Timber Jack Joe

As we see him today, he appears to be a living mountain man just stepped out of pages written about Jim Beckwourth, Kit Carson, Peter Skene Ogeden, the Bent Brothers, Hugh Glass, Jed Smith, Bill Sublette, or a dozen other mountain men who have been chronicled over the years. Grizzled? Yes. Old? That depends upon who you talk to. Knowledgeable? Yes. Recognizable? Definitely.

Timber Jack Joe was born in Gillette, Wyoming, on March 8, (year unadmitted) to Isaac Worthy and Winifred Lynde. Raised on a homestead about nineteen miles south of Gillette, sheep was the family's source of income and sustenance. At the age of six Joe was given charge of a large band of sheep to watch over on summer range. This task occupied Joe every summer until 1934 when depression and drought made things difficult for ranchers, and just about any one else who lived on the proverbial shoestring.

Joe has been a heavy equipment operator, road builder, timber man, coal miner. As mountains will, they began to beckon to Joe, and in the late 50's he began running a trap line in those beckoning towers of intrigue and beauty.

It was during this time that Joe began to care for, and train, injured birds and animals, the most memorable being an eagle with a broken wing. The eagle and Joe were inseparable until the government forced him to release the bird. And since the eagle could not fly due to the useless wing, martens killed it very quickly. For a while Joe added a young fox to his menagerie, along with his dog, Tuffy. Tuffy and Joe have been inseparable for over 18 years.

Timber Jack Joe has been featured on national television ("You Bet Your Life") and has had his own television series on Ch. 9 in Casper, Wyoming, when he mingled with school children to teach them basic survival skills, horse packing, etc.

Movies have called for the services of Timber Jack Joe. He has been sculpted, painted, written about. He is a member of nearly every Indian tribe in Montana and Wyoming. And he is a 'blood relative' of Jeremiah Johnson, thanks to the friendship with a nephew of Johnson's.

Timber Jack Joe Lynde, and Tuffy, too, have been featured in parades all over the west. Rodeos, county and state fairs, dedication ceremonies, judging panels, Pow Wows have been on his activity lists. Timber Jack Joe is a member of the Missouri and Wyoming Divisions of the National pony Express Association.

Source: "Pony Express", National Pony Express Association, Newsletter, October 1966.

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Page last modified on 5/20/97