WILLCOX — Joe Cannon may be a bit too old to shoe his horses these days, but that doesn’t prevent him saddling up and riding the ranch.
“I’m not tired yet; I think I’ll stay around a while longer. Everything seems to be going pretty good,” he said.
Cannon was inducted to the Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame last Thursday, along with posthumous inductee Jim Tout.
“If you ever crossed paths with my grandfather, you were truly blessed,” said Tout’s grandson, Chance Fraze.
Cannon began cowboying at age 13 for the McMillian Ranch in Silver City, N.M., helping run 1,600 head of mother cows. From there he went to the Diamond A’, and to the Little Boquillas on the San Pedro River — that’s where he met Daisy Mae Keith; and, at age 17, Joe and Daisy Mae began their 62 years together.
In 1970, Joe and Daisy Mae bought the K7 Ranch in Clifton, and that became the new home for his cowherd. The ranch features just one road into the house and one road out, is steep, with catclaw 20-feet high, and it has five miles of the Gila River running through it.
When ranching failed to bring in enough revenue, he went to work for the nearby copper mine; but it was ranching that was his true love.
“Being a cowboy is all I ever wanted to do, and I treat people how I want to be treated,” he said. “This Cowboy Hall of Fame means quite a bit. I guess they will remember me when I’m gone.”
Tout was born Aug. 15, 1930, in Tucson; and his early years were split between Tucson and the Mascot Mine in the Dos Cabezas. Despite working the mine during summer vacations, it was ranching that Tout wanted to do, so he majored in agriculture and plant science at the University of Arizona.
After being discharged from the Army, Tout and his new bride, Peg Allen, found work on a ranch just outside Tucson, a ranch Peg called the “Cactus Patch Ranch.”
From there the couple worked ranches in Globe, Patagonia, Sasabe and the Bootheel of New Mexico. It was in 1984, he made it back to Willcox, and for the next 32 years, he worked on Cienega Ranch.
Jim had many sayings that he liked to live by, including, “The best thing to do is sit in the back of the room and listen to what is going on,” and, “Always be aware of a man who only owns one gun.”
Jim was a member of the first Arizona Jr. Cattle Growers Association, a member of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association, active with the Gila County Cattle Growers when in Globe, served as a director of the Cochise-Graham Cattle Growers and was on the board of directors for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Willcox.
Tout passed away Oct. 7, 2017.