Ray Schnell was born in Richardton, North Dakota in 1893, a year after his family arrived from Russia to homestead in the United States. In 1925 Ray and his family purchased a farm and ranch near Dickinson and raised purebred Shorthorn and Hereford cattle. After attending auctioneering school in 1924, Ray became a very popular auctioneer in the area and sold many purebred sales throughout the region. Believing strongly in the auction method of merchandising, Ray, along with two others, started the Dickinson Livestock Sales Company, one of the first livestock auction markets in the state. Schnell was also instrumental in persuading the state's livestock producers to improve the genetics of their herds by using outstanding sires in their breeding programs. Ray was also involved with many livestock organizations, including the ND Stockmen's Association and the American National Cattlemen's Association. He was also involved with some of the first rodeos in the state, starting with the Richardton Rodeo in the early 1920's. In addition, he served in the state legislature for five terms and was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1951-52. Some of the recognition he received includes "Man of the Year" awarded by the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club in 1963 and the "Man of the Year in Livestock" award at Denver's National Western Stock Show in 1965.
Year Inducted: 1997