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Ranch History
Pete Sr. circa 1925

    The Meike Ranch is a family corporation consisting of the offspring of Peter and Naomi Meike. Peter Meike came to the Sussex, Wyoming area as a baby with his family, the Emil and Emma Meikes.

Emil and Emma Meike
Emil and Emma Meike

     Emil Meike, Sr. was born in Germany and came to Iowa with his parents in 1867.  They later moved farther west to Chadron, Nebraska where he met and married Emma Kruse.  Peter (Pete), their second child, was born in Colorado in 1901.

Pete Sr. on buckrake, 1916
Pete Sr. on buckrake, 1916

      Drought conditions in Colorado sent Emil searching for a better place to start over in the cattle business.  He toured central Wyoming on horseback and met an established Sussex rancher, H.W. Davis, who was also looking for a way to beat the drought.  Together they envisioned an irrigated valley on the Powder River and set out to form a company to build and run a twenty-mile-long canal.  The work was undertaken with team and slips with some thirty other homesteaders joining in.  The project was too much for the ranchers to complete, and an outside company from Denver came to their rescue with a steam shovel. Water first flowed from the dam and head gate on Powder River some four miles east of Kaycee to Sussex in 1910.  Three major flumes, one crossing the Powder River, and several more smaller structures, all made of wood, crossed the many draws to keep the canal on a grade sufficient to irrigate the land above the river.

David and Anna Streeter
David and Anna Streeter

     Naomi Meike’s family, David and Anna Streeter, lived just above the start of the canal and had been in the area since before the turn of the century.  So the children of Pete and Naomi Meike are descendents of two pioneer families.

     Grandpa Emil Meike died in 1933 and his four sons continued to run the ranch which expanded considerably in those three decades.  Grandma Emma Meike died in 1947 and the ranch was divided among the six children.  At that time Pete and Naomi had five children, Don born in 1929, Barbara in 1931, Peter (Peto) in 1934, Emma Lee in 1937 and Helen in 1946. Pete, Sr. and sons Don and Peto formed a partnership in 1949 and started to enlarge their holdings until in a few years it consisted of much of the earlier Meike land.  Don and Peto continue to manage the ranch today.

Emma Meike and children
Emma Meike with children in front of homestead cabin, circa 1911
   Meike mountain cabin
Meike mountain cabin, circa 1933
   Meike family as children
Pete and Naomi Meike family as children, circa 1942
back l-r: Don, Grandma Meike, Barbara
front l-r: Naomi, Emmy, Peto, Pete Sr. (Helen was born...later)
   Meike family as adults
Pete and Naomi Meike family as adults, 1978
l-r: Helen, Don, Naomi, Pete Sr., Barb, Peto, Emmy
   Don and Peto, recently
Don and Peto (and Ben, sometimes-champion sheep dog), recently