“My dad was not a horse whisperer, but he was gentle with animals and knew how to earn their respect,” daughter Gayle Ann (Peck) Fielder.
Gerald “Jerry” Peck was born in rural Wakefield, Kansas on August 4, 1928 to Henry Nelson and Edna Schweitzer Peck. He grew up with cattle and horses and began breaking and riding horses as a young man. In 1946 around the age of 18, he started working for the late Bud McLinden of rural Marion, Kansas as a ranch hand and, in his early 20’s, began a lifetime journey as a foreman of the Big-4 pasture located on Highway 77 six miles south of Junction City. Jerry served his country as a member of the Kansas National Guard. Before his marriage, he worked as a pickup man in local rodeos. In the 1950’s he helped drive Texas cattle from railroad cars in Cassody, Kansas to local pastures. In 1954, he married Lucile Macoubrie. In 1955, they moved north of Skiddy, Kansas renting the 980 acre Ebbutt Ranch from the widow of 2012 Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee, Bill Ebbutt. Here, Jerry began building up a cowherd and, throughout his lifetime, had a close connection with his cattle. He didn’t need an ear tag to identify his cows and calves. He knew which calf belonged to which cow. In addition to the 980 acre Ebbutt Ranch, he rented and managed another 1,600 acres of pasture. At Skiddy, Jerry was a friend of, and rounded up cattle with, 2014 KCHF inductee Dusty Anderson. In 1976, Jerry bought his own ranch and rented some of the same pastures. During this time he worked in the stockyard on sale day and was a cattle field representative for the Herington Livestock Commission Company until he died on April 1, 2002. In the late 1990’s until his death, he managed for Fred Berns the same four section pasture he managed and worked on for Bud McLinden. Jerry was a traditional cowboy. He checked his cattle as well as others’ closely, roped and doctored as needed, castrated calves, dehorned cattle, maintained pasture fences, and rid the beautiful prairie of noxious weeds. Jerry loved the Flint Hills prairie and some of his fondest memories were the times he traveled to help roundup cattle in Chase, Morris and Wabaunsee Counties. Jerry was an accomplished cattleman and rancher, and was very well known and respected. He was a kind and gentle man who was very generous when it came time to help a neighbor, friend or family member. He was a man of integrity, whose word was honest and genuine. Jerry and Lucile have two daughters, Gayle Ann Fielder and Linda Lucile Moffenbier.
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame connection: Jerry rented ground from 2012 Cattleman/Rancher Bill Ebbutt. He was friends with KCHF Working Cowboy Dusty Anderson.
Year inducted: 2015