WILLCOX — Two men with ties to Douglas are headed for the Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame during a popular ceremony that helps kick-off the Rex Allen Days weekend on Thursday night.

Former New Mexico sheriff Billy Darnell and the late rancher Ralph B. Kimble will be presented with the honors from the Rex Allen Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Darnell is a fourth-generation rancher born in 1944 in the Cochise County Hospital in Douglas. Master of ceremonies Eddie Browning said that Darnell roped professionally as a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association, qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo six times from 1964 – 1974. He also served three terms as the Hidalgo County Sheriff, whose county seat is Lordsburg.

“After three terms he didn’t run for a fourth term and as Billy said, ‘I gave up the badge, but kept the gun,’” Browning reported.

Kimble was born to and died on the family ranch, Browning said. He lived from 1923 to 1991 and graduated from Douglas High School.

“Kimble was a great family man that also loved his cattle, horses, team roping and his mountain lion-hunting dogs and was a good neighbor who had a million friends,” Browning said.

The program begins Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Willcox Community Center and includes a video tribute to Jim Hudson, Lawrence Moore and Bert Wilson, the Hall of Fame inductees of 1984.