An American tanner and a former Rockfordian, Tom Oar is popular for appearing on The History Channel reality show, The Mountain Men. He is one of the cast, appearing alongside his wife and others including Rich Lewis, Eustace Conway, Morgan Beasley, and Jason Hawk.
The man has always lived a very primitive lifestyle surviving without electricity and water, and that is one of the things that has drawn the lights on him to be a part of the show.
Tom Oar Bio and Family
Although the exact date of his birth remains unknown, Tom is said to have been born in Illinois, in the United States. That was over 74 years ago, and it was there that he was raised.
It was also in Illinois that he settled and got married to his wife, Nancy. The two began their family there before they later moved to Montana over 35 years ago, and decided to settle close to the Yaak River.
Even before they moved, Oar and his wife used to travel down from Illinois for redoing and when they moved, with little things to do, he took to what he used to do as a child, making moccasins among other things including some forestry works to raise money. Other things he does are hand-sewn jacket and buckskin pants.
All of his life has been spent on the mountains, with many spent on the Yaak. The mountain has a population of close to 250 people and it is located close to the border of Montana and Canada.
Before leaving for Montana, Tom and his wife had already started having children. They have a son, Chad Oar who lives in Ocala. Sometime in 2013, the younger Oar had tried persuading his aging parents to leave the whole thing and retire. He wanted them to move to Ocala and live with him.
His fear was simple considering the fact that his father was already 70 at the time, “It’s a little dangerous with the wolves and grizzly bears. The nearest town is 50 miles away. I worry about him up there,” Chad said. Nevertheless, he got to make an appearance in the show.
The thing though is that Tom is not ready to retire because as he has revealed, he doesn’t know whether retirement means to pause and think or to just stop working. Nancy on another hand, also doesn’t see it happening because she agrees that both of them enjoy their lives.
Tom Oar is not only a husband and a father, but he is also a grandfather. He has two grandchildren from his son Chad, from a marriage that later broke.
Another member of the elder Oar’s family is his daughter, Keelie Oar who was born on February 14, 1966 in Rockford, Illinois. Keelie who later worked in medical sales died in 2015 at the age of 49. She was not Tom’s daughter with Nancy as her mother’s name was given as Jan Frazer.
Considering how age is catching up with him, Tom is gradually slowing down compared to the man he used to be. But then, he is not yet ready to call it quits.
His family on the reality show is made of himself, his wife, and his dog, Ellie. Other members of his wider family that appeared on the show are his brother Jake and his son, Chad.
As previously stated, it is The Mountain Men reality show that made Tom Oar famous. The show has come to be massively accepted and followed by many people.
It follows the lives of people who have stayed away from technology and the modern world. It centers on how men are able to conquer the harsh conditions of the North American wilderness including the weather, poor trapping, and low harvest, among other things.
The Mountain Men began in 2012 and by 2017, it had already entered its sixth season with most of the cast that began still a part six seasons later. Since the beginning, the show has been following the lives of six men living in very remote parts at the edges of the United States.
What makes it all more interesting is that the lives of these people are traced as they live the crude lives of trapping and making tools that help them conquer the environment in the form of getting shelter, clothing, and food. It is men who are regarded as the original Americans and the last of their kinds that are featured in the show.
With his thick white beard, Oar together with his wife Nancy, made their home close to the Yaak River Valley which is in the heart of the Montana. To get things going, the man engages in trapping, harvesting his own meat and tanning the hides.
In order to record everything for the show, a five man crew follows Oar as he does the things he does to get footage. This is collected for about one week per month in the six months that it is recorded each year. The whole thing comes without any planning or scripting.
The opportunity to be a part of the History channel show came to him through a friend who notified the production company making the Mountain Men about him.
In as much as he has enjoyed the show and he said he liked that it didn’t come as an embarrassment, his only problem is that; “They always have to make it seem more dangerous,” he said.
In July 2017, the show lost one of its members, Preston Roberts who died following a liver complication tumor.
Tom Oar Net Worth
One obvious thing with Oar is that his life has always been full of hard work and simplicity. The thing though is that he hadn’t had much to show in terms of net worth. That was before his opportunity with the Mountain Men, as he once revealed that before the show he had never had an annual income that went higher than $20,000.
Now, he is not only making better sales from the things he is making, but he is also getting paid. Thanks to all these, Tom Oar has a net worth of over $250 thousand.