Cover photo for Ralph Platt's Obituary
Ralph Platt Profile Photo
1913 Ralph 2013

Ralph Platt

September 13, 1913 — December 26, 2013

Ralph E. Platt, who celebrated his 100th birthday Sept. 13, a pioneer of the Platt Valley, passed away Dec. 26, at 8:13 p.m. at the Deseret Health Care in Saratoga surrounded by his loving family. Ralph was born on the Platt Ranch in a dirt roofed cabin that was originally built by homesteader James King, referred to as the King Place in later years, located on Beaver Creek, Wyoming, S.E. of Encampment, Wyoming. Parents were Ralph Henry and Alwilda (Pool) Platt, Ralph being the oldest of 4 children. Ralph was raised on the ranch where hard work and long hours were expected which served Ralph well throughout his life. Ralph began his schooling in Colorado, moving back to attend his 4th grade through 10th grades at the old Beaver Creek School house. Ralph went to Saratoga his 11th & 12th grades and graduated from the Platte Valley School. One of his memorable events was riding bareback, when he was in high school, back to the ranch with Grant Forney, when it was 60 degrees below zero. Education was important to Ralph and despite of the depression and hard times managed to graduate from the University of Wyoming with a degree in agriculture, with a minor in Geology. So Ralph could afford to pay for school, he shoveled coal for five cents per ton, and he and a friend would shovel 50 tons per day. He also, did concrete work for Banner Construction Company and was paid 30 cents per hour, while finding the time and energy to play for the Wyoming Cowboys basketball team. After college Ralph's first job was a dairy inspector in Carbon County, he did some subcontracting for Northern Western Engineering Company doing rockwork on Highway 230 near the ranch. This was followed by his love for mining and the "Golden Clover" Gold Mine. Throughout his years he owned and operated several mines including gold, copper, uranium and vermiculite. Jade was also mined and countless days were spent researching mines that would produce outstanding mineral specimens and then locating these mines and personally collecting "trophy specimens" During the late 1930's and 1940's during fur trapping seasons, Ralph ran a very successful trap line for pine martin, beaver, muskrats, coyotes, mink and weasel. This required him to ride horse back from the ranch to near Steamboat Springs Co. and back every three days. Nights were spent in a sleeping bag under a pine tree with his dog Fuzz. When snow depths reached a point that it was extremely difficult for his horse to travel, he would pull his traps for the season. A living was made however possible. Ralph married his college sweetheart Harriet (Tupper) Platt on Jan. 1, 1940 spending their honeymoon in Denver at the Roosevelt Hotel. Ralph bought a piece of land from his father and Ralph and Harriet built a house on the ranch and raised two sons, Vernon H. Platt and Ronald R. Platt. When Vernon and Ronald were old enough for school, Ralph built a second house in Saratoga and during the winter months he taught Vocational Agriculture and a program for the GI's. Ralph's ability to do many types of work and his desire to continually educate himself led to many types of work. In the early 50's he served as water commissioner in the valley, in 1954 bought a Dairy Queen business in Cheyenne, taught class at Ft. Warren Air Base. However, Ralph's love for the ranch, the valley, hunting and mining never died. His hunting skills included several Boone and Crockett trophies including a deer that at one time was number two in the world. Ralph started the Platt Brothers Guide and Outfitters and guided until he was 80 years old. Contracting and building for the great people in the valley was also a big part of Ralph's occupations. Ralph was a member for over 70 years of the Masonic Order and he and Harriet were active in the Eastern Star, 50 years plus. However, the foremost love of his life and starting at 9 years of age was that of a "Rock Hound"! No matter where he was or what he was doing he never missed seeing a quality rock. He served as president of the Rocky Mountain Gem and Mineral Society and was talking rocks up until two nights before his death. An often covered up fact, Ralph's second love was the Platt Ranch. He became a man at the age of 12 years when Ralph H. became ill with Typhoid Fever and he did the ranch work his father had been doing. His entire life he either worked actively or inactively with the ranch. As the oldest son he felt the responsibility to keep the ranch in the family and until his death the property he was born on still remains his ranch. Preceding Ralph in death were his parents, his wife, Harriet, a grandson, Ryan, and brother Kermit plus a niece, Margaret Logan and nephew, David Martell. He is survived by his two sons: Vernon H. Platt, wife Lilly, Ronald R. Platt, wife Mayvon, a granddaughter, Lisa Michelle Platt, a great grandson, Landyn Ryan Platt, his sister, Erma Logan and niece, Jane and husband Robert Dorn and other family members who's chosen to become estranged. Ralph's vast experiences, work and years in the valley provided insight, history and knowledge of the valley which is lost in his passing and will be missed. Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Masonic Lodge, 112 W. Rochester in Saratoga. A luncheon at the lodge, with snacks for family, friends and others who would like to join, will follow the service.


Saturday, January 4, 2014 1:00pm

Saratoga Masonic Lodge

112 W. Rochester


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