James (Jim) John Ogg was born near Ten Sleep, Wyoming on January 7, 1921. At that time, his folks lived on the Tolstrup Ranch (later known as the Redland Ranch) along the Nowood River about 4 miles north of Ten Sleep. In 1923, the family moved to a farm about 11 miles north of Worland in Washakie County but bordering Big Horn County. Jim attended school at Durkee, a small rural school that was located along Washakie Ten Road about 6 miles north of Worland. Jim graduated from the 8th grade at Durkee, but did not attend high school. Jim worked on his father’s farm until 1941. His favorite pastime was riding horses with the Beaver boys. He soon became an excellent rider and would break horses to ride for ranches around the Big Horn Basin.
Jim married Iris Beaver on February 14, 1942 in Manderson, Wyoming. Jim worked on the Marple farm and the Montgomery Ranch in the Manderson area between 1942 and 1944. In 1944, Jim worked with his brother, Alex, on the Kelly Farm about one-half mile southeast of Worland breaking horses to ride and helping with the farming operations. In the spring of 1945, Jim moved to the Howard Flitner Ranch along Shell Creek east of Greybull, Wyoming. He worked there for about 10 years tending to the cattle and helping with the haying.
Jim was an excellent horseman and he worked as a cowboy and ranch hand for several different ranches in the Big Horn Basin, including the Flitner Ranch, Whaley Ranch, and the Barnett Ranch all along Shell Creek, Dvenski Ranch along Horse Creek, the Pitchfork Ranch and the Hoodoo-Pallet II Ranch along the Greybull River above Meeteetse and the Hoodoo Ranch on Southfork Shoshoni River and the Paul Stock Ranch near Cody. Jim also farmed for several years in the Shell Valley, but wanted to return to the cowboy life.
Jim enjoyed the cowboy life whether it was ear-tagging calves, roping at branding time, trailing cattle to the mountains or tending the cattle in the summer. Jim loved the Big Horn Mountains and enjoyed tending the cattle for the Shell Valley Cattlemen’s Association there during the summers. In later years he worked on the Barnett Ranch near Shell, Wyoming and spent his summers tending the cattle in the mountains above Shell Falls.
In 2000, Jim Ogg was one of the featured cowboys in an article entitled “Oldest Working Cowboys” that appeared in the October 27th issue of AGRI-NEWS published in Billings, Montana.
When he was 80 years old, Jim decided to retire from cowboying. He gave his dogs away and sold his horse. Jim lived in Greybull until 2013 when failing health forced him to move to Meeteetse where he lived with his daughter, Arlene and her husband, Dan Griffin. In July 2015, Jim moved to the West Park Long Term Care facility in Cody, Wyoming. He died in his sleep there on November 20, 2015 at the age of 94 years.