From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
My roots are sunk deep into this remote ranch at Luther, Mont., for my father J. M. Burnett settled in this area in 1891. He came shortly after the area lost its status as Indian Territory. This ranch shows the results of many decades of hard work and affectionate care. He homesteaded, too, when the homestead act came in.
My mother is living in Red Lodge. Father has passed on.
I was born July 1, 1917, on the ranch at Luther, Mont., and I am still living on the ranch. I attended Volney Creek elementary school, Red Lodge school, Billings Polytechnic Institute and Army Air Corp Cadet training.
I entered the armed forces reserve in 1941, was released from active duty in 1945 but remained in the Air Force Reserve with a primary duty as air intelligence staff officer and I am attached to the Air Force Academy as liaison officer with the rank of Major. I spent 39 months in the service during World War II, then returned to the ranch.
In addition to ranching I am active in civic affairs. We have a ,home where the Catalo roam, a ranch snugged up against the east flank of the Beartooths, 15 miles northwest of Red Lodge. I have been about a decade experimenting with crossing the buffalo with the Herefords and I think I have made a unique accomplishment. What surprises the animal husbandry professors who have trekked my ranch is that the breed got past the first generation. The Canadian government worked for 30 years at establishing the breed and gave up. My curiosity and the fun of diversifying ranch life led me to the crossing of wild range buffalo with domesticated animals, mainly my intent was to start a new breed. If I am successful the meat of the animal will taste like beef with a buffalo flavor while the growth, size and weight will approximate the buffalo. One animal that has been slaughtered, three-quarter buffalo and one-quarter Hereford, tasted mostly like buffalo, but unusually succulent buffalo. I keep a herd of two dozen buffalo on the ranch and I separate them from the cattle during breeding season so I can maintain control of my experiment.
I married Alice E. Boggie on Dec. 12, 1941, at Billings, Mont. Three children were born to this union: James Dwight, deceased; Delores Jay who married Ronald De Vries and lives at Luther, Mont. and Diane Alice who also lives at Luther.
"I am bound to live up to the light I have. I must stand with anyone who stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong".