His maternal grandparents migrated from the Smoky Mountain area of east Tennessee to Texas, eventually homesteading in northeast New Mexico. Walt’s paternal grandfather left Kentucky in 1900 to seek his fortune in the West. Along the way he took a job breaking horses and mules for an eastern Kansas farmer and mule trader. He married the farmer’s daughter and eventually became a landowner in northwestern Kansas and Bent county Colorado near the Santa Fe Trail.
Walt grew up with an appreciation for the people of the western frontier, then and now. He enjoys writing about them in fact and fiction. Walt has lived and worked in the plains country and traveled the West. As a youth he worked as a combiner on the wheat harvest circuit beginning on the Waggoner Ranch in Texas, and finishing the season on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
When Walt writes of horses and cattle he does so with first hand knowledge. Walt’s many work experiences include mill hand, long haul truck driver, newsletter editor, photographer, article writer, electrician and business executive. Walt lived and worked in historical Howard County Missouri, the birthplace of the Santa Fe Trail and boyhood home of famed frontiersman Kit Carson.
Collecting and restoring antique firearms and horse gear is Walt’s hobby. He deer hunts with a vintage cap and ball rifle. Kentucky-style rifles are his favorite items. “I don’t care much for modern firearms, I love the old ones because of their place in history,” states Walt. Walt Ryan currently lives with his wife Denny in Osage county, Missouri.