Joseph Brutus "Joe" Graham
Joseph Brutus Graham was born July 24, 1924 to George and Iola (Sloan) Graham in Custer, Montana.
Joe was the middle child in their family of seven kids. In 1940, at the age of 16, his journey began from Parkman, Wyoming to Crook County, Wyoming with his family looking to purchase and start a new ranch. Joe, along with four other cowboys, trailed 60 head of cattle over a nine-day period to Inyan Kara Creek.
Joe married Eunice Prell in February of 1944 and then was drafted into the Army during WWII, August of 1944 to 1946. Joe and Eunice have two sons Dave (Sherry), and Dick (Janet) who continue to operate the ranch known as Graham Livestock Inc.
In 1942 Joe's parents bought 3,830 acres, which they had been leasing for two years. Over the 77 years, (71 of those years with Eunice by his side) he purchased four other ranches to tie in with the home place. Joe always said, "If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you."
Joe has been involved in many county boards including: Crook County School Board, FHA board, election board, past director of Hulett (Summit) National Bank, and he served as a County Commissioner. He has been recognized as an Honorary Chapter FFA Farmer, Century Club Member of Farm Bureau, and awarded for his accomplishments in the Soil Conservation. Three different governors have appointed Joe to three state board positions. Joe is a Shriner, a Mason, and he was proud to be an Eastern Star member with Eunice. Joe and Eunice were honored to be the Crook County Fair Parade Marshalls in 2005.
Over the years Joe has seen many changes from horses and wagons, to tractors, four wheelers and the price of land. He has watched the ranch transition from Hereford cattle, to Black Angus. Joe has taken pride in building his cow/calf operation, and clearing the hay ground on the creek, but most of all he enjoys watching the ranch yearlings sell. Joe has experienced everything from drought and fire, to floods, snowstorms, rainy days, and sunny days. Granddad always says, "It never gets so bad, that it couldn't be worse."
Joe loved spending time horseback, but he took all the ranch duties in stride. From haying, farming, blading roads, and fencing; to trailing cows, calving, and riding a good horse. Even though Joe doesn’t ride any more he appreciates looking at a good cow horse. He is proud to say "we still use horses today." Dave and Dick still honor "Dad's "opinion in many of the ranching duties. If you ask him to this day what his greatest accomplishment is, as he chokes up with tears in his eyes, he will say his family. Joe was blessed with a loving wife for 71 years, two sons and their wives that are daughters to him, five grandchildren and their spouses, 13 great grandchildren, and one great great grandson.
Joseph Brutus Graham (Joe) an honest, faithful, forgiving man who still feels that the strength of a handshake is deal binding.