April 16, 1915 – July 12, 1999
James Michael Caulfield was born on April 16, 1915 to Terrance and Nettie Caulfield in Walnut, Nebraska, and was raised on a farm near Verdigre, Nebraska. He had an older sister, four younger brothers and one younger sister. His father died when he was only eight years old, so being the oldest boy, he learned at an early age about hard work. He liked to hunt, trap, fish and train horses, both work horses and saddle horses.
He worked for different farmers in the Verdigre area then came to the Sandhills area around 1935 and went to work on the George and Mable Pearson ranch near Brownlee, Nebraska.
Jim served in the United States Army during World War II, entering on February 20, 1942 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and was honorably discharged on November 21, 1945 at Fort Logan, Colorado with the rank of Technician Fifth Grade. He served in the Pacific Theater.
After returning from the service, he went to work on the Clint Hull ranch near Brownlee. While at this job, he married Betty Pound on April 6, 1946. They spent the next 18 years working for different ranches throughout the Sandhills area. To name a few: Harry Minor, Ashby; Ted McGinley on the Red Deer Ranch; Pat McGinley, Oshkosh; Don Hanna, Jr., Brownlee; and Bob Carr, Mission, South Dakota. Two children were born to them during this period, daughter Ternie and son Richard.
In 1946, they purchased their first ranch near Oconto, Nebraska. They resided there until May of 1973 when the4y sold this ranch to form a partnership with their son, Richard, and moved to a ranch in Keya Paha County near Springview. This is where Jim remained until his death in July 1999.
I feel that Jim Caulfield should be inducted into the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. He spent all of his life working with livestock throughout the Sandhills for ranchers who depended on reliable ranch hands to keep their operations going in an era when man power, not machine power, was used to get things done. He could cowboy on the poorest horses on the ranch, better than most cowboys could on the best horse on the ranch. He knew how to read cattle and horses. After they were out on their own, money was tight, they made to with what they had, he was good at making things from scrap materials, repairing his own machinery and tack, and he had the never give up attitude. Jim taught his children and grandchildren many things. He taught them to be honest, do their best, to work hard and to be true to themselves. He was a cowboy in every sense of the word. He passed on his love for the land, cattle, dogs and horses to those closest to him. He was a good neighbor, always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed help. He taught us to never ride in front of another rider, always ride together, and when roping in a branding pen never rope a calf in front of another roper and always have your loop ready. He left a legacy to his son and grandchildren when he taught them about the cowboy way and cowboy etiquette.