Lea Co. Cowboy Hall of Fame inducts Johnston
News-Sun Staff Report
The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame has honored those living the western lifestyle for about 45 years.
And Saturday, the WHM&LCCHOF added three more award winners and one inductee into the Hall.
William Edwin Johnston was named the 2023 Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee.
Born in Ranger, Texas, William Edwin Johnston moved to Lea County when he was just 6 years old. He grew up in Monument, Oil Center and Eunice, and went to school in Monument where he played football, basketball and ran track.
Johnston always had a horse, became a leader in 4H and, as a team roper in 1954 won the all-around award in Elida, N.M.
When Johnston was a junior in high school, he and his sweetheart Francis eloped to El Paso, Texas and were married. After the wedding, they returned home — Francis to her home, and Edwin to his. When each of their parents found out they were furious. The young bride’s parents were so angry they locked Francis in her bedroom.
Edwin’s father said he “was going to be sick to his stomach.”
Despite the rocky start, Edwin and Francis’ marriage lasted 69 years, and blessed them and with three children, six grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
Edwin had many accomplishments in the livestock, rodeo and ranching industries. Edwin
served on the Lea County Fair Board for about 25 years. He was the president of the New Mexico Angus Association, and in 2018 the Fair was dedicated to him.
The couple could also be seen each year at the Lea County Fair Junior Livestock auction, and loved being able to buy the kids’ animals, and support local youth involved in FFA and 4H.
Edwin was a long-time rancher in Lea County, a longtime member of the Church of Christ in Hobbs and a huge supporter of Hobbs Eagles basketball.
In 2003, Edwin was inducted to the 4H Hall of Fame, and in 2018, both he Frances were given the Outstanding Rancher Award at the annual Llano Estacada Banquet hosted by the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The 2023 Outstanding Rancher Award was presented to CJ Kinsolving.
Kinsolving is the 38-year-old son of the late Dean Kinsolving of Tatum and Brenda Jones of Quanah, Texas. CJ was raised east of Tatum, in the old community of Gladiola on one of his family’s ranches.
He graduated from Tatum High School in 2004 and Cum Laude from Texas Tech University in 2008 with a Degree in Agricultural Economics and a minor in Animal Science. He has been married to Kaitlin Kinsolving since 2008, and they have two children — 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, and 11-year-old son, Kenyon.
CJ owns and operates Scribe S Cattle Company located in Crossroads, and runs commercial cow/calf pairs on land that was homesteaded in 1906 by two different sets of great grandparents — the Kinsolvings and the Andersons, who were both inducted into, and were charter members, the LCCHOF.
He is the fourth generation to live on his ranch, and fifth generation of his family to ranch in New Mexico — from before the territory was made a state.
In addition to ranching, his family has owned and operated an oilfield trucking company since 1949. In 2019 he started his own trucking company, Scribe S Trucking, which operates in New Mexico and Texas hauling various agricultural commodities and oil field equipment.
CJ also served as a board member on LCCHOF from 2013-2020, and for seven of those years, he was president.
The 2023 Working Cowboy Award was presented to Jonathan Moore.
Moore was born on July 1, 1989 in Raton to Elwood and Evelyn Moore and raised in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
While in high school, he started day working for local ranches including, Perkins and Protho Ranch, Skiles Ranches, Sheilds Ranch and several small ranchers.
In 2011 Jonathan married his wife, Rebecca, and soon after moved to the Smith Ranch outside of Channing, Texas. They hved there for about three years before moving to Dalhart, Texas to work for Kevin Spillman taking care of yearlings.
From there Jonathan went to a feed yard mainly taking care of yearlings on wheat pasture.
In October of 2015 they made the decision to move to Lea County to go to work for Bill Angell at the Tulk Ranch. In October 2019 Jonathan and Rebecca welcomed a daughter, Teahe (Teal-lee) into the family. He is looking forward to raising Teahe in the ranching world, and hopes someday she appreciates this way of hfe as much as he does.
Jonathan is also a volunteer for the Maljamar Fire Department.
The 2023 Silver Concho Award was presented to Stewart Kinnley.
Kinley was born and raised in Gladstone, Manitoba, Canada.
From an early age, growmg up on the family farm, “Stewy” was enamored with anything dealing with horses, cattle, rodeo and sports.
His parents, Don and Lorna Kinley, and brother Dwight, would help him chase his dreams any way they could. He started junior rodeoing, where he rode steers, then junior bulls. By the time Kinley was in high school, he was riding bulls, bareback and saddle bronc.
Kinley also team roped and roped a few calves as well. He attended South Plains College in 2006 on a rodeo scholarship where he would rodeo for Josh Crow and Clay Hardin.
Completing his Diesel Technician certificates, and moving to Lovington, Kinley decided to pursue an associates degree from NMJC, and rodeo for Philip Berry.
In 2010, Kinley moved to Portales to get his Bachelor’s of Applied Science from ENMU, minoring in general ag.
Kinley eventually moved back to Canada to be close to family, rodeo and work on his uncle’s cattle and grain farm.
In 2015 Kinley married his college sweetheart, Tearney O’Connor from Portales. They lived Portales for the next couple years where Stewy started up a mobile wash business and Tearney started her “Little Bits” mini donut factory.
In the fall of 2017, Kinley was hired as the co-head rodeo coach and coached with his friend, Clay Bonner, for several years.
In February 2018 Kinley and Tearney welcomed their first son, Dawson, and then again in February 2020 they welcomed their second son Korbyn.
Kinley is excited to raise his boys in the western culture whether that be roping, sports or working their small cow herd together.
Kinley has worked at NMJC for the last seven years, and has a passion for helping students. He looks forward to passing on the opportunities he was given, and believes life is about being good to others. He also enjoys team roping and making good horses.
In addition to the awards, a number of NMJC Rodeo and Equine scholarships were also given at the conclusion of the dinner. One of the priorities of the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame has always been ti identify and help deservigstudents at NMJC complete their education.
Kenny Smith Memorial Scholarship recipients were:
• Evann Segura
• Codi Reed
Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame Scholarship recipients were:
• Nehemiah Mendoza
• David Baker
• Isaiah Chavez
• Jake Herndon
• Trason Whitlock
The LCCHOF was founded in 1978 and is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to honoring those from Lea County who have made outstanding contributions in rodeo, ranching and teh ranching way of life.