Clark James “C.J.” Walter

Brookings, Brookings County, South Dakota, USA
Death 29 Jan 1957 (aged 68)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial North Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Memorial ID 111274851 · View Source
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Clark (C. J.) Walter, a Peekskill resident for twenty years and a pioneer of eastern dude ranching, died last night in a Glendale, California Hospital, where he was under treatment for a heart-lung disease and fatigue. He was 67 years old.

Present at his bedside were his two daughters, Peggy (Mrs. Joe Ferrante) and Doreen (Mrs. Arthur Sloan), both of southern California.

Funeral services have not been scheduled, but will be in southern California. He was buried in the Valhalla Cemetery.

C. J., as he was known to his friends and associates, had left here after the holidays for a vacation and health seeking trip to the west. He was accompanied by his brother Vernon and other friends.

Mr. Walter was born in Bangor, South Dakota, in 1888 on December 14th. The son of Leon and Jennie (Plummer) Walter. He married Constance Paulson in 1911 in Bangor. The family homesteaded in western Canada, transporting themselves and their belongings in an ox-driven wagon. Eleven children were born to them; all survived except Jeanette who died in childhood. In addition to the ten children, there are 19 grandchildren.
Pioneered Dude Ranching
With his brother Vern, C. J. pioneered dude ranching in the east, and was founder of the first Eastern Dude Ranching Association. SKI HI RANCH, the first eastern dude ranch was opened at Warrensburg, New York in the late 1930's by Vernon Walter.

In 1938, the two brothers assumed management of the Diamond O Ranch in Peekskill. This ranch was later renamed Cinnabar. This became one of the most popular vacation spots in the east.

In 1939, the two brothers opened Cimarron Ranch in Putnam Valley, which was an immediate success and is now the oldest dude ranch in the east.

The Cinnabar Ranch property was sold in 1946 and became the Continental Village Development. Mr. Walter later owned the Walter Ranch in Garrison, New York. He was also associated with two other dude ranches including the Au Sable Guest Ranch in Michigan, the Lost Wilderness Ranch in Massachusetts and the Flying W Ranch in Garrison, New York.
Hosted Many Celebrities
He was a popular host noted for his generous hospitality. Among his friends were Cowboy Hoot Gibson, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, radio star Bess Johnson, newspaper reporter Jimmy Powers, Representative Fred Gamble of Westchester, Don Short, Gene Ward, Charles Sievert, writer Lowell Thomas, Senator from Connecticut, Dick Forester, Fred Barton, of the cast of Mr. Roberts (and later the inventor of the teleprompter). A frequent guest was Harry Conner, owner of the Conover Modeling Agency.

Personality sketches of C. J. often appeared in the metropolitan and national magazines during the hay-days of the Cinnabar Ranch.

Harry Tompkins, a Peekskill school boy, became his prodigy at Cinnabar and learned to ride with the Walter children. He rode bareback broncos and bulls. He went on to become a World Champion Cowboy in the R.C.A. (Rodeo Cowboys' Association).
Varied Career
The dude ranch business was a culmination of a varied and adventurous career. As a youth he tended sheep on his father's ranch. Later he worked as a surveyor on the Hudson Bay Railroad. He owned and operated hotels, pool halls and saloons in the Canadian West. He once owned and operated a draying business which later evolved into a motor stage and later into a bus line.

With several partners, Mr. Walter owned the first professional baseball league in western Canada. He once hired the baseball player Jim Thorpe.
Survived by Wife and Ten Children
Mr. Walter is survived by his wife, Constance P. Walter of Pump House Road, his wife of 45 years, and by his father, Leon J. Walter, his six surviving sons: Vern Walter of Waterbury, Connecticut; Allen Walter of Staatsburg, New York; Stanley Walter of Tucson, Arizona; Kenneth Walter of Peekskill, New York; Earl Walter of Laurens, New York; George Walter of New Haven, Connecticut, and four daughters: Peggy (Mrs. Joe Ferrante); Irene (Mrs. Tom Brown) of New City, New York; Maxine (Mrs. Bill Schwerd) of Hartwick, New York and Doreen (Mrs. Arthur Sloan) of Simi Valley, California.

He is also survived by one brother, Vern Walter of Putnam Valley, New York, and three sisters: Mrs. Mae Kerr of Miami, Florida; Clara Walter and Mrs. Cliff, both of Detroit, Michigan. A brother, Loren Walter, preceded him in death about six months ago.

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  • Created by: Janecb
  • Added: 27 May 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 111274851
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clark James “C.J.” Walter (14 Dec 1888–29 Jan 1957), Find a Grave Memorial no. 111274851, citing Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Janecb (contributor 47387603) .