wool. This led to finding a new breed to integrate within the U.S. In 1914, the Corriedale breed was chosen to be introduced into America’s sheep industry. “The association chose Frank S. King to be its representative on this mission.” (Humstone, 14) The Corriedales were suited to the Wyoming environment, and the population of the sheep started to rise.

The sheep industry reached its peak in 1940, but by World War 2 the industry took a big hit and never recovered. Though the sheep industry may have not continued to prosper in the second half of the 20th century, the legacy the F.S. King Brothers established with the introduction of Rambouillet and Corriedale breeds left an important mark in U.S. sheep history. To learn more about F.S. King Brothers Sheep business join us on September 2nd at the Historic F.S. King Brothers Ranch Homestead Tour & Dinner.


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