James Lester Leath

1893 - 1933
Buffalo

James Lester Leath

James Lester Leath moved to Cheyenne from Pennsylvania in 1910 to work cattle for Senator F. E. Warren and Senator Joseph M. Carey before moving to Buffalo in 1912 where he was urged to attend school. After one day he thought that was sufficient and he would be better off breaking horses and punching cattle, so he found work on the Burnett 41 Ranch, south of Buffalo as roundup foreman. In 1917, he married Lena Davis. He reported for the Army a week later, but within three months was medically discharged. He returned to Buffalo to continue working on the 41 Ranch. Then, in March 1918, Jim filed on a homestead. In 1922, their twin daughters were born. The next year, while Jim was away on roundup, the Powder River rampaged and took out everything; home, livestock and all. Lena and the twins were barely able to escape the flood waters. Jim then leased land until they purchased the Hammond place on Dead Horse Creek and continued to ranch here as their final homestead. The heart defect that kept him out of service in World War I finally claimed his life on July 23, 1933. The original homestead land on Dead Horse is still in the family, owned by his granddaughters.