James P. ‘Jim’ Jefferies
Leader of Rodeo and Ranching
Born March 12, 1925, in Dickinson, James P. ‘Jim’ Jefferies grew up near Grassy Butte. At age 12, he went to work for Pat Woods. At 15, he was at Leighton Trotter’s, learning blacksmithing and inlaying silver on bridles and spurs.
Jim served in the U.S. Army in 1944 1946. On June 1, 1948, he married Marlyn Cook at Sentinel Butte, they had four daughters. From 1951 1953, he worked as a Vet Assistant for the U.S. government and was ranch manager for Don Short from 1953 1964. In 1964, the family moved to Hawley, Minnesota, where Jim managed an 1,800 acre ranch running 350 head of cattle. He later worked as an inspector for the Valley Vet Clinic.
Jim participated in bareback, saddle bronc, team tying, team roping and calf roping during his rodeo career from the 1940s 1960s and then as pick up man and rodeo judge. He was a member of the RCA and the NDRA. He and Rex Cook won the 1962 NDRA team tying championship.
Jim earned several buckles in team roping and received a buckle from the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association for his Board participation.
He conducted team roping classes near Fargo, often furnishing horses for them. Jim taught the students to respect their livestock and to practice honest cowboy values. He promoted college, amateur and professional rodeos and assisted with the NDSU Little International, the ND Winter Show and the Crookston (Minnesota) Winter Show. He served as the western region director for the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association for nine years and as Board vice president for eight years.
Jim helped produce the 1970 and 1979 National High School Rodeo Finals in West Fargo and was key in organizing the Sheyenne Red River Rodeo Club of West Fargo, serving as first president. In 1979, he opened his arena to contestants and families who wanted to practice and also furnished the practice cattle.
Jim was born a cowboy and never stopped being one. He died on October 31, 1983, at age 58.