All Inductees

Joseph Wilson "Joe" Sikes

Joe was born in Holland, Texas, in 1914 to William Robert Sikes and Martha Hastentine (Wilson) Sikes. In 1915, the family moved to a community about 5 miles outside of Belton, Texas, known as Tennessee Valley, where Joe lived on a farm until 1952. That year, the government purchased their land for the Belton Dam project, prompting the family to move to a farm/ranch outside of Killeen, Texas (now Harker Heights). Joe sold this property in 1964 and moved to a larger ranch in Coryell County, known as “The Boys Ranch,” where he resided until 1974. After selling it to a housing developer, he moved to a ranch in Lometa, Lampasas County, where he continued ranching until his death in 1979.

Joe married Lois Lee Thomas in 1935. A respected calf roper, Joe roped in rodeos until 1941 but continued to be sought after by other ranchers for his expertise. His passion for rodeo never waned, as he assisted many cowboys and cowgirls in their careers, providing help and coaching.

In the late 1950s, Joe supported his daughter, Tina Lee Sikes, in her barrel racing and roping endeavors. He also extended his assistance to cowgirls such as Sissy Thurman, Delois Henson, Eula Thomas, Cynthia White, Merle Dean Bowles, and many others. The 1960s brought the opportunity for Joe to see his grandsons, Robert Joe and Jimmy Lee Hodge, begin their rodeo careers, serving as their loyal backer and coach.

Joe’s willingness to help others was evident throughout his life, often putting aside his work to assist anyone in need. This was the case even on the morning of his death. He was remembered by many as an outstanding rancher, roper, cowman, family man, and Christian, with early rodeo “sidekicks” including Rudy Siebert, Johnny Mellon, Doc Spence, Doc Lucas, Austin Doolittle, Les, Joe, and Charlie Hood, Orval Thomas, and his cousin L.N. Sikes.