William C. “Chuck” Wilkinson
Chuck was born and raised in the ranching life. Ranches from north of Jay Em, to Horse Creek, to the Red Canyon at Lander, the Bell Ranch at Toltec and the Biggerstaff and Wagonhammer north of Rozet. The final ranch was the RC Johnson place northeast of Torrington, WY. All benefitted from his talents with livestock and horses. He was a gifted horseman, stockman, and talented at training his dogs who worked with him. He had a natural ease with cattle, working with them and understanding them. He had a keen eye for making a herd better and vision to help all the operations he associated with.
Chuck was talented with a rope, both on the ranch and off. He held a PRCA card most of his adult life, competing in Cheyenne Frontier Days, Lander Pioneer Days, Jubilee Days, Steer Roping Finals and many more. Many buckles and a saddle or two are still around to show for his skill. He was a competitive roper from his 20’s until 1977 when he lost three of his good horses from ingesting poison oats. He calf roped, bull dogged, team roped, and steer roped. Steer roping became his main event when he declared that “the young bucks were just too fast” in the other events!
Many good horses were raised and trained by Chuck’s hand. His family raised and showed some great horses as well.
Chuck did many ranch duties horseback including, gathering, sorting, calving, doctoring, branding, fencing, checking windmills, and even feeding with team and wagon. Feeding with teams and wagon was always fun to do with him. He was exceptional with them. Chuck was always requested at brandings for his great roping skills. Chucks ranching life was spent mostly in Goshen County, with other periods of time in Sweetwater, Albany, and Campbell counties. Torrington and Goshen County were always
home to him.
Chuck was a big sports fan. He played college basketball. He attended many THS basketball, football and wrestling events. He loved to golf and was a naturally good golfer until his eyesight affected his ability to see where the ball went!
Chuck married his rodeo queen, Laura Lee Bell, in 1957 in Laramie. They had three children, Todd, Jamie and Torry, who all presently reside in Goshen county. Chuck was the definition of cowboy. He knew cattle and horses like most people would like to. He moved through this life with a true appreciation for the things that cowboys love; horses, cattle, good dogs, good women, family, and did all the hard work in his own quiet way, never expecting any recognition for any of it!