Roscoe "Doc" Timmons (1888-1972)

Roscoe "Doc" Timmons was born in Graham, Texas, on July 5,1888. He was one of eleven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Worth Timmons. Joseph served with the Texas Rangers and was an organizer of the West Texas Cattle Raisers Organization. The family moved to an irrigated farm southwest of Havre, Montana, in 1908. This area, just east of the Fort Assiniboine Military Reservation, was labeled "Texas Flats" because other families from Texas settled here as well. Doc and his brothers were able to put up hay on the military reservation and shrewd enough to sell it back to the War Department for the horses at the Fort. It was here that Doc became interested in the livestock industry with which he was closely identified throughout his life.

Roscoe completed his professional training at the Kansas City Veterinary College in Missouri, in 1913, at the age of 25, he was appointed Deputy State Veterinarian in 1917, and became the local stock inspector. He held both positions until his final illness. He was appointed Colonel in the Veterinary Corps medical department of the Montana National Guard by Governor Roy Ayers.

In 1922, Doc was elected sheriff of Hill County and served in that position for 44 years. He was a member of the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, becoming its president in 1961.

Doc Timmons, loyal, efficient and well-liked, held the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens during all the years of his service. Prohibition and the Great Depression era presented him plenty of challenges.

Doc was often described as a tall, raw boned, laconic peace officer, quiet and with never too much to say. Anyone who ever heard him testify in court would agree that his answers were terse and brief.

The bootlegging, bank robberies, murders, and livestock rustling that Doc became involved in provided many interesting stories. He was able to rescue two men overcome by gasses in a silo by dropping a lariat rope around their necks and lifting them out of the top. He took them to the hospital where they both recovered.

On April 30, 1914, Doc married Clara Garske in Havre. Children born to them were Lucia, J. Worth and Pauline. Doc passed away on April 25, 1972, with Clara joining him eight months later on December 19, 1914. Both are buried in Havre.


Grit, Guts and Gusto, A History of Hill County. Published by Hill County Bicentennial Committee

Conversations with Paul J. Kuhr, Owner of the former Timmons place