The Saratoga Sun -

GECG names Barkhursts

GECG Outfit honors Tim & Margo Barkhurst with 2019 Pioneer Award


Photo courtesy Dick Perue

Pioneer ranchers Tim and Margo Barkhurst at their log home on Brush Creek.

Long-time Brush Creek ranch couple, Tim and Margo Barkhurst, has been selected as 2019 Carbon County Pioneers by the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering Outfit (GECGO) and will be honored during the upcoming 17th annual weekend gathering July 19 thru 21st in Encampment, Wyo.

The couple will be recognized throughout the three day event and will be honored during intermission of the All-Star show Saturday night, July 20th, in the Encampment High School gym.

Presentation of the annual award is a further reminder of how seriously the non-profit volunteer committee takes its mission of: "preserving and promoting cowboy and western ways & life through events, activities, history, worship, poetry and music."

With his wife and life partner Margo by his side, Tim was inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall Fame (WCHF) with the class of 2014. WCHF's chief goal is: "To preserve, promote, perpetuate, publish and document Wyoming's rich working cowboy and ranching history through researching, profiling and honoring individuals who broke the first trails and introduced that culture to this state."

Tim learned much about cowboy ways from his uncle Jess Barkhurst, who rode with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. While growing up on the family ranch on Brush Creek, east of Encampment, Tim built his first bucking chutes.

Tim attended the Bennett School on Brush Creek and then Saratoga High School where he met Margo, who had moved to Saratoga from Montana in 1956 to live with her sister who was working on the Nixon Ranch northwest of Saratoga. In school he loved to play basketball and to rodeo, and spent his summer months working on his parent's ranch and rodeoing, pretty much doing then what he still does today.

When Tim was in high school he was influenced by Len Walker, who showed him what really good horses where and how to use them. Tim was a Wyoming State High School Rodeo Champion bull rider and runner-up for all around champion at WSHA and competed in the National High School Rodeo Finals in Reno, Nev.

He and Margo were married Jan. 6, 1958 in Elko, Nev. Being very young, though they didn't think so at the time, they had a lot to learn. Their first home was on a Pass Creek ranch, followed by a short stint in Saratoga where Tim worked on the highway and Margo became a waitress.

After working at the sawmill for a short time and on several valley ranches for a few years, the couple returned to the family place on Brush Creek to live and eventually rear their children, Shelly, Sarah, Shea and Bub. It was here that the couple built their three bedroom house in stages-add a room with the addition of another child-with logs from the nearby mountains which they cut, hauled, pealed and stacked themselves.

Tim took up flying in 1979; being a pilot was a new adventure. He owned his own Super Cub and loved flying around the valley.

From their wedding until this day the couple have worked together, with Tim cowboying, ranching and guiding hunters as well as serving as brand inspector for the Wyoming Livestock Board for 40 years. In addition to being a wife and mother Margo helped with ranch work, did the cooking and entertained guests at their hunting lodge, plus worked for the weed and pest district for 20 years and operated a sewing and upholstery business for 25 years. She also made most of the clothing for the family.

Encampment had a little roping club and that was the families' evening activity. He roped in local rodeos in Saratoga, Encampment and surrounding areas, participating in both team roping and calf roping, winning at many rodeos. Margo was an excellent barrel racer and accompanied Tim to the rodeos with both participating in several shows. When their kids got old enough to compete the couple supported them completely, Margo teaching them how to ride and barrel race and Tim roping with them in rodeos and jackpots. The Barkhurst now spend time roping and riding with their kids and grandkids teaching them all how to be top hands.

The couple has never been folks that would turn away from hard work and have always been willing to lend a hand during calving season, repairing a roof or sewing and cooking for neighbors, and still enjoy spending time teaching any child to ride, rope or how to shoot a rifle.

Today Tim and Margo still live at the ranch along Brush Creek that was homesteaded in 1884 by his grandmother Barkhurst, inherited by his father, Scott, and passed on to Tim and his sister. More than sixty years later they still enjoy being together to carry on the heritage of the pioneer life of the Saratoga/Encampment Valley.


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