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Bill Cody Ranch, est. 1925


Bill Cody Ranch Lodge

Guests often ask about the history of the ranch. While Bill Cody Ranch has changed in its almost ninety years of existence, the truth is that is has not changed much. Ever since its establishment, it has offered guests a peaceful, quiet, fun, and authentic Western experience in the heart of the Shoshone National Forest in the Absaroka Mountain Range.



Morris Ranch

Morris Ranch: 1925-1945:

In 1925, Leonard and Dorothy Morris laid the groundwork for the main lodge, the Westerner, and the Deluxe Ponderosa cabins. Leonard, a Cody native and Hollywood movie actor named the new establishment the Lazy Bar H Ranch. The ranch operated in conjunction with the Broken H Dude Ranch, owned by Leonard’s father, Fred Morris. At this time, the concept of a “dude ranch” was just entering the American consciousness. Morris was the first rancher to travel east to market tourism for this type of vacation. In its early days, guests at the Lazy Bar H Ranch would enjoy great home cooked meals, horseback riding, pack trips, big game hunting, fishing, and target shooting.



Nameit Creek Ranch

Nameit Creek Lodge: 1945-1971:

The ranch stayed in the Morris family through the early 1940s but was closed for brief periods during the Depression and World War II. In 1945, Bill and Mary Walker purchased the ranch and renamed it Nameit Creek Lodge after the creek that runs through the property into the Shoshone River. A few years later, the ranch was sold to Eugene and Adah Petty. The ranch became the Petty’s permanent homestead. The couple added a water and electrical system. They also added space for guests and staff, building the chalet, Ponderosa cabins, and the employee bunkhouse.


Bill Cody Ranch: 1971-1996:

From 1968 through the Bill & Barbara Codyearly 1970s, the ranch changed ownership multiple times. It was not until 1971 when the grandson of Buffalo Bill himself purchased the guest ranch, calling it “Bill Cody’s Ranch Inn.” Bill Cody had grown up in the Cody area. His mother was Irma Cody Garlow, the favored daughter of Buffalo Bill after whom the historic Irma Hotel is named. The young Bill Cody left Wyoming to pursue other ventures as a young adult, but Bill Cody Ranch would be where he spent his later years. He and his wife, Barbara, acquired the operation with a small deposit and devoted their next twenty-five years to providing guests with that same Western experience that they loved. During this time, the Bill Cody cabins were added to the ranch to expand its overall guest capacity. The horse herd had diminished to around five, but it grew to over fifty under Bill and Barbara’s direction. 

Bill Cody Ranch: 1996-2018:                    


                                             The Stuards


John and Jamie Parsons owned and managed the property from 1996-2003 and were known for their devotion to the ranch and their relentless hospitality. They eventually sold it to Wai Yee Bonneau of Oregon who owned the ranch for the next seven years. During this time, the Buckaroo triplex was added to the property. In late 2009, Ronnie and Tonia Stuard of Texas purchased Bill Cody Ranch with the intention to continue to provide a memorable and relaxing vacation for guests from all over the world. The 2018 season marked their ninth year as owners and operators of the the ranch.



Bill Cody Ranch 2018- Present:

Bill Cody Ranch was purchased by John Jelks out of Arkansas after the 2018 season. The Jelks family has ran cattle and horse operations from their ranch in Arkansas for nearly a century. John plans on keeping the Bill Cody Ranch a family oriented guest ranch that is devoted to giving families from all over the world a true western vacation at an affordable price. Just like in 1925, guest can still find comfortably rustic lodging, great food, hospitality, horseback riding, pack trips, and world class fishing.

John, Mark, and Renee Jelks