J. William Martin was born in Evanston, Wyoming in 1941. He was raised by his parents Joseph B. and Elizabeth Maria Henry Martin, on a ranch south of Evanston known as “Hilliard” in Uinta county. His grandpa and grandma Martin homesteaded their ranch and helped his father buy a ranch in Hilliard.
Bill was always a hard worker and would get up before school to help his father feed their livestock and milk the cows. He was in the saddle at such a young age he couldn’t remember not knowing how to ride. He always loved ranching and knew it is what he wanted to do all his life.
When he got into high school he worked on the Jamison Ranch, for Alex Jamison, still helped his father on his ranch and would also help both of his grandparents on their ranches. While Bill worked for his family and Alex he learned how to do many things around the ranch, including breaking horses, roping cattle, working cattle, lambing, irrigating, fixing fence, branding, vaccinating and putting up hay, to name a few. Bill always loved horses. He would feed the cattle with a team of horses, and loved to ride and break horses. He was very fond of baby colts and would spend a lot of time with them when they were young.
After graduating from Evanston High School, he got a scholarship to wrestle at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming. He went to Casper College for one year then returned home to help his father on the ranch and work for Alex Jamison again. In the fall of 1961 Bill started school at Utah State University, studying agriculture science. He continued to wrestle in college until he hurt his shoulder, forcing him to quit. While attending college he worked for the college, in a lab working on animal reproduction research.
In 1963 Bill met and married Kathleen Faddis, who lived on a ranch in north Evanston known as “Almy”. Bill graduated in 1970 with a bachelor degree in animal science with a basis in animal husbandry. Bill continued to study all his life, keeping up on new techniques for working with and breaking horses, artificially inseminating cattle to produce the best mix and keeping up with the latest equipment.
After college Bill and Kathleen returned to Evanston to live and work on his father’s ranch. He eventually bought the ranch from his father and continued to work on it, until two weeks before he passed away, losing his battle against pancreatic cancer. He was a foreman for Two Bear, located in the Uinta Mountains, he was a ditch master and always stayed very involved in the local ranching community.