T-Joe was a world famous bucking bronc. He performed many times at the Cheyenne Frontier Days® rodeo. Anyone who drew T-Joe to ride was assured a high score— if they were able to stay on.
“The King is dead.” This momentous message pervaded the world of rodeo in November, 1965, when sportsmen and fans learned of the death of Bill Linderman in a jet plane crash on Armistice Day in Salt Lake City.Only a few hours before flying off on a business trip, Bill Linderman stopped at the Pig ‘n’ Whistle bar in Denver to see old friends and bar owner, Eddie Bohn. He wrote out a counter check, and when asked to put his address on it, he scribbled out “heaven.” Bohn and friends joked around with Linderman and according to the bar owner, Linderman said, “Boys, let me tell you something. I’ll be in heaven before any of you guys — and some of you might not even make it.”The Boeing 727 came down at the Salt Lake City airport, with 91 persons aboard and some passengers managed to escape by emergency exits. Some survivors said that Linderman did leave the place alive — but then turned around to help in rescue work, where he perished.A professional bronc rider for over 20 years, Bill was world champion in 1945, 1950, and 1953. He was a natural public speaker, full of logic, and handled Rodeo Cowboy Association business matters, serving nine consecutive terms by virtue of election from his peers.Born in Red Lodge, Montana, Bill Linderman was 45 years old when he died, and the Bill Linderman Memorial Award is given to the top money winner in professional rodeo each year.Immediately after his death, he was inducted in the Rodeo Hall of Fame, and is also honored at the Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame.