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Merle Chester Hamilton


August 17, 2017

Merle Hamilton unsaddled his horse for the last time on August 13, 2017. After 91 years working in agriculture he lost his battle with lung and brain cancer and the sands of time. Merle Chester Hamilton was born December 30, 1925 in Bowman, North Dakota to Chester A. and Myra L. Hamilton. Merle joined his older brother, Lyle and later two sisters, Virginia Hamilton Lissolo and Maxine Hamilton Singletary joined the family.

They lived on a small ranch south of Bowman until 1936 when a combination of drought and the depression forced them to leave. The family moved to Tinton, South Dakota where his dad worked in an underground mine, and then a short time later they had an opportunity to move to a ranch north of Osage, Wyoming.

Merle attended rural school through his grade school years and then attended high school in Newcastle where he graduated in 1943. Shortly after graduation he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed at Port Chicago in San Francisco. He was honorably discharged in 1946.

After returning home to the ranch north of Osage, he enrolled at the University of Wyoming in the fall of 1946. He graduated from the University in 1950 with a degree in Animal Science.

That is where he met his future wife, Eleanor Walters. They were married after her graduation in 1951. At that time he was employed as the dairy herdsman at the state tuberculosis sanitarium in Sanator, South Dakota. In the spring they left to return to Hyattville and the Walters Ranch. After the death of Eleanor’s dad, Stanley, they bought the interests of ranch from Harvey Walters and Margaret Walters and renamed the ranch Hamilton Ranch.

Livestock and range were important to Merle and he spent a lot of time and effort continuing to improve the range for the livestock. Putting in fences in areas that would help the range and developing water sources to help with distribution of livestock. He always admired people who were good with livestock. He enjoyed good cattle, sheep, horses and dogs.

Merle and Eleanor had two children, Keith and Ken.

Merle served on the board of directors of the Wyoming Wool Growers Association. He also served on the Hyattville School Board for a number of years. He was a member of the Hyattville Methodist Church.

He was survived by his wife, Eleanor of Hyattville; his sons, Keith (Linda) Hamilton of Hyattville and Ken (Kathy) Hamilton of Laramie; his grandchildren, Diane (Curt) Cox of Casper, Douglas (Michelle) Hamilton of Hyattville, and Ian Hamilton of Sheridan in addition to his four great-grandchildren, Carter and Cooper Cox of Casper and Aspyn and Burgess Hamilton of Worland.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; his two sisters, Maxine and Virginia; and his brother, Lyle.

Services will be held at the Hyattville Community Center on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.

Memorials can be made to the Hyattville Community Center or the Hyattville Fire Department.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors assisted the family with the arrangements.


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