By Jean Mathisen Haugen
Lander Historian & Writer
(Lander, Wyo.) – The June 6, 1940 issue of the Wyoming State Journal mentioned the death of pioneer stockman, William Schlicting who had spent 70 years building the west.
The ranch, known today as the Malmberg Ranch on Twin Creek, dates to the earliest days of ranching in the area. William Schlicting was born at Davenport, Iowa in 1860. Not long after the Civil War ended his mother brought him west. She moved to South Pass and the boy got what education he could at the school there, but after a few years branched out on his own.
Rich grasses grew on Beaver and Twin Creeks and with cattle driven in from Oregon (descendants of the oxen that had gone west some 30-40 years earlier with the wagon trains), William Schlicting set about starting up a ranch.
In 1888 he married a second time to Ella Wise (his first wife had died leaving a son behind named Fred. The house was moved in from buildings sold at auction when Camp Stambaugh near Atlantic City was shut down in 1880. The barn also came from the Camp. The home was situated on an old trail into the mining country and was a favorite stopping place. In the roundup records of the 1880’s and 1890’s the roundup tallies mounted year by year. Children born to the family were Otto, Emmons, Mrs. Anna Mae Goodrich and Miss Ellen. A rural school was conducted on the ranch. By 1908 Schlicting bought a home in Lander so the children could attend high school. The Twin Creek holdings were later sold to the Greenough Brothers, who also owned land in Red Canyon. The ranch was leased out over the years and among those leasing the place was Walt Mathisen, in 1929. In 1934 Walt homesteaded on some open land just below the ranch and built a cabin out of logs recycled from old buildings at Camp Stambaugh.
Later Stuart Nalls owned the ranch and then Bart and Katherine Bergstedt bought the place. In 1951 Walt’s son, Bob and wife Betty moved back and worked there. Some of the ranch was enlarged by Walt, Gillis and Red Mathisen’s homesteads. Walt’s cabin is long gone and Gillis and Red’s cabins are in ruins. But the old Schlicting house, dugout and barn remain to silently speak of a long history of ranching in the Twin Creek Valley.