Will James, cowboy, cattle rustler, and beloved author and artist of the American West, was born Joseph-Ernest Dufault on June 6, 1892, at St. Nazaire de Acton in Quebec, Canada. He came West in 1907 at the age of fifteen, becoming a cowhand and changing his name to William Roderick James. James showed artistic talent from an early age, and gained a reputation for his sketches of life on the range long before publishing his first work.
A turning point in James’s early life came in 1914, when he was accused of rustling cattle in Ely, Nevada and sentenced to the Nevada State Prison at Carson City for a year to fifteen months. During his prison term, he turned to his art for solace, and after his release he became one of the best known Western writers and artists. Between 1920 and his death in 1942, he wrote and illustrated more than twenty books and numerous magazine articles. ~Information provided courtesty of University of Nevada, Reno, Special Collections and University Archives~
I was excited to attend the 20th anniversary Will James Gather in Elko, Nv in October. There the membership continued to expand on perpetuating the lagacy of Will James through our literacy program. We were also enlightened and entertained by "Story Telling" from some by local northern Nevada ranchers. Story telling was a particular...
Mary Branscomb — Free Press Correspondent
John Rasche/Elko Daily Free Press