Editor’s Note: Information published in the Wednesday, April 1 edition of the Williams Lake Tribune about Frank Armes was incorrect. Frank and Doreen Armes had four children; Bob, Gordon, Dorothy and Allan. We regret the error.
Frank Armes will be enshrined in this year’s 2020 class of the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame in the category of Ranching Pioneer.
Armes, who passed away in 2002, was scheduled to be inducted Friday, March 20 at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the event was forced to cancel for 2020.
Nominations for acceptance into the hall of fame go to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake, which is home to the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees memorabilia at its location at the Tourism Discovery Centre.
2020 BC Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee – Ranching Pioneer
Frank Langman Armes was born in Vancouver in 1908. His schooling was in bookkeeping and he planned on being a ship purser, but his father took him out of school at 15 to work on the J S Place Ranch that he had purchased in Dog Creek. A train ride landed him in Ashcroft at -30 and a horse and sleigh took him the rest of the way. The next few years were spent learning to ride and work cattle.
In 1931 Frank married Doreen Pollitt and they had four children; Bob, Gordon, Dorothy and Allan. In 1936 Colonel Spencer asked Frank to manage the Meason Ranch at Little Dog Creek and the Gaspard Ranch in the Dog Creek Valley…this was the start of the Diamond S Ranch.
One thousand head of cattle were purchased in Alberta and shipped to Mission where Frank and two other cowboys met them, shipped them by train to Ashcroft, then drove them to Little Dog Creek. Frank now had to develop more hay land and dams for irrigation, all done by horses.
Their first tractor was purchased when the Ford 9N came out in 1939, and soon they increased their cattle number to 3000 head. Frank improved the calf crop, brought in Hereford bulls from England and hired more cowboys to better manage the grazing. They added the 500 head to the Pigeon Ranch.
In 1949, when the Colonel turned the management over to his daughter, Frank took a job as manager of the 2,000-head Nicola Stock Farm until it was leased. At this point the family moved to Williams Lake and started Armes Brothers Agencies, selling farm equipment and supplies.
Frank had fond memories of his ranching days and spoke fondly of the First Nations people that were the majority of his work crew. He enjoyed a great journey with his bride of 70 years by his side. Frank passed away in 2002.
- History provided by the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin