By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Ken Wheeler was born in Conrad, the third of five generations to live in Pondera County.
Wheeler has filed as a candidate on the Republican ticket for county commissioner.
He has been married to his wife Donna for 52 years. Together they have three children: Ken Jr. (Jackie) of Valier, Roberta (Mike) Larson of Sydney and Colton of Valier. The couple has six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Wheeler attended school in Valier and has lived here for most of his life, leaving only for employment.
He has worked on ranches and in road construction, including the streets of Conrad, and has worked for the Pondera County Canal & Reservoir Company as an operator, and as a truck driver for a cement company.
In 1970 he started with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a government trapper. He was stationed in Roundup for two years, then in Cut Bank for four years and then came back home to Valier.
After retirement from U.S. Fish and Wildlife in 1990, he started Wheeler Saddlery in Valier and Cut Bank. He still builds a saddle now and then and repairs a pair of boots.
At the same time he started Ken Wheeler Septic Pumping, which he sold in 2012, he worked for the Valier Cemetery and drove a route bus for school. He still subs for drivers and sporting events.
Wheeler is a member of the Republican Party and servedon President Bush advisory committee.
He feels Valier should again have a county representation.“I am willing to listen and work with anyone with a good idea for Pondera County,” he tells the I-O.
When he can get away, he loves to hunt, but has never had much time to fish.
“Snowmobiling is my winter sport of choice with family and friends,” he said.