James Frances “Jim” Weekes
Leaders of Ranching and Rodeo
Jim Weekes was born four miles from the Riverside Ranch on a homestead near Almont, North Dakota. His grandfather, S.P. Weekes, and his uncles produced rodeos.
Weekes entered his first pony race when he was a seven year old tenderfoot. His folks moved to the HT Ranch near Amidon in Slope County just a few years later.
“Little Jim” helped his dad Jim Sr., Blackie McCutchen and Pistol Davis fashion an arena for their first 4th of July rodeo in 1922. He competed in saddle and bareback riding, as well as steers and relay races.
In 1941, Grant County contracted with Jim Sr. to produce a rodeo at Carson. Young Jim competed in several events, including the Roman Race with George Bruington. He belonged to the NDRA, PRCA and NDSA.
After his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1945, Weekes and his dad bought a ranch along the Cedar River in Grant County, naming it the Lazy JW. He married a girl who was reared on the O Bar O on the Cannonball.
Alex LaSotta, Charles Bahm, Steve Weekes and Duane Howard all influenced Weekes and he, in turn, shared his expertise and tricks of the trade with young cowpokes, including Jim Mosbrucker.
After his father died, Weekes partnered with J. C. Stevenson and Jack Chesrown in an amateur rodeo stock business, which worked well until 1960. Weekes then put together a band of Quarter horse mares and decided to go PRCA as a pick up man with Duane Howard as his partner in those days.
The Lazy JW Ranch was Jim and Janet’s base of operations for 25 years: a working ranch with irrigated alfalfa meadows that made for happy cattle and horses. His children followed in his footsteps, participating in rodeo events. Weekes died in South Dakota in 2002.