Jake Johnson began ranching in Wyoming after he purchased part of the Fiddleback Ranch north of Douglas, in 1944. He had ranched in the Nebraska Sandhills for many years prior to moving to Wyoming. His love for horses began at an early age when he saw the soldiers ride by on their way to Wounded Knee, South Dakota. He dropped out of school after finishing the sixth grade and started cowboying. In 1902 and 1903, he participated in the roundups in the White River country just north of Gordon, Nebraska. He also drove freight wagons hauling supplies to some of the large ranches in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Along the way, he developed a respect for good horses and learned how to train them, both to drive and to ride. Over the years, he developed a high-quality herd of Hereford cattle. The first ranch he owned was the one in Wyoming. Jake was a long-time member of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. He was also a charter member of the Tri-State Old Timer Cowboys Association, whose members participated in the early 1900s roundups on the White River.