#lookback: Three Spear Ranch

A series where we take a #lookback at the stories and history of our community, brought to you by Mick Pryor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.

Dubois has been home to many interesting and famous people; the majority found this hideaway while vacationing in the American West. Josephine Patterson Reeves was no different. Josephine went by Joe, and she needed a change of scenery after going through a divorce. The change came in the form of visiting the old Diamond G Guest Ranch, now the Brooks Lake Lodge, in 1944 and 1945. In fact, she stayed in Dubois and rented the Stalnaker home in the winter of 1945, and later purchased several parcels land south of Dubois, giving it the name Three Spear Ranch. She also bought a stallion from the Indian reservation and began raising horses.

Before she came to Dubois, Joe had a career like most people who find this little town today, and what a career it was. Joe was part of one of the most prominent families in American journalism. Joseph Medill Patterson, her father, founded The Daily News in New York and was co-editor and co-publisher at The Chicago Tribune. Her aunt, Eleanor Medill Patterson, published The Washington Times-Herald, and Alicia Patterson, her older sister, founded, published and edited Newsday. Her father often told Alicia and Joe that women were not to go into journalism, but, much to his disapproval, both excelled in the profession. Joe started out in the 1930’s interviewing killers like George (Baby Face) Nelson and covering murders and the criminal courts. She did not work for her father’s newspaper. Instead, she worked for its rival The Chicago Daily News.

Josephine married Jay Frederick Reeve who was a Chicago lawyer in 1936. They met while she was covering court cases. However, at the time she was operating a dairy and pig farm that later became the Hawthorne-Melody Dairy. This marriage did not last long and they divorced in the mid-1940s.

Love found Josephine in Red Lodge, Montana in 1946. Ivan Albright was her lucky man. Ivan was a renowned artist whose skill earned him spots in the Museum of Modern Art, NY and the Art Institute of Chicago. Dubois Area History by Mary Allison has the following story of their wedding party at the Branding Iron Bar. “ Tommy Smith brought his burro into the bar which the bride had to ride. Ivan’s twin brother Melvin was also present for the affair and he wore a sign that said: “It’s not me – it’s him!” Ivan’s sign on his back said “Like hell it is!”

Joe and Ivan split their time between the East and West. They spent summers in Dubois and winters in Chicago. Later, they moved to Woodstock, Vt. in 1963, and Joe eventually donated the Three Spear Ranch to the Jackson Hole Trust in 1988.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

February 7, 7pm at the Dubois Museum, “Bats in the Wind River Range”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

February 7, 6:30pm at the Riverton Museum, “ICCE Archaeology with Todd Guenther”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

February 8, 6pm “What are Those White Lights in the Winter Sky”

Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

February 9, 6pm at the Riverton Museum, “Murder Mystery Event”

February 16, 4-6pm at the Pioneer Museum, “For the Love of Water, Now and Then” Exhibit Opening

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support. In the current economic environment the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last three and half years. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

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