Powell, WY


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Ernest H. ‘Bud’ Knight

(April 2, 1937 - Jan. 31, 2014)

Ernest H. “Bud” Knight died Jan. 31, 2014, at home with his loving wife, Nancy, by his side after a prolonged battle with his health. He was 76.

Bud was born April 2, 1937, in Custer, S.D., to Harold and Della Knight. He was the oldest of three children, including his sister Yvonne and brother Calvin.

During the summer between his junior and senior year of high school, he helped his uncle drive to Alaska and fell in love with Alaska, then a territory.

Bud graduated from Custer High School in 1955 and soon after he was on his way back to Alaska. He spent most of his time in Alaska working as a welder until the summer of 1962. He and his buddy Dave Barnes were working their way back to Alaska when Bud had the opportunity to buy his dad’s partner’s share of Custer Machine works in Custer, S.D. His buddy Dave went back to Alaska where he and his three children were killed in the great earthquake.  

Bud and his dad operated the Custer Machine Works until April 1974. At this time Bud had already learned the auction business, and went into auctioneering full-time. He auctioned farm sales, antiques and household sales all around the Black Hills. Bud was one of the few auctioneers left to have been the auctioneer at Edgemont, Rapid City, Sturgis, St. Onge and Bell Fourche, S.D.

He was manager of Sturgis Livestock Exchange under owners Dale and Margerette Maddox until they sold the business to Jack Smeenk and Dick Orwick, Newell-area ranchers. Bud worked as auctioneer for Smeenk-Orwick until January 1983, at which time he took over as manager of Billings Livestock Commission Co. in Billings, Mont.  

Bud competed four consecutive years for the title of world champion livestock auctioneer. Along the way, he was central North American champion and two-time reserve world champion. In 1983 he attained the title of world champion livestock auctioneer. This was an honor he coveted.  

In 1988 Bud and his partner opened the Worland Livestock Auction in Worland. In 1992 Bud sold his interest in the Worland Livestock Auction and he and his wife, Nancy, purchased the Ten Sleep Saloon in Ten Sleep.  

Bud and Nancy moved back to Powell in 2004 to be closer to family even though they continued to travel to Worland to work the weekly auctions.

Bud was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Della Knight, sister Yvonne Baker and brother, Calvin “Blackie” Knight.

Bud leaves behind his wife of 19 years, Nancy (Heny) Knight; two daughters, Misty (Scott) Hayne of Moab, Utah and Starla (Charlie) Paschall of Rapid City, S.D.; and Nancy’s children, Dusty (Adrienne) Harvey of Ralston and Stacey Cannon of Powell; grandchildren Samantha, Tanner, Shayna and Thad Hendrickson of Rapid City; and Trent and Willie Cannon of Powell and Madison, Waycee and Brady Harvey of Ralston.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Thompson Funeral Home in Powell.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to: The Lions Club 2946 HWY 16, Ten Sleep, WY, 82442.

Arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Home and Crematory.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at or to P.O. Box 807 Powell, WY, 82435.

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