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True Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texas
Kelton was born April 29, 1928 at a place called Horse Camp on the
Five Wells Ranch in Andrews County. When he was three years old, his
family moved to the McElroy Ranch located in Crane and Upton
counties near the city of Crane, He spent the rest of his childhood
at three different homesteads on the McElroy Ranch, where his father
was employed for 36 years.
After graduation from Crane High School, Kelton attended the University of Texas at Austin from 1942 to 1944 and again from 1946 to 1948, when he earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism. From 1944 to 1946, Kelton served in the U.S. Army, with combat infantry experience in Europe during World War II.
After the war, Kelton moved to San Angelo where he was the farm and ranch editor for The San Angelo Standard Times from 1948 to 1963. For five years, he was editor of Sheep and Goat Raiser Magazine and another 22 years he was editor of Livestock Weekly, from which he retired in 1990.
Eight Kelton novels,
The Day the
The Time It Never Rained,
Eyes of the
The Far Canyon,
Many a River, and
The Way of the Coyote won Spur Awards from the Western
Writers of America where his fellow authors also named him "the
greatest Western writer of all time".
He was married to Anni Lipp, a native of Austria. They had three children. One son, Gerhard also known as "Gary", who resides in Plainview Texas, is Anni's son and was adopted by Kelton. The other son and a daughter are Steve Kelton and Kathy Kelton, both residents of San Angelo.
Elmer Kelton died August 22, 2009