Sheriff Joe Roland
Portrayed By Timothy Olyphant
Gender Male
Date of Birth January 21, 1844
Age 37
Aliases rol
Place of Birth Kentucky, USA
Occupation Rancher/Lawman
Known Relatives Annalina (Mother), Steven Roland (Father)
Significant Other None
Table of Contents


Joe Roland was born in Kentucky to parents that believed in working hard, and staying honest. When he came along in the coldest part of the winter in 1844, his father remarked that the boy "Would have to made of something tough to choose a night like this night to come into the world." Roland grew up working alongside first his mother, then his father when he was old enough. His father was a carpenter of some reknown in that part of the country. House, or furniture, the elder Roland took pride in his work. His son on the other hand was always looking out the window, to the one thing that Kentucky has plenty of, horses. From his first ride on horseback Roland knew that was where he belonged. It wasn't long till he stopped his apprenticeship under his father, and was taking work on farms for less money. His father disapproved, and his mother, just didn't like the strife in her house, but Roland was not to be swayed. His work on the farms, taught him many things, riding, roping, horses, cattle, shooting, and along with all those skills, his first taste of whiskey. Roland saved enough money to buy his own horse and rig, no small task in those days, and with a final farewell (argument) with his family, set out west, heading for Texas where he heard that a $5 head of cattle would fetch $40 or more further north.

Texas wasn't everything he had heard in stories. The cattle were being bought up by big outfits, who hired drovers to send the cows north. Finding little else to do, Roland signed on with one of these outfits. It was here he met Jack McDowell… Black Jack. The two soon hit it off, and were quickly friends and partners on the trail, spending many days trailing the herd in the cloud of brown dust left in the animal's wake. Jack told him of his girl back home; the one Jack intended to marry and start a family with. The two talked as best friends will do, of starting their own company, maybe a ranch, how they would rule the world, at least in Texas. They were helping take a herd through the Texas panhandle, when Jack suddenly became excited… They weren't far from his home, and that of his girl. With permission from the trail boss, and the promise to catch up the next day, the two set out to visit Jack's family. While the older man was eager to push on to the family farm, Roland argued against it, and wanted to stop in nearest town for a drink. The two nearly took to fighting over the manner before Roland finally convinced him to tarry. The town saloon looked none to inviting, but the men were in a hurry. Roland was buying the first round when trouble broke out in a nearby poker game. As such things did the harsh words soon turned to fists, and then pistols. As the smoke cleared from gunfight, Roland turned to grab Jack, and get out of the place, but it was too late. Jack caught a stray bullet in the stomach. Gut shot, Roland got his best friend to the local doc, who, after taking one look him shook his head, and from there it was only a matter of time.

The next 8 hours were a blur for the cowboy. He rode his horse to death, to make the McDowell farm to get them started to town. Then to the farm of Jack's betrothed. Riding back a breakneck speed. The family was kind, but still seemed to hold a grudge against the young man who brought them the ill tidings. Jack lasted until the next day, saying goodbye to his family, and his love. Jack's last words to Roland were to charge him with taking care of his parents, and his fiance, who turned out to be with child. Jack's child. Roland stayed the extra day to bury Jack, and try to make some peace with his family. The family was beside itself with grief. The only thing they said was it was Roland's responsibility to take care of Jack's love and the coming child. Roland reluctantly agreed, even saying he would marry the woman if that's what was they felt he should do.

Saying he needed to catch up with the herd before it was too far away and to explain what happened to them both, Jack's father thought this was just an excuse to high tail it away from the trouble Roland involved himself with. In a hurried ceremony Roland married the girl, reins in hand. As soon as the ceremony was done, he mounted up on Jack's horse to make it back to the herd.

It took Roland 3 days of hard riding to make it to the herd, and back. He spent the time trying to figure out how what his life would be like from now on. Fate took another stab at him, when he made it back to Jack's family and his new wife, they were gone. All of them. Jack's father, mother, his girl, with her soon to be born baby. The farm was empty, no trace of them. No amount of investigation led anywhere. Jack spent a month staying in the empty farm house trying to find any word of them. In the end he ran out of what pay he earned from the trail and so leaving a note in the farmhouse, he set out again, signing on with some drovers heading north, and tried not to think about what had happened.

The next few years he spent cowboying his way across the country. Tired of the trail, Roland got word that there were ranch jobs in Nevada to be had, with good pay, and steady word through the winter. He ended up being a top hand down in New Mexico as well as a deputy sheriff and when the owner died without heirs, the ranch was left to Joe Roland. For the past ten years, he’s done double duty in the town of Cimarron; Sheriff and owner of the Diamond D Ranch.



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