John Mercer Weintz
August 20, 1898 – March 2, 1979
Johny Weintz was born to John and Anita Mercer Weintz, on their ranch west of Hyattville. John Weintz was the first settler on Paint Rock Creek, staking his claim around 1884.
Johny was the second of five children and attended school on a nearby ranch. He then went to Harvard Military Academy in Hollywood, California, where he played football and competed in track and boxing. He graduated in 1919 and returned to the ranch near Hyattville, where he worked with his dad John.
Johny began riding saddle broncs in 1923 in Basin. He traveled with Pat Ryan and Bob Askins during the 1920’s and early 30’s, competing at rodeo’s in Cheyenne, Bozeman, Madison Square Garden, (NYC), Boston Gardens and many others. Johny went to Madison Square Garden the last time in 1935. He was a charter member of the Cowboys Turtle Association, number 58 and had PRCA Gold Card number 1349.
Johny married Kathryn Noll in 1934, and they had one daughter, Jo Weintz Reilly. They purchased a ranch two miles west of the Weintz ranch. He spent the rest of his life ranching, riding and contracting stock for rodeos. Johny and Kathryn trailed their cattle 40 miles to their summer pasture on Weber Spring and Trapper Creek in the Big Horn Mountains.
Johny began raising horses with a Jockey Club and a Percheron stud. Johny broke horses and was an excellent hand; gathering, handling and trailing horses and cattle. He gathered wild horses for the BLM before airplanes were used and broke horses into his 70’s.
Johny furnished stock for the Cody Stampede Rodeo for more than 30 years. He furnished wild horses in 1928, bucking horses and steers in the early 1930’s, he was also the arena director.
In 1938, Johny brought the first Brahma bulls from Texas. Thereafter, making the annual trip to purchase; bulls, steers, a horse or two and sometimes cows and calves. By the mid 1940’s, he had an outstanding string of bucking horses and bulls. Widow maker, Dilinger, Carie Nation, King Tut, Cyanide and Jitterbug were just a few of the horses that he sold over a period of three years to Mike Hastings and Col. W.T. Johnson to go to Madison Square Garden.
In the late 1940’s, Johny had added more great horses to his string; Stone Bruise, a big blue roan ridden only by the late great Bud Linderman. Walter Winchel, North of the Yellowstone, and William F. Morgan are also on the list of Johny’s great hoses. Johny’s string of brahma bucking and fighting bulls included; Coca Cola and Slim Jim.
Johny furnished stock for the Cody Stampede, Thermopolis, Basin, Casper, Sheridan and Buffalo as well as several in Montana and Nebraska. The horses, bulls and steers were trailed to many of these rodeos until around 1950. In 1953, Johny sold a load of bucking horses to Christenson Brothers, Eugene, Oregon. They contracted Pendleton and many other rodeos on the west coast.
Johny worked on various nearby ranches helping out when needed. He was a lifelong resident of Wyoming, leaving only for school, buying stock and rodeos. Kathryn helped with all of the ranch work and also at his rodeos. Daughter Jo provided entertainment with her ‘trick riding’.
On their ranch near Hyattville, Johny and Kathryn raised horses; saddle and bucking, and cattle. They raised the first brahma cross cattle in the area, in later years switching to Hereford. Johny did everything he could to help the cowboys and to promote rodeo. Ranching, rodeo and good horses were his life, he was a pioneer in rodeo.