“Punk, ” her brothers called her, a moniker her grandfather objected to. Grandfather Rogers nicknamed her “Peggy, ” and it stuck. Peggy's parents, Raymond Hannibal Eaton and Ella Frances Rogers, filed a claim on a 320-acre homestead at Sheep Mountain near Glendo, Wyoming, in 1917, five years before she was born. The chalk rock mesa rose fifteen hundred feet above the prairie a mile northwest of the log cabin Raymond built for the family. They ran cattle, kept horses, and raised crops on lands where shots still rang out in range wars. The Eatons and the Covingtons, their neighbors, engaged in a long-running battle over fences and strays and anything else that set them to “locking horns.”
Peggy was eight when “the bad years” began with the coming of the drought in 1930. She recalls strings of saddle tramps stopping at the ranch where they would be fed and have their clothes washed before moving on. By 1932, horses were selling for five cents, hogs for sixty cents, and cows and calves from ten to seventy-five cents. In 1934, grasshoppers invaded the prairies and devoured everything in sight, even clothes on the clothesline. Peggy remembers her father filling a washtub with insecticide supplied by the government. She drove a wagon team around the edge of their fields, while her father stood in the back broadcasting the insecticide with his bare hands.
When Peggy started high school in 1936, she rode her horse Babe four miles every day to catch a bus to Glendo. She would leave Babe in a neighbor's barn and ride her back home after school. Through