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James “Bill” Beard

The only time James William Beard or more commonly known as Bill Beard has lived outside of Wyoming was when his mother gave birth to him in Rexburg, Idaho. All 87 years of his life has been working and living on the homestead of South Leigh Canyon, Wyoming. Bill helped his father Joseph Beard build a herd of cattle. Bill helped his uncles feed their cattle in the winter and his payment was in a couple of short horn Herefords. This was where Bill started his cattle career at a young age.


Training horses and cattle are Bill’s passion. He preferred working oxen to horses and when he was seven he started training his first pair of oxen. Bill from then on helped his father clear trees for pasture and hay meadows in this alpine setting of Wyoming. The only thing he has ever wanted to do is ranch.


Even at 87 years of age, he still saddles his horse and helps his son Clayton Beard ride the cattle up the Wyoming canyons. Bill has a passion for roping and riding the range. He has an instinct for reading cows and has an incredible memory for every cow. During fall roundup, Bill has a natural ability to know which cow is missing and what calf belongs to her. During branding season, Bill can still be seen on top of a horse dragging calves to the fire. He has had no desire to do anything else but raise cattle. He is a true cowboy through and through. His brand is the JB Bar.

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