Wheatland, Wyoming / September 15, 1927 - July 10, 2017
A funeral service for James Elbert “Jim” Stevenson, 89, will be held at 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, July18, 2017 at the Wheatland Bible Church in Wheatland, Wyoming with Pastor Danny Fredericks, Pastor Andy Gudahl, Pastor Tim Ricker, and Terry Stevenson officiating. Interment will be held at the Wheatland Cemetery.
Jim Stevenson passed away Monday, July 10, 2017 at the Platte County Legacy Home in Wheatland.
Jim was born on Thursday, September 15, 1927, in Amistad, New Mexico, the son of George Elbert and Frances (Brandenburg) Stevenson.
Jim was educated in Union County, New Mexico, beginning school in a one-room schoolhouse in Hayden, and later attending and completing high school in Clayton, New Mexico, in 1945. While he was in high school, he met Dorothy Jean Dale. They were married on July 10, 1947. They remained faithfully loving one another until her death on April 26, 2016.
In 1948, Jim and Dorothy bought a dairy farm in Las Vegas, New Mexico. While they were living on that farm, five sons were born. After nine years of struggling to make ends meet with the dairy herd, Jim traded his dairy cows for beef cattle. Then in 1964, Jim packed up his family and his belongings, including his herd of beef cattle, and moved to Wheatland, Wyoming. In 1968, he sold his place in New Mexico, which he had leased out in the meantime.
Jim then took the equity from the sale of his place and started trading and speculating with cattle. He was good at it. He had an eye for cattle, a head for numbers, and quickly developed a reputation for absolute honesty. Starting with a few thousand dollars, he soon doubled his net worth, and then doubled it again. In late 1969, he bought eighty acres west of Wheatland where he lived for the rest of his life. Jim continued building his business interests based on trading and speculating with cattle. He soon leased a farm, and then leased a ranch. He got his sons involved in the business, too. In 1977 he bought the Sanford Ranch west of Alcova and, in 1980, the Buzzard Ranch. By then he owned 144,000 acres. However, high interest rates, the harsh winter of 83-84, and disagreeable bankers took their toll and in 1986, he turned his cattle herd and both ranches over to the lienholders. He was left with only his eighty acres and his house west of
Wheatland. Also, about that time he had heart bypass surgery at the age of 59.
Always one to be persistent, Jim teamed up with his son, Randy, to go back to trading and speculating in cattle again. As a result, their net worth grew until they had about five hundred acres of farm ground and a 6,000 head feedlot west of Wheatland. Jim was annoyed by the wheel ruts left by the pivot sprinklers on the hay fields, so he came up with an idea for something to fill the tracks. He then patented it and partnered with his son, Otie to manufacture and sell the Oteco wheel track filler. Jim enjoyed selling wheel track fillers over the telephone almost as much as he enjoyed talking about cattle.
One fact about Jim is certain. He was a Christian. While he wasn’t particularly vocal about it, he would tell you if you asked. Having accepted Christ as Savior when he was a child, he clearly articulated the simplicity of salvation by faith in Christ through the gospel. He also could tell anyone who wanted to know, that he didn’t act right in order to be a Christian, but rather he acted right because he was a Christian. Because of his faith in Christ, his family looks forward to seeing him again in heaven.
Jim leaves behind his sons, Terry (Margaret) Stevenson of Wheatland, Haney (Ruth) Stevenson of Alcova, Wyoming, Randy (Charlie) Stevenson of Wheatland, Otie (Tonya) Stevenson of Wheatland, and Jay (Susie) Stevenson of Wheatland; his sisters, Nita (Leonard) Warshauer and Beverly (Mike) Smith of Stockton, California; seventeen grandchildren; thirty-one great grandchildren; and one great-great grandson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dorothy on April 26, 2016; his brothers, Roy Stevenson and Larry Stevenson, and five great grandchildren.
Serving as pallbearers will be Dale Stevenson, Joel Stevenson, Jim Stevenson, Tyler Stevenson, Aaron Stevenson, Lane Stevenson, and Oakley Stevenson.
Friends and family may call at the church on Tuesday from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the charity of the donor’s choice in Jim’s name.
Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatlandis in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences can be left for the family at www.gormanfh.com