WILLCOX Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees


Juan Sierra Leon was born in Tucson on June 24, 1886. His father was from Madrid, Spain, coming to Arizona Territory in 1851. His mother was a native of Sonora, Mexico.

Leon began ranch work when he was 12 years old. Several years of his work life were spent with saddle partner, Claud Gardner.

Much of his active life was as an employee of the Sierra Bonita ranch owned by Colonel Henry Hooker, then later Colonel Hooker's heirs.

Part of the time he worked for Jim Kennedy on his MK ranch; and for a while he was employed on the Mule Shoe Ranch.

In turn, he was a ranch hand for Bill Busenbark, and was, in fact working for Busenbark two weeks before his death. Before his death Leon gave Bill his bedroll and saddle. When Leon passed on, Bill returned them to the family.

At one time, Juan worked as a stunt man in the movies along with his brother, Pedro Leon. Pedro was often employed as a double for Tom Mix.

Juan was survived by his wife, Juana, whom he married on April 25, 1905, one son and six daughters, and 33 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren.

Juan Leon died on May 13,1962.