Cowboy class of 2019


June 6, 2019

Two members of the Crook County community will be inducted into the 2019 class of the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame. Joe Graham and Gerald McInerney will both be recognized among the 47 cowboys chosen from across the state in Casper this September during the first annual Wyoming Cowboy & Cowgirl Legacy Week.

The Hall of Fame finds and celebrates the men and women who introduced this state to its ranching heritage, honoring the cowboys and ranchers who helped to break those first trails. The legacy week was approved by the legislature this year and becomes effective on July 1.

Joe Graham

Born in Custer in 1924, Joseph Brutus Graham was the middle child in a family of seven kids. At the age of 16, he moved to Crook County with his family, looking to purchase and start a new ranch.

In 1942, his parents bought 3830 acres that they had been leasing for two years. Over his 77 years of ranching, he purchased four other ranches to tie in with the home place.

Graham has seen plenty of innovation in his time, from wagons to tractors and four wheelers. He has transitioned from Hereford to Black Angus, taking great pride in building his cow/calf operation.

During those 77 years, he saw everything from fire and drought to floods and snowstorms and was known for commenting, “It never gets so bad that it couldn’t be worse”.

Graham enjoyed every aspect of the ranching life, particularly spending time on horseback, but also duties including haying, farming, blading roads and fencing to trailing cows and calving.

Graham married Eunice Prell in 1944 before being drafted into the Army until 1946. The couple has two sons, Dave and Dick, who continue to operate the Graham Livestock Inc. ranch.

Graham believes his family to have been his greatest accomplishment. Along with the wife he was blessed with for 71 years and his two sons and their wives, he cherishes his five grandchildren and their spouses; 13 great grandchildren; and one great-great grandson.

Among his many accomplishments, Graham has served on the Crook County School Board, FHA board, election board, as a past director of Summit National Bank and 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 soil conservation. Graham and his wife were the Crook County Fair Parade Marshalls in 2005.

Gerald McInerney

Gerald McInerney was born in Deadwood and grew up on his parents’ ranch, which he still owns. He attended school in Dupree and St. Onge and graduated from Spearfish High School.

McInerney married Jacquie Olson in 1963 and they have five children: Christine, Mike, Tim, Todd and Sammie. He has spent his adult life in Wyoming, working with horses and cattle.

McInerney trained horses for his own use and others, training his first dogging horse with the help of the family milk cow when he was 13 years old. He has won many saddles in steer wrestling and breakaway roping and produced rodeos for NRCA, High School and 4H, helping youth achieve their rodeo dreams.

As well as ranching, he owns a small business building roads, basements and sewer systems around the county. He has served on the fair board, taken part in many community endeavors and a bench was reserved for him at the high school gym so he could encourage the high school athletes.

McInerney is known as a mentor and neighbor to any and all who know him.

Graham and McInerney will be inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame at the Casper Events Center on September 22. They were selected from nominations that were sifted by committees in ten different geographic sections of the state, from which 75 names were forwarded to the state board for consideration and 47 were chosen.

The committee inducted its first Wyomingites in 2014 and has now chosen a total of 283 honorees for the hall of fame. The mission of the hall of fame is to preserve and promote Wyoming’s rich working cowboy and ranching history and honor those individuals who broke the first trails.


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