The Cowboy Chronicle Extra
2001 NDCHF Hall of Honorees Induction
Published by the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame
N.D. Cowboy Hall of Fame Inducts 15 Honorees This year’s NDCHF Special Achievement honoree is the Sanish Rodeo, which wowed huge crowds from 1947-53.
2001 NDCHF Hall of Honorees Induction Program SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 2001 • Tjaden Terrace, Medora, North Dakota
12 p.m. - Musical Entertainment The Lardinois Family with Fiddlin’ Johnny
12:30 p.m. - Tribute to Father William J. Fahnlander by Winston Satran, Bismarck
Invocation by Bishop Paul A. Zipfel, Bismarck
12:45 p.m. - Quilt Presentations
1 p.m. - Welcome by Master of Ceremonies Phil Baird, Mandan
Honor Song by Standing Rock Drummers
Ranching Honorees Introduced by Russ Danielson, Harwood
Jay N. Grantier Andrew Voigt Frank Kubik Jr. Eaton Ranch - Towner
Leaders of Ranching & Rodeo Honorees Introduced by Robyn Nelson, Pembina
George M. Christensen, DVM Earl Northrop
Special Achievement Honoree Introduced by Shanda Doan, McKenzie
Arts & Entertainment Honoree
by Gerard Baker, Superintendent of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, Omaha, Neb.
Introduced by Walter Piehl Jr., Minot
Frank Bennett Fiske
Introduced by Rodney Nelson, Almont
Great Westerner Honoree
Elmer J. Clark George Defender Wilfred “Sonny” Ehr Jr. Delvin Reich John Stevenson Old Fitzgerald
Introduced by Darrell Dorgan. Bismarck
Honor Song by Three Affiliated Tribes Drummers
Induction activities continue Sunday, August 5, 2 p.m., at the Home On The Range Champions Ride at Sentinel Butte. The 2001 NDCHF rodeo honorees will be introduced by Winston Bruce of the Calgary Stampede.
Eleven men who have lived and portrayed the cowboy lifestyle, one historical woman, two entities that helped foster western character and one notable bucking horse compose the fourth round of North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees. Rodeo honorees are Elmer J. Clark, George Defender, Wilfred “Sonny” Ehr Jr., Delvin Reich, John Stevenson and Old Fitzgerald. Ranching honorees are Jay N. Grantier, Andrew Voigt, Frank Kubik Jr. and the Eaton Ranch, Towner. Leaders of Rodeo & Ranching honorees are George M. Christensen, DVM, and Earl Northrop. Special Achievement honoree is the Sanish Rodeo, Arts and Entertainment honoree is Frank Bennett Fiske, and Great Westerner honoree is Sakakawea. The formal induction is Saturday, Aug. 4 at Tjaden Terrace, Medora. Free musical entertainment begins at 12 p.m. with the ceremony at 1 p.m. Individuals must reserve their own tickets for the evening pitchfork fondue and Medora Musical, as well as the Chad Brock concert (4:30 MDT). Tickets and motel information are available by calling 800-633-6721. Saturday’s pre-induction activities include a NDCHF Trustee’s meeting at 10 a.m. MDT at Tjaden Terrace. Activities continue Sunday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. at the 45th Annual Home On The Range Champions’ Ride, Sentinel Butte. The 2001 NDCHF rodeo honorees will be introduced by Winston Bruce of the Calgary Stampede. For HOTR Champions’ Ride tickets call 701-872-3745.
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B it from the B oard Dear Members and Friends, This spring, we received tremendous gestures of support from the North Dakota Legislature and Cloverdale Foods. These are most appreciated and will help in our efforts to look for additional financial support. Quite frankly, though, the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame must count on generous support from its membership. Folks, we need your help to raise $2 million right now for the Hall to be open in 2003! How can you help? In one year, Hall members could raise more than a quarter of a million dollars if: •Each of the 12 trustee districts achieved its annual $10,000 fundraising goal ($120,000). •Our past and current Hall members totaling 1,000 donated $100 each ($100,000). •Our 15 board members and 200 trustees recruited four new members at $100 each ($86,000). •Our board members and trustees contributed $200 each ($43,000). Potential annual income by December 2001: $349,000. By December 2002: $698,000. Does that sound do-able? Based on past support, our membership would say “YES.” I encourage you to come to the next trustee meeting Aug. 4 at Tjaden Terrace, Medora. That’s where we’ll finalize plans for fall fund raising. With your commitment, the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame will be built, and sustained, by the support of its members. Put your spurs on, folks. Let’s rope in some money. Happy Trails, Phil Baird, Mandan NDCHF President
NDCHF to Co-Host Badlands Bull Riding Blowout July 28-29 in Medora The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and Badlands Professional Bull Riding Association kick-off the 2001 NDCHF Induction week by co-hosting the Badlands Bull Riding Blowout at the Ranchorama in Medora on July 28-29. Performances begin at 2 p.m. Mountain both Saturday and Sunday. Each day, 30 bull riders will compete with the top six qualifying for short go-rounds. In addition, a Ring of Danger will thrill risktakers and on-lookers. Bull riders from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana provide the action. Blowout personnel includes announcer Dean Meyer, Solen, with bullfighters Dick Woodbury, Dickinson, and Josh Rivinius, Elgin. The Badlands Professional Bull Riding Association is organized by stock contractors Wayne Eckroth, Flasher, Shane Gunderson, Bismarck, and Jerry Weinberger, Breien. The association is hosting 16 bull ridings this season, with the series champion earning airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the Professional Bull Riders Finals in Las Vegas in October. The package is worth nearly $2,000. Explaining the NDCHF’s involvement in co-hosting Medora events, President Phil Baird, Mandan, says, “When we get the Hall of Fame built, we have to think about offering a variety of western culture events in Medora every week. Our window will be from late May to September.” He explains, “On Sunday, June 17, we hosted Plains Indian wars scholar Sandy Barnard, author of ‘Ten Years with Custer: A 7th Cavalryman’s Memoirs.’ The presentation and book describe what it was like to be part of the 7th Cavalry. “This Bull Riding Blowout is the second event we’re offering to the public.
Then, of course, the induction is a major event in August. This is just the beginning.” Baird adds, “These are events that we’re co-hosting. We’re not putting money into any of them because most of our funds are currently directed at Hall construction.” Badlands Bull Riding Blowout tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for 7-13year-olds and children under six are free. For more information call Weinberger at 701-4453444.
North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Executive Director..............Darrell Dorgan Board of Directors President.......................Phil Baird, Mandan Vice President............Robert Tibor, Hebron Secretary............Russ Danielson, Harwood Board Members Kaye Burian...........................Manning Virginia Eck...........................Bismarck Laura Griffin.............................Medora Ray Morrell..................................Minot Robyn Nelson.........................Pembina Evelyn Neuens......................Bismarck Walter Piehl, Jr.............................Minot Winston Satran......................Bismarck Willard Schnell.......................Dickinson Arlen Sommers....................Valley City Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Representative:
Randy Hatzenbuhler.................Medora State Historical Society Representative:
John Von Rueden...................Bismarck
The Cowboy Chronicle Official publication of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Editor.....Colette Knutson Gjermundson Advisory Committee: Jeri Dobrowski Ray Morrell Willard Schnell Robert Tibor Send Letters, Address Changes, Memberships and Contributions to: North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame 1110 College Drive, Suite 212 Bismarck, North Dakota 58501 Phone: 701-250-1833
The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001 • Page 3
and spurs came just a little below the saddle skirts. When standing on the ground, his shoulders reached only to the stirrups of a saddled horse.” Elmer Clark Earl C. Rundle wrote in “50 Years In When old-time bronc peeler and rancher Elmer J. Clark was asked The Saddle Vol. II,” “(Elmer) had to about his arrival in southwestern be a smooth, smart rider who outNorth Dakota he replied, “I came by thought the horses, as he was too stork and brought nothing.” In truth, small and light to overpower them . . . Elmer was born March 12, 1894, to When he did buck off he invariably George “Stuttering Clark” and Emma landed on his feet like a cat and it was (Spinny) Clark in a shack on Bull very hard to tell whether he got Creek, on what is now the Frank and bucked off or left the horse on purPerry Emch ranch southeast of pose.” He was noted Belfield. His parents and family moved 11 miles northwest of Amidon for a good sense in 1902. Elmer rode six miles to coun- of humor. At a try school and later attended grade 1914 Fourth of school in Dickinson and Nova Scotia, July celebration in Watford City, Canada. crowd Elmer’s formal education ended in the the spring of 1907 when the 13-year- cheered for a saddle old saddled a horse and rode to Bert rank Townsend’s Q Bar Ranch at Grassy bronc ride made Butte. There, he acquired the name by a “Miss “Clarky” and worked for nine years Stevenson.” In without missing a day. Most of his reality, it was time was spent breaking saddle hors- Clarky dressed in es. He also worked for Scott Gore and a long, riding skirt and sunbonon various other ranches. As a son of a local horse dealer, net. He won an Elks Elmer had early exposure to rank horses. Elmer’s son, Merle, rodeo in Dickinson in 1916, which Marmarth, says, “From the time he was billed as the world’s champiwas knee-high he was aboard the onship bronc riding contest. He worst horses his dad had.” Elmer’s earned a silver-studded saddle crafted reputation as a bronc rider grew and it by Frank Olzer, Gillette, Wyo. Later, was natural that he started riding in Elmer needed money and traded the saddle to Stanley Sloan, Forsythe, rodeos. Harry Roberts wrote in a memoir Mont., for an ordinary saddle and following Elmer’s death: “I first saw $300 to boot. In October 1917, Elmer returned to him at a Fourth of July celebration at the Logging Camp Ranch, (Amidon), his parents’ home and broke horses in 1911 . . . I remember that his boots for Amidon-area ranches. He entered the Army in 1918, training in Camp Dodge, Iowa and landing in Cherbourg, France, 301 East Front Avenue just six weeks after Bismarck, ND 58504 leaving Amidon. He 701-222-0827 or 800-626-9562 served in the 338th Supplier of awards and recogField Artillery, Battery D and was nition for the North Dakota the regimental horse Cowboy Hall of Fame breaker. Elmer returned to the
United States, arriving in New York in 1919. His last military duty was parading at Theodore Roosevelt’s funeral in January 1919. Elmer was discharged and travelled home by train and stage. Some cowboy friends met him in Amidon with a big gray HT horse owned by Harold Hanson. Still attired in his uniform, the whole town turned out to see Clarky off. Word had gotten around that the boys had a real bucker for him. However, he knew his buddies and took great pains in setting the saddle and cinching it tight. The HT horse unwound, bucking from Amidon’s main street, across the courthouse lawn and west past the school house. After the first couple of jumps Elmer’s wrap leggings came loose and all seven feet were streaming along behind. Elmer’s best publicized ride was aboard Tipperary, the most famous of all bucking horses. The challenge between he and Tipperary occurred on Labor Day in Buffalo, S.D., in 1919. Tipperary’s owner, Charlie Wilson, Buffalo, and the celebration committee offered $500 if Elmer could ride the horse for 27 jumps (or about 20 seconds). Though he never received official credit, Elmer rode Tipperary, dismounted onto his feet and collected the prize money. Elmer’s professional bronc riding career ended in 1920 when a horse fell on him at a Marmarth show, breaking his ankle. Afterward, he judged numerous rodeos and participated in roping. He and NDCHF inductee Louie Pelissier, Medora, won first in a four-state team roping championship at the Miles City Roundup Rodeo in 1955. Clarky was 61; Louie Pelissier was 59. Following World War I, Elmer spent four years as foreman of the Barber Ranch southwest of Marmarth. He met school teacher Marguerite White at the HT Rodeo on July 4, 1919. They married on December 24, 1922, and operated a ranch near Marmarth for 14 years. In 1938 they moved to Marguerite’s girlhood home 12 miles northeast of Marmarth. Their only (Continued on page 4.)
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(Clark, continued from page 3.) child, Merle, is a NDCHF trustee and currently operates the ranch with his wife, Linda. They have two children. Elmer died on May 1, 1969, in Bowman.
George Defender George Defender was born at Kenel, S.D., on the Standing Rock Reservation in 1891, a son of George Sr. and Mary Packineau Defender. At age 16, he started working as the “rough string” rider for the DZ Cattle Company, on the Dye and Zimmerman, half-million-acre lease spread throughout the Standing Rock Reservation and in South Dakota’s Dewey, Corson and Ziebach Counties. The DZ horses had a reputation as tough buckers, and riding the “rough string” probably sharpened Defender’s bronc riding ability. He later worked for the L7 and the ZT outfits. Defender began competing in local rodeos prior to 1914, riding mostly in North Dakota including Dickinson, Medora, Heart River, Wicks Roundup, Fort Yates, Beulah, New England, Linton, Cannonball, Steele, Leith, Elbowoods and Fargo. He competed in South Dakota rodeos at Timber Lake, McLaughlin, Kenel, Roscoe and Belle Fourche. Though most of his spectacular rides never got into the record books, it is known that he won first at the Miles City (Mont.) Roundup in 1914. This was one of the biggest rodeos on the circuit at that time and the win earned him a reputation as a top bronc rider. He also competed in Waterloo and Burlington, Iowa; Princeton, Ohio; Chicago and
Rockford, Ill.; Pendleton, Ore.; Madison Square Garden in New York; and the Calgary Stampede in Canada. Subsequent wins at Madison Square Garden and the Calgary Stampede confirmed that he was more than just a local rodeo success. He competed widely between 1918 and 1923. Exact dates are not known, but George was a final contender for world championship all-around cowboy honors. Defender rode some outstanding broncs in his rodeo days: Sky Rocket; Black Diamond; Spinning Boy; Leave Me with a Smile; Grand River Blue; Z Horse; Heart River Croppy, Golden Rule and Tipperary. He also competed in bareback riding, bulldogging, calf roping, relay races, wild horse races, wild cow milking and buffalo riding. In those days a cowboy entered several events to better his chances of winning some money, even if he didn’t succeed in his special event. In 1915, Defender married Lucille Two Lance of Promise, S.D., and they had two children, George III, born in 1916, and Pearl Iron Wing, born in 1919. He later married Helen Sees the Bear who was born at Breien in 1901. They established a ranch on the Standing Rock Reservation and had Mandan • Dickinson • New Leipzig three sons: Earl, Hebron • Taylor • Bismarck born in 1921; Max, born in 1923;
Daniel, born in 1925; and one daughter born in 1930, Mary Louise Defender Wilson, Shields, who became 1954 Miss Indian America. There are numerous grandchildren from Defenders first marriage and three grandchildren from his second marriage. Faye Longbrake, Cherry Creek, S.D., did extensive Defender research in the early 1980s and says, “He and South Dakotan Armstrong Four Bear were the two that everybody talked about when I was a little kid. I always heard that he (Defender) was the toughest bronc rider at that time. He was considered a flashy, natural bronc rider.” In 1984 he was inducted into the South Dakota Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame, Fort Pierre, S.D.; which is now the South Dakota Hall of Fame, Chamberlain, S.D. In 1928, Defender was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He took a job with the CA Cattle outfit in Arizona so he could live in a drier climate. In the fall of 1932, he was injured following a bronc ride at the cowboy roundup at New England. The injury, coupled with his weakened condition from the tuberculosis, brought on his death on Jan. 14, 1933. He died at Fort Yates and was buried at his hometown of Kenel.
Wilfred “Sonny” Ehr Jr. Wilfred “Sonny” Ehr Jr. was born in Minot, Feb. 12, 1941, to Wilfred Sr. and Fay (Smith) Ehr. He grew up with a twin sister, Willa. As a youth, he actively assisted with the farming and ranching on his parents’ operation, but as he watched his father ride saddle broncs and produce local rodeos, he seemed destined to make his own mark in rodeo. Sonny won two state high school calf roping titles in the late 1950s and got his first taste of rodeo success on the national level when he won the 1959 National High School Rodeo Association Calf Roping Championship at Lewistown, Mont. The high school senior also claimed the Waldo Vangsness Memorial (Continued on page 5.)
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(Ehr, continued from page 4.) Trophy, for turning in the fastest calf roping time at the National High School Finals Rodeo. Ehr was a fierce competitor, but he also realized the importance of an education. He enrolled at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., in the fall of 1959. He notes that Lefty Tosta, Modesto, Calif., helped him the most when he was a green rookie. In 1960, Ehr participated in a roping school taught by calf-roping legend Toots Mansfield. A ProRodeo Sports News staffer wrote in 1963 that that is where “the old maestro perfected Ehr’s flanking and tying.” While at OSU, Sonny competed in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s (NIRA’s) Southwest Region. He won the region as well as NIRA national champion steer wrestler in 1962. That fall, as a college senior, he transferred to the University of Arizona, Tuscon, where winter rodeo practice opportunities were better. Mounted on a $1,000roping horse purchased from Allen Epps, Magdelena, N.M., he swept the competition in steer wrestling and calf roping to win the all-around title at the 23rd Annual UA rodeo in 1963. He won the NIRA West Coast Region in 1963, as well as NIRA national champion steer wrestler in ‘63. He graduated from UA with a B.S. in animal husbandry, and was on the dean’s list each year. Ehr earned his Rodeo Cowboys Association card in 1961. By 1970 he was one of the RCA’s top 15 steer wrestlers and was the only North Dakotan to compete in the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City,
Okla., that year. He won round three and ended the year 11th in the nation. At the same time, he nearly qualified for the NFR in calf roping, missing the 15th spot by a slim double-digit dollar amount. In the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA) Badlands Circuit, Ehr was the 1976 team roping champion and the 1978 steer wrestling champion, claiming allaround cowboy honors at the 1978 circuit finals. He and his traveling partners were known to drive a pink Oldsmobile pulling an inline trailer at 75 miles per hour or a flame-orange Chevy pickup and a white two-horse trailer. Frank Shepperson, Midwest, Wyo., traveled with Sonny in the 1970s and says, “When he went to the National Finals in steer wrestling in 1970, he rode, Scotty, a horse of Walt Linderman’s, and was doing pretty good. However, he didn’t get a jump at one steer. Scotty turned back to the back fence and Sonny went head-first into a steel panel, bending the panel.” Shepperson laughs, “The whole crowd thought he was dead. He was just mad because it knocked a little hair out; he was already starting to bald a little anyway. They used that bent panel at the NFR for years.” Noting Sonny’s bay mount named, Big John, Shepperson says, “He was a calf roping horse that looked like he’d come out of his dad’s work team. Big John was about 1,500 pounds and about a size four shoe, but he could really run. One year at Omaha they had big, fresh Hereford calves. He was 12 (seconds) on every one of ‘em and won.” Sonny traded Big John for a horse called Red. Shepperson says: “He’s a big-hearted guy, just tough as a boot and he loves to work hard. One time Sonny stopped to spend a night or two at Warren Wuthier’s by Buffalo, Wyo. Warren’s dad got up about 4 o’clock the
next morning and was getting ready for the day; he had two or three hired hands and they fed hay to about 500 cows. Sonny got up and had coffee with him and said, ‘You might as well give your guys the day off, Warren and I will be here for a couple of days.’ Ol’ Wayne knew rodeo cowboys and said, ‘Oh, we’ll get by OK.’ He was worried that he wouldn’t get nothing done for a couple of days, but they went out and started loading hay to feed to the cows. Wayne,Warren and the hired men were on the trailer and ol’ Sonny throwed bales so fast he just buried them with hay. When they got out from underneath, Wayne told his hired men, ‘You guys might as well take a couple of days off.’ He’d never seen a rodeo cowboy who worked as hard as Sonny did.” Shepperson adds, “He’s trained a lot of horses and been a good hand for a long time.” Ehr married fellow rodeo competitor, Mardean Ott, on Aug. 9, 1968. The couple has two daughters, Ashlee (Jeff) Miller, and Melissa “Lizzy” (Jason) Thorstenson, both of Coleman, Texas. Both daughters continue their parents’ rodeo traditions, with Ashlee winning first runner-up in the 1993 Miss Rodeo American pageant. One of Shepperson’s favorite stories involves Mardean’s efforts to civilize Sonny. “He and Kenny Neuens were noted for their filthy, tramp trailer and their ways of eating. He’d order a big hamburger and fries and everything would be gone after three bites of hamburger and three bites of fries. After they’d been married about 10 years I had lunch with ol’ Sonny. He took two bites, laid down his sandwich, wiped his mouth and visited a little bit, and then took the other two bites and was done. That’s how far (Continued on page 6.)
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Dakota Rodeo Association Rodeos consistently in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. He served as the NDRA board of directors’ RCA contestant representative for several years, including in 1958 and ‘62. Delvin earned a record number of NDRA (Rodeo Cowboys Associationapproved) championships between 1959 and 1965. He claimed his first title in the saddle bronc ridDelvin Reich in Delvin Reich was born Feb. 17, 1932, ing a son of Otto and Bertha (Betz) Reich. 1959. His He was raised south of Hazen, in the total state Red Butte area, with his two brothers titles are and a sister. “As a kid we went to impressive: rodeos with Dad,” Delvin says. five RCA “There were always horses around . . . bareback riding championships (1960, We rode calves. We broke horses. As 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1965); four RCA saddle bronc riding champiwe got bigger the cattle got bigger.” He enjoyed grade school baseball, onships (1959, 1961, 1963 and 1965); hunting and fishing. However, horses three RCA steer wrestling champiand rodeo were his passion. Even onships (1961, 1962 and 1963); three when he played baseball, he’d ride a RCA all-around championships colt to the game and tie it to a fence (1961, 1963, 1964). He also competed while he participated. He attended in bull riding for four years. His out-of-state successes included Red Butte School through the eighth grade, and then continued working winning the saddle bronc title at the with his dad on the family ranch. “I 1965 Miles City (Mont.) Bucking broke a lot of horses out there; that Horse Sale rodeo, placing at the was my spending money,” he says. He National Western Stock Show & also spent one year working on the Rodeo in Denver and riding in major Connolly Ranch at Dunn Center. The rodeos such as Fort Worth, Texas, and Reichs moved to a ranch south of Zap Pendleton, Ore., as time permitted. He also competed in central and eastern in 1955. Delvin joined the Rodeo Cowboys Montana fair rodeos for several years. Association in 1951 and held a PRCA “It’s darn fun to beat them (at the big card for 20 years, competing mostly rodeos),” he told the Beulah Beacon in North Dakota, South Dakota and in April 2001. “The best stock, the Montana. Reich competed in North best cowboys. It’s what keeps you going back. You don’t have to beat ‘em, but it’s a feather in your cap when you do.” Dalton Schultz, Thief River Falls, Minn., was Reich’s rodeo traveling partner. “The best saddle bronc ride he ever made was on Featuring Cowboy Hall of Fame drink specials! that old pony of (Ehr, continued from page 5.) Mardean had got with him in ten years.” In addition to being a PRCA Gold Card member, Ehr has competed in the North Dakota Rodeo Association, Roughrider Rodeo Association, National Old Timer’s Rodeo Association and United States Team Roping Championship ropings. He and Mardean live east of Minot where Sonny trains horses and produces high-quality horse hay.
Brookman’s, Grand Prize,” Schultz says. “I think it was at Arvilla. Geez, if he’d have made that ride at Denver it’d been worthwhile; instead of $40 or whatever it was at Arvilla!” Recalling he and Delvin’s initiation into the timed-events, Schultz says, “They were short of doggers one time at New Salem and they conned both Delvin and I into entering the dogging so that they’d have a contest. That’s how we got started dogging.” Then there was the time Delvin was helping Schultz get down on a highhorned bull. “We were up in northcentral Montana and I got on Old Jeff,” Schultz says. “Delvin helped me down on him and had just jumped down off the gate when Old Jeff turned around, slipped that gate, slammed it down on Delvin’s nose and ran over the top of him. The doctor there just stuffed some gauze up his nose. (As we left the rodeo) Delvin said he’d drive toward home until his eyes swelled closed; he drove about 50 miles before his eyes closed. I drove the rest of the way.” Fellow competitior Tex Appledoorn, Gladstone, says of Reich, “He was pretty versatile in three events: saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and bull dogging. He was pretty tough in all three of them. He rode bulls a little bit, too. We traveled together some. He was a well-liked cowboy with a good personality and sure got along good with everybody.” Despite his all-around rodeo success, Reich was a classic North Dakota cowboy in that he superbly managed his two priorities: rodeo and ranching. He chose to work at home on the Reich Ranch and compete in rodeos that were a day’s drive or less from home. This allowed him to be back home and in the hayfield on Monday morning. “I always came home,” he says. “If I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have had anything to come back to. Ranching and the cow business was important to me then. It still is.” Reich married Joyce Boland in 1967. Unfortunately, she died when their children were 7, 12, and 13 years old, leaving Delvin to raise them as a (Continued on page 7.)
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(Reich, continued from page 6.) single dad. His family includes: Jack (Mardee), Zap, Stephanie (Larry) Kelner, Ismay, Mont., and Joe, Zap. Delvin has two granddaughters. Today, Reich is a PRCA Gold Card holder. He and his family own and operate the top-notch Reich Ranch where his family is his pride and joy.
John C. “J.C.” Stevenson John C. “J.C.” Stevenson was born in a sod house south of Leith, on Oct. 18, 1905. A son of rough-stock supplier Don Sr. and Bell (Baker) Stevenson, he was active in livestock production and marketing at an early age. His father would send him on horseback throughout western North Dakota to purchase horses and then trail them back to Carson. These early experiences led him to become one of the first rodeo livestock producers in the state. J.C. married Karen (pronounced “Car-en”) Jacobs on Aug. 27, 1938. They were among those who established the North Dakota Rodeo Association with J.C. serving on the founding board of directors. At one time Stevenson was in partnership with Jack Chesrown, Carson, and they produced early NDRA rodeos across the state. Later, he and Jim Weekes, McIntosh, S.D., produced the first NDRA Finals at Valley City. He later partnered with Emerson Chase, Mandaree. He also produced high school rodeos and all-Indian rodeos. John purchased Brahman bulls in Florida and brought them to North Dakota to raise bucking bulls. These bulls became some of the most famous ever in the state’s rodeo histo-
ry. The foundation bloodlines are still prevalent in today’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Stevenson’s famous bulls included: Yellow Jacket; Funeral Wagon; Ink Spot; Peacemaker; Widowmaker; High Horns and Yellow Jacket Junior. His most notable bucking broncs included Lost Memory, Big John and I Walk Alone. Friend and neighbor Virgil Hertz, Carson, writes, “John was a very successful cattleman and horseman. His intuition for selecting and breeding superior horses and bulls contributed to the availability of quality stock.” Stock contractor Jerry Weinberger, Breien, adds, “J.C.’s bucking bulls were more than good, they were rank. He prided himself on having a pen of bulls that a rider could win any rodeo on, provided he could get one covered.” One of Stevenson’s most significant rodeo contributions was in giving young people the opportunity to practice and try new events by hosting play days and practices. Many of the state’s top rodeo hands got their start as a result of his efforts. He extended that opportunity to those who had taken a bad turn too. He was among those who founded the North Dakota State Prison Rodeo in Bismarck. John took the risk of producing the first rodeo in 1974 and continued producing them until his death in a car crash on May 2, 1980. Because of his support and effort, the State Penitentiary arena was dedicated to Stevenson on July 25, 1981. That year’s program included this statement: “John was one of those rare people . . . who had the ability to organize, to motivate and to make people enjoy what they were doing . . . John was a man of many skills. He had a flare for showmanship and leadership qualities, but was the true western cowboy in every sense of the word.
He was a man of principle and of convictions.” J.C. was a unique individual who could think and figure out life’s challenges. He would say, “Every day is a good day if you are able to get out of bed. Some days might not be as pleasant as others, but it’s still a good day.” John was a prominent figure in every rodeo he produced as he rode around the arena, moving the show along at a pace that pleased spectators. He made sure that livestock was treated well and insisted that all cowboys and cowgirls participated in the grand entry. Thus, rodeo fans always departed a Stevenson-produced event with fond memories of the sport. J.C. was a true cowboy, for he was a rancher, livestock marketer, rodeo producer, pickup man, announcer, rodeo judge and stock contractor. J.C. was also a cattle buyer. He and George Klitzke, Lemmon, S.D., shipped up to 20 carloads of stock from the Brisbane railroad yards nearly every Friday during the fall marketing season. He was also a local auctioneer, donating his auctioneering ability to Grant County 4-H youth for more than 40 years. He had numerous accomplishments in business and ranching, but his greatest interest and impact was rodeo. He involved his family and friends in the great sport, too. Esley Thornton Sr., Aberdeen, S.D., says, “J.C. always rode good horses and was an ambassador to rodeo. I can still imagine him on his Paint Horse greeting people by name. He wasn’t a stranger to anyone and was liked by all. He promoted rodeo through kindness and his shiny smile.” Doug Rivinius, Elgin, says, “I traveled with J.C. and his family many summers as I grew up. He helped me (Continued on page 8.)
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appearances at such notable events as the Dickinson Match of Champions, Dickinson. Cowboys wanted to draw Old Fitzgerald, but only six or seven of them ever made the whistle during the tenplus years that the horse bucked in North Dakota rodeos. NDCHF inductee Duane Howard, Minnewaukan, says, “I think the first time I saw Old Fitzgerald was at a little cow pasture deal at Hazelton. Jim Tescher rode him there. I tell you what, it was one heckuva bronc ride. He was big and it was May, so he was active and fresh. Boy, did he buck, Old Fitzgerald A North Dakota bucking horse that and Jim made a good ride on him.” He frequently sent top cowboys flying adds, “He was a solid bucking horse. through the air before they could He got to flat spinning toward the last, make a qualified ride was Old but he’d still toss them guys off. He Fitzgerald, owned by Linton horse really bucked.” NDCHF inductee Jim Tescher, buyer John Steen. The Percheron-cross work horse was Sentinel Butte, recalls that the discovered while he was working in Hazelton ride was the 1954 “North the fields around Fort Yates in the late Dakota State Bronc Riding 1940s. The big gelding stood about 15 Championship,” organized by Steen. 1/2 hands and weighed around 1,500 “It was a one day deal of all North pounds. He was marked with a small Dakota riders,” he says. “There was four go-rounds and I had him for my dot on his forehead. Originally called Bobo Joe, the bay final horse. I asked the guys about first bucked at the Saturday Indian him and they said, ‘Be ready, because rodeos north of Fort Yates, near he bucks.’ I didn’t ride him that good; Porcupine Creek. Steen heard about he had me bucked off every jump.” Bobo and liked what he heard. He Still, Tescher rode well enough to win bought the horse, renamed him after a the title and become the first cowboy brand of Kentucky straight bourbon to ever qualify on Old Fitzgerald. Tescher says, “John Steen claimed it whiskey, and hauled him to rodeos across North Dakota. During the was the 71st time he’d bucked. I had a 1950s and ‘60s Old Fitzgerald made lot of film of the horse bucking at amateur rodeos before that. Usually he’d take a run at you, sometimes a short run, and then cut ‘er back. He come back awful short around to the MIDSTATE TELEPHONE COMPANY right. He was one of 215 South Main Street • Box 400 the rankest horses I Stanley, ND 58784-0400 ever rode. Serving the Medora, Beach, Golva and Sentinel Butte area “I only saw him rode one other time (Stevenson, continued from page 7.) better myself in rodeo. He enthusiastically did everything he could to make rodeo bigger and better. He was a cowboy from beginning to end.” Marvin Klein, Breien, says, “John gave me an opportunity to learn to fight bulls and I worked for him for eight years when he had some of the finest rodeo bulls (in the Northern Plains).” Through the years, Karen served as secretary, timer, bookkeeper, cook, nurse and mother for cowboys at hundreds of rodeos. J.C. and Karen have one daughter, Kay Stevenson, Carson, who was a high school rodeo queen, an all-around cowgirl, and is the mother of their two grandchildren.
and that was when Casey Tibbs rode him at the Match (of Champions) in Dickinson.” Tibbs was leading the match and only had to make a qualified ride on his final horse to win it. “About four seconds out Casey went to the belly–at least with his right foot–and I remember him coming back and saying, ‘I got to thinking about that buckle.’” Tescher concludes, “I think the best two trips Old Fitzgerald ever had were probably with me and with Casey.” Steen’s daughter, Sue Steen Christiansen, Bowbells, was only 9 years old when her father died in 1970, but she met bronc riding extraordinaire Casey Tibbs at the 1989 North Dakota State Fair. Christiansen writes, “I approached Casey Tibbs with some pictures and rodeo programs that my mother, Pauline Steen Reimer, Linton, had saved, to see if he recalled my father and the horse, ‘Old Fitz.’ His eyes lit up and a smile came across his face with the memories of his famous ride on the back of Old Fitzgerald at the Dickinson rodeo. “He told me how he’d contemplated his ride on this large, ol’ bucking horse he’d heard so much about. He said, had the weather conditions been different (the rodeo grounds were quite wet and muddy), he really didn’t think he could have made the whistle. ‘The horse was big and ornery, snorting with every powerful kick and jolt as the clock ticked on.’ He said ‘It (Continued on page 9.)
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(Old Fitz, continued from page 8.) was truly a thrill,’ he still remembered some 40 years later.” Harley May, Alpine, Texas, also drew the horse at Dickinson. “I’ve got a photo of me on Old Fitzgerald, taken at Dickinson in 1956,” May says. “Nobody told me anything about the horse and I just took a normal rein on him. He’d take a little run at you–go out maybe 50 or 75 feet–and then he’d blow up. I just had a normal rein on him. You can tell on this picture that the very next jump he drove my head right into the ground.” May laughs admitting, “I should have given him a foot more rein.” Obviously, Old Fitzgerald was a bucker. When dressed in a saddle and flank strap he could throw top cowboys. Still, he was amazingly gentle. After a cowboy was thrown, Steen would enter the arena, remove the saddle and flank strap, and then motion for a child to come out into the arena to ride Fitz, proving the horse’s gentle demeanor. Christiansen notes, “Casey Tibbs said, ‘It was quite a sight. This big ‘ol horse would be snorting mad, bucking his heart out. After the ride was over, John would give him a whistle. Then he would walk toward the horse, who calmed at his command.’ “He (Tibbs) told me he offered to buy the horse from my father the day he rode him in Dickinson. My dad just smiled and said, ‘No, this old guy will be retiring here in North Dakota. This is his home.’” Old Fitzgerald was more than 20 years old at the time. Christansen concludes, “My mother believes that after his rodeo career, Old Fitzgerald was put out to pasture
in the Cannon Ball area.”
Ranching Jay N. Grantier Jay Newman Grantier, a well-known cattleman and horse breeder, was born near Mount Pleasant, Iowa., on Jan. 6, 1869. The first son of seven children born to Civil War musician Lewis and Sylvia (Randall) Grantier, his family migrated to Dickinson in the spring of 1882. As a young man, Grantier found work as a printer’s devil for the Dickinson Press and as a camp tender
for buffalo hunter George Mattox. By 1885, Jay and his father had settled on a ranch in the Killdeer Mountains and began running cattle six or seven miles west of Oakdale, in Dunn County. This experience fed Jay’s lifelong passion for horses and ranching. By 1886, Grantier hired on as a night wrangler with Webb Arnett’s AHA outfit near Grassy Butte, in charge of 200 head of saddle horses. The next year, he joined the Reynolds’ Brothers Long X operation near Alexander. He twice accompanied herds the length of the south-to-north cattle trails that ran from Texas to Dakota
Territory, and helped drive cattle part way over the plains several times. According to “Memories of Old Western Trails in Texas Longhorn Days” by Joseph G. Stroud, in March 1887 the 18-year-old cowboy was dispatched with 50 head of fresh saddle horses to meet a Reynolds’ herd headed north. He single-handedly trailed his remuda some 400 miles before meeting a Reynolds herd near Devils Tower, Wyo. However, he was to have met a second drive which, unbeknownst, had been quarantined at the Texas border. In his own words he noted that his solo mission–successfully completed at the Texas border–became, “quite an experience.” On May 31, 1892, a spring blizzard dumped 18 inches of snow near Bovina, Colo. The storm scrambled four separate herds totaling 15,000 head belonging to the Long X and the XIT. “Caused quite a mess,” quipped the young Grantier. When homesteading opportunities came in 1890, Grantier started his own ranching operation in the Tobacco Garden and Clear Creek area of McKenzie County, about 20 miles northeast of Watford City. He remained there for the next half century, running mostly Hereford cattle and Percheron horses. Grantier was one of the first McKenzie County residents to use irrigation, building a steam engine system on his ranch in 1917 and updating it to flood irrigation in 1937. Although slight of stature, Grantier was an outstanding horseman who, late in life, credited his good health to having spent many years horseback. Jay Sr. had married Sophie Gamache in 1895 and they had six sons: Steve, Lewis, Clint, Lawrence “Buck,” Charles and Ed. The youngest, Ed (Betty Keogh) Grantier survives, living at Sidney, Mont. There are eight grandchildren and 25 grandchildren from that marriage. After Sophie’s death Jay married Clara Winter Roesner in 1928; they had three children: Jay Jr. who died at 15 months; Erna (Hadley) Nesbitt, Medford, Ore.; (Continued on page 10.)
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(Grantier, continued from page 9.) and A. Jay (Pat), Dickinson. There are eight grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren from his second marriage. When McKenzie County was organized in 1905, Jay became the first justice of the peace. He was among the 20 cattlemen who founded the Western North Dakota Stock Association, Watford City, a forerunner to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, and served as one of its early directors. He served as McKenzie County Grazing Association president and also belonged to the Masonic Lodge, Watford City, the Williston Elks and the Kem Shrine, Grand Forks. His compatriots included Frank Keogh, Wilse Richards, John Goodall, Dan Manning, and he remembered hearing Theodore Roosevelt speak in Dickinson. Though he had few opportunities for formal education, Grantier was well-read, respected and known for his razor-sharp wit. His youngest son from his second marriage, A. Jay Grantier, Dickinson, gives an example of his father’s personality: “At a time when cottonseed cake had just been introduced for cattle feed he was asked if he had used it and what he though of it. He said, ‘Well yes, I have used it and I can tell you that if a cow hasn’t been dead longer than a week this cottonseed cake will have her up on her feet in no time!’” A grandson, C. Dan Grantier, Billings, Mont., tells the story of his grandfather’s first driving experience. “He got his first car and he was going
down the road; all they had was trails. He came to the yard gate, and the gate was shut. He hollered ‘Whoa!’ at the car and it went right on through the gate. He was so upset with the car because it didn’t stop!” Jay died in June 1939 at age 70. At that time he was running several hundred Hereford cattle, about 100 purebred Percheron and saddle horses and operated roughly 1,000 acres of farmland. He had become an outstanding cowboy and horseman who well knew the trials, challenges and joys of early day ranching.
Andrew Voigt Andrew Voigt was born Feb. 7, 1867, in Saxony, Germany, a son of Wilhelm and Theresa (Meyer) Voigt. The family immigrated to St. Augusta, Minn., in 1879, a n d Andrew married A n n a Berger in 1889. The couple shared a dream of ranching, so Andrew left for North Dakota in 1900, traveling by Northern Pacific railcar to survey the area. Eventually, he journeyed north from Taylor, with livestock and a few supplies, and settled north of Halliday. His wife and seven sons: William, George, Edward, Joseph, Victor, John and Frank, joined him in 1902. Their log home with a sod roof was the birthplace of two daughters, Clara and Rose. As the family grew, so did their herds of Hereford cattle, Percheron horses and a flock of sheep. In 1912, the Voigts moved across the Little Missouri River, about four miles west of Elbowoods on the Fort Berthold Reservation, transport-
ing their livestock and belongings on a refurbished ferry. They built a threestory frame house with ample room for a family of 11. Although ranching was his first love, Voigt and his sons broke sod and farmed more than 400 acres with horses and mules, raising feed grain to sell. He was noted for wolf hunting with a pack of hounds, as well as for chasing coyotes and tangling with rattlesnakes. He was also president of the bank in Halliday in about 1914. Believing in the economics of diversity, Voigt soon turned to geese, turkeys, chickens, hogs and mules, as well as raising additional acres of wheat and other grains, alfalfa and corn. He was said to be a fine example of the pioneer ranchman turned diversified operator. The Voigt ranch became the “headquarters of hospitality” for both whites and Indians, and he was always ready to help anyone in need. One of his friends, Crows Heart, named him, “Big Heart White Man, Can’t Say No.” Voigt was a Christian man who donated beef and mutton, time and talent, to the Catholic Mission School at Elbowoods, where his daughters attended school. Seven of his children ranched in western North Dakota. All were forced to relocate because of the Garrison Dam project. An undated article from a Minneapolis newspaper written after the oldest son, William, was married, describes the operation’s evidences of plenty and prosperity. A quote from Andrew says, “Even with the prices of hogs and cattle so low, we have been making money. We always have something to sell here, you see.” It reports Anna Voigt adding with a smile, “Sometimes we get a little lonesome way out here, but whenever we go to the cities on a visit, we are always glad to get back home.” The Voigt home had “running water, Oriental rugs, a phonograph, a profusion of flowers and electrical lights in every building on the place. It adds, “A wildcat fur rug, caught on the place, and a mountain goat head give the home a touch of the picturesque.” (Continued on page 11.)
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(Voigt, continued from page 10.) The article mentions the operation’s smokehouse, root cellar and blacksmith/farrier’s shop. Duaine Voigt, Shields, who grew up one mile from his grandfather’s home place, concurs, saying, “Grandpa’s farm was like a little town. He had seven boys and about eight hired men. There were granaries all lined up in a row. They had their own mill for grinding flour or corn meal. The horse barn could stall 42 horses.” Duaine also recalls a big threshing machine and a top-notch mule team that could be turned loose at the threshing machine and would walk to the granary. “I’d catch them, unload the grain, turn them and they’d go back out to the threshing machine. This was after grandpa died, but he started it all.” He adds, “I was only 8 when Grandpa died, but he’s the one who taught me not to ride sheep. We used to ride shearing sheep when we were 5 or 6 years old. Grandpa never yipped and hollered, he just said, ‘These sheep are too warm with this wool on. Wait ‘til it’s sheared off.’ After they sheared he brought out this big, old buck. The next thing I knew I was lying on my back with both horns in my hands. Nobody had to tell me not to ride the sheep anymore! That was how Grandpa taught lessons.” Duaine adds further memories, saying, “He had a blind horse called Bad Eye, a bald-faced bay with a black mane and tail. Any kid that was old enough to start riding learned how to ride on that horse.” Anna Voigt died Nov. 12, 1931.
Voigt married Monica Gress on Feb. 29, 1935, and gained 12 step-children. Andrew died July 17, 1939–before his precious 2,000 acres of rich bottomland were flooded by the Garrison Dam. He was one of the most beloved ranchers in western North Dakota, and he numbered among his friends both whites and Indians. His work ethic and love of North Dakota live on in his 47 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and great-greatgrandchildren, many of whom are ranchers and country dwellers. He was named a 50-Years-in-theSaddle member and was North Dakota’s sixth honoree elected to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, Oklahoma City, Okla., being so honored on Jan. 22, 1962.
Frank Kubik Jr.
Frank Kubik Jr. was born on a farm/ranch near Dickinson on June 8, 1917, a son of Frank Sr. and Anna (Kralicek) Kubik. The family lived on the farm homesteaded by his grandfather who immigrated from Russia. Frank attended rural school in Dunn County; graduating from Dickinson’s Model High School in 1937. He received a standard teaching certificate from Dickinson State Teacher’s College and taught school in Slope and Dunn Counties for two years during the Depression. On Sept. 22, 1939, he married Doris Zander of Dickinson and they had three children: Karen (Dave) Larson, Bowman; Jeffrey (Peg), Dickinson; and Jane (Les) Schneider, Manning. The Kubiks have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In 1942, Frank purchased a ranch six miles southwest of Manning that became Kubik Polled Hereford Ranch. Through the years he increased his holdings to 2611 Old Red Trail 3,259 acres. Mandan, ND 58554 He bought his first 1-800-597-7327 eight registered Polled Hereford
cattle from his father, and eventua l l y increased his herd to 300 registered cattle. Kubik began performance testing in 1956, keeping extensive production records including precise birth and weaning weights. All cattle sold at the ranch’s sale barn were listed in a catalog filled with production information to help prospective buyers select their breeding stock. He also helped organize and supervise a breeding herd production-testing program in cooperation with North Dakota State University and the NDSU Extension Service. Frank hosted the first performancetested Polled Hereford bull sale in the United States on March 13, 1958. During his career, Kubik sold more than 2,000 registered, performancetested bulls and 2,000 performancetested heifers across the United States and into Canada, South Africa and South America. In 1972, Kubiks bought a majority of the Havre Line 1 Polled King Domino cattle sold at the North Montana Agricultural Research Center dispersion. They were all strong in the King Domino bloodline and traced directly to Mossy Plato 26 and Anxiety 4th. Thus, Kubik Polled Herefords became the largest source of “Line-Bred Polled Herefords” in the U.S. Under the supervision of the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association, Frank produced two certified meat sires. In 1978 he had an American Polled Hereford Association Gold Seal Sire. The ranch sold bulls to four different artificial insemination centers, with Kubik breeding used for research at five universities. Frank’s cattle won many awards at local/national livestock shows. He also judged shows in Minnesota and Canada. (Continued on page 12.)
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(Kubik, continued from page 11.) The production of registered Polled Hereford cattle was the ranch’s only income source. To better utilize the acreage, Kubiks began seeding cropland to grass and cross-fencing pastures in 1975. Kubik also participated in numerous local, state and national activities including serving as a 4-H leader; North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association president; Dunn County Agriculture Association president; Dunn County Soil Conservation director; and St. John’s Lutheran Church council president. Frank became a National Cowboy Hall of Fame charter member in 1956. He received the 1950, ‘60 and ‘70 Dunn County Conservation Awards. He was 1974 North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association Seedstock Producer of the Year and was recognized by the Beef Improvement Federation as an outstanding seedstock producer in the nation in 1975. In a recommendation letter written that same year, Raymond J. Douglas of the Dickinson Experiment Station noted, the Kubiks “are a very closeknit group.” They are all “individuals of excellent character, good judgements with each one having real drive and perseverance for handling every detail in a highly-thought-of purebred operation.” Edgar Czarra Jr., Little Antietam Farm, Rohrersville, Md., also recommended Kubik for the BIF award, stating, “There is no one in the beef cattle business whom I respect more or rate higher than Frank Kubik!” Noting the volumes of performance
data collected, Czarra added, “The Kubiks make this data freely available for all their animals–not just the best performers–and hence it has usefulness and reliability . . . Quality and desirable traits are built into Kubik cattle for development on their own without resort(ing) to the grain bucket. In my judgement that is what a true seedstock producer must provide . . . His heart is in his work and his work reflects the real professional that he is.” A cattle herd dispersion was held at the ranch in 1980 and Kubiks sold their ranch to the state that same year. The NDSU Dickinson Experiment Station uses the ranch as a livestock research center. Dickinson State University recognized Kubik with their Alumni Chief Award in 1981 for “distinguished professional and unselfish services.” Frank and Doris moved into Dickinson in 1980, where the couple is active in civic, social and church activities.
Eaton Ranch - Towner The Eaton Ranch was established in 1890, in the Mouse River Valley about seven miles southwest of Towner. It has remained in the Eaton Family for 111 years, with the operation’s principle brand, the 7E, first registered in 1899. The ranch’s founder, James Briggs “J.B.” Eaton, was born in 1858 and was raised on a farm near Tremont, Ill. He came to North Dakota after his junior year at Illinois Wesleyan College, Bloomington, Ill., to seek his fortune. He arrived at Devils Lake in 1882, starting an insurance and real estate business. On one or more trips to the Mouse River country, J.B. realized the area’s ideal ranching opportunities. He traveled west in 1890, and began acquiring valley lands from early homesteaders, first near Velva, then at the present
Towner sandhills location. J.B. married Mabel Chase in 1889. She was the daughter of Jonathan Chase, a pioneer Minnesota lumber man, who through a nephew, Ed Chase, established the first ranch in McKenzie County, near Schafer. This ranch and Chase’s Minnesota timber holdings were swept away in the farm depression of the 1890s. The couple had two children: Jonathan “John” Chase Eaton and Isabel Eaton Dixon. Mabel died in 1905. The following year J.B. married Anna Parker Hillis from Iowa; there weren’t any children from this marriage. Early on the Eaton Ranch raised draft horses, including several hundred Percherons, for the drayage market in the East. Once the gasoline engine put workhorses out of business, the ranch raised commercial and purebred Herefords. Innovative in all of his activities, J.B. was one of the first livestock operators to run his place as a cow/calf outfit, rather than marketing 2and 3-yearold steers as was the common practice. In 1916 he and his son, John, bought top heifer calves from Wyoming and a bunch from the SMS Ranch in Texas. They used these genetics to build a first-class cow herd. Though he didn’t live long enough to see his vision realized, J.B. was the first rancher to propose the flood irrigation system now so vital to Towner ranchers. In the 1920s and even before, he installed large irrigation pumps along the river banks to irrigate adjacent meadows and secured some of the very first state water permits. The Eaton Dam Project was named in his honor. J.B. died in 1930. Upon his death his son, John, assumed ownership/ (Continued on page 13.)
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(Eaton, continued from page 12.) management of the ranch. Under John’s management the ranch more than doubled in size. He established a small herd of purebred Herefords, expanded the commercial herd to more than 300 cows and acquired a large summer pasture around Buffalo Lodge Lake near Granville. John played a leading role in organizing the Eaton Flood Irrigation Project that assures hay crops for area ranchers. He organized the Mouse River Cattlemen’s Association–which later merged with the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. John served as NDSA president from 1947-49, and later as American National Cattlemen’s Association second vice president. He was a key player in organizing large annual horse shows held in Velva through the 1940s. John had other business interests and held public positions, but the ranch was always his first love. He worked as a cowboy throughout his youth and continued to be a skilled horseman, throughout his life. John married Ellen Miller in 1925 with three children born to that union: Jonathan “Jock” Chase Eaton Jr., James Briggs Eaton II and a daughter, Ellen. Ellen Miller Eaton died young; John remarried in 1950, taking Florence Bingham Warner of Fargo as his wife. He remained active at the ranch until his death at age 72 in 1963. Upon John’s death, ranch ownership passed to his eldest son, Jock, a Minot lawyer who had married Betty Arndt in 1950. The couple has two daughters, Mary Eaton Mueller, Denbigh, and Elizabeth Eaton, Globe, Ariz. Following an interval of lease
arrangements, Jock’s daughter, Mary, and her husband, Scott Mueller, began operating the ranch in 1978. Their 16year-old son, William Eaton Mueller, is the fifth generation descendent of the founder. Today, the ranch consists of about 7,500 acres in the sandhills and river bottoms southeast of Denbigh. Together, the Muellers have returned the Eaton Ranch to it’s previous status as one of the Mouse River Valley’s top outfits. They raise commercial cattle and manage the overall operation. They are also active in community affairs, having served on the local school board, county board of commissioners, irrigation district board and other civic and livestock organizations. Mary, a noted horse trainer and riding instructor, organizes and hosts the 7E Barn Burner Endurance Ride at the ranch each fall. The original ranch residence stood until 1996 when it was razed and replaced by a new house, built largely on the same scale as it’s predecessor. Among the last of the out-buildings to go was a two-story men’s bunkhouse (formerly a hardware store in Denbigh), that burned down in the 1970s. An old barn still exists as a reminder of the past. Another interesting relic is a two-seater outhouse called the “Harry Hopkins” after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Relief Administrator and political confidant. Part of FDR’s New Deal was a farm program that subsidized, among other things, new privies for the rural population. The Eatons have had residences and business/professional connections outside McHenry County, but they have always been proud of and devoted to their ranch.
LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE DICKINSON NORTH DAKOTA
– Regular Sale Each Thursday –
Ranch/Rodeo Leaders George M. Christensen, DVM George Christensen was born March 18, 1920, nine miles north of Williston, to Lars and Sena (Dybevik) Christensen who raised cattle, horses and small grains. George grew up learning cowboying techniques which later served him well in his veterinary profession. George graduated from Williston High School in 1937 and joined the National Guard. He served with the 164th Infantry in the South Pacific from 1942-45. As a reconnaissance officer he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He attended North Dakota Agricultural College, Fargo; was accepted to Cornell University’s Veterinary College in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1947 and graduated in 1951. Following graduation he and his wife, Bette (Clausen), whom he had married July 23, 1945, moved to Minot where he became a partner in Minot Veterinary Clinic. He served northwestern North Dakota ranchers and farmers for 34 years, specializing in bovine and equine medicine. He served more than 30 years as North Dakota State Fair veterinarian and was recognized as North Dakota Veterinarian of the Year in 1981. He retired in 1985. Doc George helped establish the first Y’s Men’s Indoor Rodeo in Minot in 1955, the first indoor rodeo in North Dakota. He wrote in 1995, “It was the first indoor rodeo ever staged in North Dakota, with cowboys competing for a $600 purse. Admission fees were $1 for general seating and $1.50 for reserved seats. After everything was (Continued on page 14.)
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(Christensen, cont’d. from page 13.) paid . . . we had a net profit of about $900 to use for the young people in the community.” He was a charter member of the North Dakota Rodeo Association established in 1953 and represented the Minot Y’s Men on the board of directors. He was a North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame charter member and served as a founding board member. He became a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Gold Card member in 1986, and was honored as a John Justin Spirit of the West Award winner. He was well known in rodeo production circles across the country as he worked to secure high quality stock and performers for North Dakota audiences. He served on the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo Committee for 43 years, twice handling the duties as chairman. The 40th Y’s Men’s Rodeo was dedicated to Dr. Christensen, and the October 2000 Y’s Men’s Rodeo was produced in his memory. He helped initiate the Triangle YMCA Camp near Garrison, where thousands of children have an opportunity to ride horses and participate in other outdoor activities. Y’s Men’s Rodeo proceeds are given to the Y-Camp each year and currently total more than $500,000. Doc George was very active in local, state and national affairs as they related to North Dakota issues. After serving many years on the agricultural committee of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, he served as board president; in 1982 he was honored as the North Dakota Agriculturalist of the Year by the Greater North Dakota Association. He was elected mayor of
Minot in 1986 and served until 1994. He was recognized for always sporting a cowboy hat and often appeared horseback in parades. He was a cattle breeder, brand inspector and member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, 50 Years in the Saddle and Minot Trail Riders. Though many issues and functions he worked on were urban in nature, he always remembered his western roots and constantly promoted western heritage and culture. He was noted for his clever mind and droll sense of humor. He loved trail riding and sharing camp fires with friends. Stock contractor Harry Vold, Avondale, Colo., wrote, “I cannot think of anyone more dedicated to the sport of rodeo than Doc George. He has gone out of his way to help rodeo and preserve our western heritage.” Noting Doc George’s long-time support of the western way of life, NDCHF Founding President Evelyn Neuens, Bismarck, wrote, “His friendly, congenial manner and special knowledge of western culture enabled him to feature the wonderful western lifestyle that so many of us enjoy.” Federal District Court Judge Bruce M. VanSickle, Bismarck, a 40-year friend and partner in a cattle operation, described Christensen as “Always quiet, never pretentious, but very beneficial to ranchers/farmers.” North Dakota State Fair Manager Jerry Iverson, Minot, noted that as mayor, George established the first committee to work on expanding the State Fair’s arena complex. Iverson adds, “This is a project that typifies George Christensen’s vision and dedication to agriculture and rodeos.” Tom Lowe, Minot Family YMCA, wrote in his endorsement letter: “Doc George has been the single biggest influence in the continued success of the Y’s Men’s Rodeo since its inception in 1955. Through all the ups and downs of putting on rodeos
for over 40 years, he has been the catalyst and the glue that has held our rodeo together. His belief that the Y’s Men’s Rodeo should always produce the best show possible, with the finest competitors and rodeo stock, has allowed the rodeo to be one of the most respected, not only in North Dakota, but throughout the United States.” Bob Schempp, Minot City Manager during Mayor George’s two terms says, “He handled a myriad of official and unofficial duties with relaxed, western hospitality and dignity.” Doc George died Sept. 9, 2000. He and Bette have one son, Paul, Minot; one daughter, Barbara (Marvin) Semrau, Minot; and two grandchildren.
Earl Northrop As the son of a rancher/horse trader, the cowboy way was ingrained in Earl Northrop even before he was born to Theo and Mabel (Hegarty) Northrop on June 12, 1921, in Monango. He was raised on a ranch at Merricourt, and at an early age, began trailing horses with his father from Mobridge, S.D., to Merricourt. During this time he acquired his life-long love of horses, story telling, laughter and respect for Native American ways. He attended Whitestone Battlefield Grade School; his freshman year was spent at Edgeley High School, Edgeley. In 1936 the family moved to Fargo, where Northrop graduated high school and attended North Dakota Agricultural College. During high school he participated in basketball, track and became a noted Ping-Pong player. He also played amateur baseball until he was 45 years old. Northrop served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After discharge (Continued on page 15.)
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(Northrop, continued from page 14.) he returned to his roots, working for several commission firms at the Union Stockyards, West Fargo, and breaking horses for use in Pennsylvania’s police departments. He started trucking livestock in 1946 and later trucked other agricultural products. He was North Dakota Motor Carrier president in 1965-67 and received the Pioneer Carrier award in 1982. Earl married Lois Ellenson on April 20, 1953. They owned a cow/calf and feeder cattle operation near McLeod from 1958-1962. During this time he rode bareback horses, roped at amateur rodeos, rode three-gaited horses for local stables and began raising cutting horses. He started farming at Harwood in 1966, continuing to breed and raise horses. Perhaps Earl’s most fulfilling life activity was his 35 years of intense involvement with high school rodeo in North Dakota, beginning in 1962. His efforts confirmed his belief that teaching youth to participate in and appreciate cowboy heritage would produce responsible, productive adults. He faithfully served as North Dakota director in the National High School Rodeo Association for 33 years, as well as serving as NHSRA president in 1970 and 1979. He was instrumental in bringing the NHSRA Finals to Fargo in 1979. He was also the NHSRA cutting horse arena director from 1971-96. Throughout his high school rodeo involvement, Northrop took pride in teaching horsemanship and sportsmanship. He was also a founder of the NHSRA Scholarship Foundation and served as chairman from 1971-96. Through all of this involvement kids across North Dakota and the nation came to know and love him as “Uncle Earl.” He knew and loved all the high school rodeo contestants he met. He could call them by their first names and inquire about their families. This amazed onlookers, but Earl just said, “I have never met anyone who I didn’t like and find interesting.” Reigning Miss Rodeo North Dakota Shannon Rustad, Kindred, says, “My
family knew Earl for years and we always called him ‘Uncle Earl.’ He helped my siblings when they competed in high school rodeo (in the 1970s and early ‘80s) and he was still active when I was involved in the ‘90s. He truly represents a real North Dakota rodeo leader. We think he deserves this recognition for all the effort and work that he put into promoting rodeo among youth, both in-state and out-ofstate.” Karen Chilson, West Fargo, adds: “I was West Fargo Chamber of Commerce executive director when the Fargo Chamber got the bid to bring the 1979 NHSRA Finals to Fargo. This man named Earl Northrop came booming into my office one day and we immediately clicked. By getting me involved in high school rodeo and kids, he brought me back to my roots. I grew up in western North Dakota and used to sneak away to Blaisdell to see Andy Moore’s rodeos, but I’d forgotten about blue jeans and sweatshirts and the smell of horses. Earl brought that back to me. Because of Earl and Lois, I left my silly, pretentious life behind and became a better person. He was the best male friend I’ve ever had. “Those who knew Earl can still feel his influence within the Sheyenne Red River High School Rodeo Association. I continue being involved because he taught me that the kids come first. It’s not about power, about being the best or buying the best. It’s about doing the best you can. That was Earl’s theme throughout.” Friends say no one epitomized and believed in North Dakota’s western heritage more than Earl. He got his first horse before he started school and owned horses throughout his life. He was active in the North Dakota Cutting Horse Association, riding Woody Buck, Miss Mill Creek and Benito Pat Star. Among the awards he received were the North Dakota Cutting Horse Association Jim Reno Trophy four times (1959-62) while riding Woody Buck. He also won awards for bareback riding and roping. He was honored to receive numerous NHSRA awards including the 1977
Man of the Year, 1991 Kenny Ivester Award for Dedicated Service and the 1995 Achievement Award which recognized his dedication to rodeo youth. Earl and Lois raised four children: Mary Lou Bradford, Phoenix, Ariz.; Frank (Judi), Alexandria, Va.; Allen (Cheryl) Omaha, Neb.; and Theodore (Janie), Cheyenne, Wyo. They have eight grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren. After a battle with leukemia, Earl died with his boots on, June 24, 1998.
Special Achievement Sanish Rodeo If ever there was an event that drew contestants and crowds, it was the three-day Sanish Rodeo, held each July from 1947-53. In its short, sevenyear existence, the Sanish Rodeo became second in the state in prize money paid, and second-to-none in the number of contestants competing daily. The rodeo was initiated by a group of Sanish-area residents who met in the local fire hall in April 1947, forming the Sanish Rodeo Association. Those elected included: Brooks Keogh, president; E.A. McLaughlin, secretary; Royal Logan, treasurer; Doug McGrady, arena manager; C.A. Pinkering, advertising manager; and directors: Sidney Benn, Fred LaRocque, Harry Mendenhall, Earl Nice and Wendell Van Dyke. Keogh served as president for all seven years. The rodeo site–located southwest of the old Sanish Bridge or almost directly beneath the west portion of the Four Bears Bridge, west of present-day New Town–was leased from Flora Dawson and George Dragswolf. There was easy access to water, lots of trees for camping and picnicking and open space for parking. The association began building corrals, chutes and a grandstand with everything ready in time for the first rodeo, July 3-5, 1947. Events scheduled that first year included: saddle contest, bareback riding, wild horse race, bulldogging, calf roping, relay (Continued on page 16.)
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(Sanish, continued from page 15.) races, wild cow milking, free-for-all horse race and Shetland Pony race. The association was a member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association and the International Rodeo Association. The show ran considerably overtime the first year, mostly because calf ropers were allowed an unlimited amount of time in which to rope their calves. The first year $2,205 was offered in prizes; by the early ‘50s prize money totaled $3,600. Attendance also grew, with 10,292 in paid admissions over three days in 1949. That same year an additional 1,263 tickets at $1 each sold for the popular bowery dances which were held each evening. Thanks in part to glowing reports by Sanish Sentinel Editor C.A. Pinkering, the 1950 crowd was estimated between 18,000 and 20,000 people. Reflections from the July 4, 1950 rodeo report that “three hours before the afternoon program, there was a 2-mile-long line of cars waiting to get through the gate. The only accident reported all day . . . was suffered by a youngster who burned his finger on a firecracker.” Sanish bronc rider Charles Hoffman was the top prize-money winner in 1950, earning $229 in three days. Allaround honors went to Dean Armstrong, Sentinel Butte, who received a silver buckle and a $200 hand-made saddle. In 1952, Jim Tescher won all-around cowboy honors and claimed $575. The colorful pageantry of the Old West came alive at the Sanish Rodeo when hundreds of Indian families
from the reservation pitched tents in the shadow of Mount Crow Flies High and attended the event bedecked in their feather- and bead-covered native costumes. Some of the Indians drove to the encampment in shiny, newmodel sedans. Others preferred travois, an early form of transportation on the Dakota prairies. Indian dancers, from youth to elders, performed between rodeo events and many of the top-notch rodeo riders were from the reservation. Area bands marched in the parades and performed concerts before each rodeo. Promoters also brought in specialty acts, such as a world-famous three-horse Roman rider who performed a fire jump and the world’s only standing Roman jump on the backs of Brahman bulls. Recalling the Sanish Rodeo, Kaye Nelson, Grassy Butte, who attended in the company of her mother or grandparents says, “It was huge. It was absolutely fantastic! We looked forward to it on a year-around basis and really enjoyed it.” She continues: “The people in Sanish and the surrounding area worked like crazy on it. When you’d go to Sanish near rodeo time there’d be signs in the store windows saying ‘Down at the arena.’ They were all down there working. Brooks Keogh was a fabulous organizer and promoter. “Everybody took a big picnic lunch in those days. We’d spread a blanket by the car to eat: watermelon and everything. The grand entry was a real pageant of Native Americans, chuckwagons and riders; it was a status symbol to ride in it. They had different bands every day and music that accompanied the rodeo. There was a huge carnival. I remember the trick riders and ropers; they were nationally recognized. Truman Wold from Watford City always announced it; he had a really rich voice and did a super
job.” Nelson adds, “It was really an extravaganza. It’s just a tragedy that it didn’t continue. The spirit was just out of this world.” Kathleen Keogh Spicer, Napa, Calif., a daughter of Brooks Keogh, says of the annual event, “I remember the carnival. My Aunt Margaret Goodall ran the Sanish Hotel–it was two stories! I remember winning (live) little ducks as prizes at the carnival. Back at the hotel we kept them in the trash baskets for overnight containment.” She adds, “My dad was always proud of the big covered grandstand: a very unusual thing in those days. Fettigs and Greenough & Orr were the stock contractors; stock included the famous Spur Dodger, Ryan Special and Mix Master. The arena was grass-covered, so the timed events were quite exciting with a lot of slipping and sliding!” She concludes, “The Sanish Rodeo was really a salute to the times: World War II was over so people were home; it was a community celebration.” Though the rodeo was a grand social event, construction of Garrison Dam doomed the production. The last rodeo was held in 1953, with the 9th pier of the bridge having just been completed. Northern Exposition Shows once again operated a carnival midway, and extra interest was added by the new bridge construction nearby. An estimated 15,000 people attended the last rodeo. Thereafter, the Sanish Rodeo Association disbanded. The grandstands sold to Schnell Livestock Auction, Dickinson, and a Twin Buttes group acquired the corrals. Today, the Sanish Rodeo’s short but colorful history lives on in the memories of those who participated and attended.
Arts & Entertainment Frank Bennett Fiske Frank Bennett Fiske, the last in a significant line of photographers attached to Missouri River military posts, was born June 11, 1883, at old Fort Bennett, 30 miles north of Pierre in (Continued on page 17.)
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(Fiske, continued from page 16.) southern Dakota Territory. When he was only six months old, his father left the military and moved the family to a ranch up the river, about 60 miles from Pierre. George Edward and Louise (Otter) Fiske gave up ranching during the 1888 drought, with George accepting work as a civilian wagon master with the U.S. Army at Fort Yates in April 1889. From 1890 to 1900, Frank Fiske attended school at Fort Yates and at the boarding school with the Indian children. He spent summers herding cows for families at the fort, taking them out onto the prairie and bringing them back again each day. He enjoyed playing violin, working as a cabin boy on steamboats and helping in the local photograph gallery operated by S.T. “Dick” Fansler. His boyhood dream was to be a steamboat pilot. When his parents moved to a ranch near Fort Rice, probably in the fall of 1899, Fiske stayed at Fort Yates. The fort photographer decided not to return from the South that year, so the teenager opened his own commercial studio. It was a busy time of picturetaking until 1903 when the fort was abandoned. Frank then had time to study the Indians and became proficient at photographing them in various poses. He spent time making studies of his friends and acquaintances including Indian chiefs, warriors, their wives and children. Having grown up and attended school with Indians on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of North and South Dakota, he developed a deep appreciation for their culture. A notation by the University of Washington’s Rod Slemmons, on file at the State Historical Society notes, “It is clear from the portraits that these people liked and respected the daring young man with the magic box.” State Historical Society Photo Archivist Sharon Silengo, Bismarck, who contributed to this biography, says, “If you look at the series of photos, from (when he started at age 16) until when he died, his technique changed. He knew the people he was photographing.”
Through the years Frank spent brief periods operating a studio in Bismarck and working in the Butler Studio there. He then returned to Fort Yates, where a run-away buggy accident broke his leg and prevented him from working for several months. He applied for a steamboat position, probably in 1912. While working under Captain Grant Marsh, he photographed different seasons of the Missouri River, showing it at high water and with ice choking it. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War I, Fiske married Angela Cournoyer, whom he had met 10 years earlier. They married at Armour, S.D., on Fiske’s birthday, June 11, 1918. After a short honeymoon the couple was back at Fort Yates. He continued his photography and spent most of his remaining life photographing formal portraits, f a i r s , rodeos, weddings and dances. He also worked three years as Sioux County auditor and later county treasurer. Angela did substitute teaching in the agency school. From 192528, he moved his family and studio to McLaughlin, S.D., then back to Fort Yates. He worked as Sioux County Pioneer-Arrow publisher from 192939. He wrote two books, “The Taming of the Sioux” in 1917 and “Life and Death of Sitting Bull” in 1933. Fiske’s photos document everyday life early in the last century, principally 1900-28, with emphasis on the Fort Yates area. He was best known for his Standing Rock Sioux portraits, winning the North Dakota Art Award in 1950. The images identified the featured subjects, appearing on postcards and calendars; his picture of Red Tomahawk was reproduced on North Dakota highway markers. Other portraits documented transportation, homesteads, the hard life and fun times that settlers experienced.
His style emphasized realism, balanced composition and a sharp focus–using one spotlight to dramatically portray the subject’s face. The detail is so precise that individual beads can be identified in the Native American dress. His initial photos were captured on dry plates, with prints made using sun processes or a solar enlarger. He later used flexible film. He did not attempt to hide evidence of the 20th Century. Some photos reveal Army-issue long johns peeking out underneath traditional outfits while other subjects are dressed in work clothes of the era. He wrote in a letter to a friend, “Photography has been my life work and I have what is considered to be the finest collection of Indian photos obtained in recent years . . . Had I followed up this profession and gone to a larger field, I, no doubt, would have been very successful. But my love of the Indians and reservation life held me here.” According to the December 1942 North Dakotan, he was a fiddler, had a keen appreciation for the beauty of nature, and a real love for the Big Muddy. In June 1947, Fiske and Fort Yates teacher Bill Lemons took a prolonged canoe trip from Hardin, Mont., to Bismarck. The trip was to celebrate Bismarck’s Golden Jubilee, but they arrived two days after the celebration ended. (Barr’s News, Lansing, Iowa, Jan. 29, 1996). Fiske died July 18, 1952, in Bismarck, at age 69. He and Angela had one daughter, Francine Fiske (Lt. Dale E.) Peters, and five grandchildren. After his death the family retained ownership of the photo collection stored at the Society’s headquarters. In 1970 the Historical Society, with the help of the Gold Seal Company, acquired the collection. Later, more original studio prints were donated. Today, the state’s collection of Fiske’s work numbers 7,893 individually numbered prints, as well as his diaries and bookkeeping journals, audio tapes and an incomplete biography. (Biographies continue on page 18.)
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Great Westerner Sakakawea Sakakawea grew up on the Northern Plains in the place now known as North Dakota. Not only was she the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, she was the o n l y woman. Her role in the expedition and her contributions to the success of the Northwest Corps of Discovery’s grueling journey to the Pacific Coast and back have rendered her the most celebrated woman in American history. The Lewis and Clark Expedition embarked on their journey up the Missouri River in May 1804. Having followed the instructions of President Thomas Jefferson to “follow the Missouri River, from its mouth to the Mandan nation,” the Northwest Corps of Discovery arrived in the homelands of the Mandan and Hidatsa in late October 1804. They constructed their winter quarters near the confluence of the Missouri and Knife Rivers and named it Fort Mandan in honor of the people who greeted them and served as their hosts and trade associates throughout the winter of 1804-1805. While constructing their winter quarters, the captains met two French fur traders who had been living among the Mandan and Hidatsa for a number of years. Rene Jusseume and Touissant Charbonneau were both hired as interpreters for the Northwest Corps of Discovery. When Charbonneau and his young wife, Sakakawea, moved into Fort Mandan in late November 1804, they were expecting their first child. Many historical accounts indicate that Sakakawea was born a Shoshone.* Others believe she was born Hidatsa. Either way, her Hidatsa name means Bird Woman and she
grew into womanhood at Awatixa, a Hidatsa village along the Knife River near present day Stanton. On February 11, 1805, she gave birth to a son who was named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. When her infant was only 55 days old, she and her husband joined Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they continued their arduous journey to the Pacific Ocean and back. Between April 7, 1805 and August 17, 1806, Sakakawea courageously and selflessly served as a guide, interpreter, food gatherer, caregiver, and most importantly, a symbol of peace for the Northwest Corps of Discovery. She traveled over 5,000 miles enduring incredibly harsh elements throughout most of the journey: wind and blowing sand, pelting rain and hail, thorns and cactus spines, gnats and mosquitos, dangerous rapids and snow-covered mountains; physical challenges and illness; all the while, caring for her child who was less than two months old when she left and 19 months old when she returned. Many believe Sakakawea died in 1812, as a young woman at Fort Manual Lisa, about 70 miles south of Bismarck. Other accounts indicate she returned to the Shoshone tribe and lived to be an elderly woman.* Although Sakakawea was the only working member of the Corps of Discovery who did not receive monetary compensation upon completion of the 1804-1806 expedition, her services and contributions have not gone unrewarded. As we travel from coast to coast we find more rivers, streams, mountain tops, parks, schools, girl scout councils, women’s organizations, businesses, and websites named for this woman than for any other woman in American history. The U.S. Dollar Coin now bears her image. The controversy and disagreement over Sakakawea’s early life, her death and burial site, and her name, remain. However, these ongoing debates have undoubtedly contributed to the ever increasing interest and fascination with this remarkable young woman. Sakakawea has left a lasting imprint in
American history, not because of her place of birth or death, but rather, for her contributions and her presence throughout the Northwest Corps of Discovery’s grueling journey to the Pacific Ocean and back. In 2003 North Dakota and the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Tribes expect to gather at National Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. to dedicate a statue bearing the image of Sakakawea and her child. Sakakawea was given her Hidatsa name, Bird Woman, at her Knife River home of Awatixa. She lived, worked, and learned among the Mandan and Hidatsa at their Knife River Villages. The people of North Dakota and the Three Affiliated Tribes can take pride in the way this woman’s life was influenced and molded by our people, and how her life with us led her to becoming a part of one of this nation’s most compelling adventures. (Editor’s notes added (*). The NDCHF expresses thanks to Three Affiliated Tribes Director of Tourism Amy Mossett, New Town, for preparing this biography. Mossett is a Mandan-Hidatsa and a Sakakawea researcher.)
1998 1999 2000 Induction Ceremony Videos Available $25 each Contact the NDCHF office at 701-250-1833.
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Nelson Named to NDCHF Board Robyn Nelson, Pembina, was recently named to the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame board of directors. Robyn is a Dickinson State University elementary education major who will graduate in December 2001. This summer she is interning with DSU, the Medora H e r i t a g e Commission; North Dakota Humanities Council and Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, leading, “Footsteps into Medora’s Past,” a guided walking tour of the town of Medora. “I grew up on historic sites, so I’ve spent my life doing living history,” she says. Her father, Vance, is
the State Historical Society of North Dakota eastern regional manager. Robyn is also pursuing a history minor. Robyn reigned as Miss Rodeo North Dakota 2000. “That was an absolutely wonderful experience,” she says. “When I went to Las Vegas (to compete in the Miss Rodeo America pageant) my display table recognized the NDCHF and our state’s strong heritage of western tradition.” Now, Robyn is working to develop a trick riding rodeo contract act. She is the daughter of Vance and Karen Nelson, Pembina, and has two brothers, Mike (Janna) Freimuth, Coatesville, Ind., Shawn (Dionne) Nelson, Wilton; and a new nephew, Carson Freimuth.
Join the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Corral The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation and all contributions are tax deductible. • Kid Corral – $10 annually Membership card and newsletter.
•Wrangler Club – $50 annually All Kid Corral incentives plus bumper sticker and invitations to NDCHF events.
•Ranch Boss Club – $100 annually All Wrangler incentives plus window decal and limited-edition NDCHF coffee mug.
•Silver Buckle Club - $250 annually All Ranch Boss incentives plus autographed photo of first Hall of Fame inductees.
•Gold Buckle Club – $500 annually All Silver Buckle incentives plus limited-edition NDCHF poster.
Just a Reminder! Please pay your ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP dues to the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame!
•Diamond Saddle Club – $1,000 annually All Gold Buckle incentives plus NDCHF founders plaque and listing on member’s wall at Hall of Fame.
•Trail Drivers Club – $5,000 annually All Diamond Saddle incentives plus NDCHF commemorative sculpture and access to reserved seating at NDCHF events.
•Bronc Rider Club – $10,000 annually All Trail Drivers incentives plus a professionallyproduced five-minute video segment on family and family history shot on-location in North Dakota. A copy of the tape will be retained in NDCHF archives.
North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Contributions/Memorials Membership Contribution of $_________________Category______________________________ Memorial gift of $_________________ in honor of ______________________________________ Name_________________________________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________________________ City___________________State___________Zip Code____________Phone________________ Visa or Mastercard_____________________________________Exp. Date__________________ Mail this form (or a copy of it) along with your check to: North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1110 College Drive, Suite 212, Bismarck, N. D., 58501
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Gerald “Gerry” Groenewold, Grand Forks NDCHF District: 10 Family: wife, Connie; three sons, Gerd, Nikolaus, Justin. Occupation: Director of Energy and Environmental Research Center at University of North Dakota What was your first job? “Picking rocks at .50¢ per hour.” How did you choose your line of work? “My geology hobby became my job.” First horse: “Sam. I grew up on him. He came from the Sandhills of Nebraska and was a great horse for working cows.” Favorite Ranching Memory: “I spent part of a family vacation on a relative’s ranch near Ringling, Mont., when I was 6 years old. The entire experience imprinted on my soul–I never recovered!” When you were 13, what did you want to be when you grew up? “A cowboy.” Favorite rodeo event: “Bull riding, because of the action.” Name five things you like: “The American West; antique firearms; historic American Indian art; horse-drawn vehicles and antique automobiles.” One unique thing about yourself: “I restored a stagecoach that once belonged to Buffalo Bill Cody.” What would you do with $1 million? “I would buy a historic ranch.” Latest book read: “Undaunted Courage.” Greatest learning experience: “Working with my father. He was a penniless immigrant who had great dreams and achieved most of them.” Who do you consider a hero? “My father–he was the best! Mark Twain–he told the truth and always added humor.” Advice for a young person: “Care about people; keep it simple, smart and honest.” Honors and accomplishments: “(I won a) national award from the Antique Automobile Club of America in February 2001 for the restoration of our 1908 Kissel Tourabout.” Why do you support the NDCHF? “We are all a reflection of our history. If we do not know and preserve our history, we do not know ourselves.”
Armstrong Publishes “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” A lifetime of admiring cowboy heroes and 10 years of marriage to NDCHF inductee Dean Armstrong inspired Fran Armstrong to publish, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.” The 200-page, 8 1/2 X 11-inch, softcover book was released April 6. “Heroes” is filled with cowboy narrative, anecdotes, poems, informal biographies, rodeo and ranching photos and humorous sketches by artist and NDCHF inductee Ted Cornell.
The stories are those experienced by a variety of cowboys, told and retold by them and their friends. “The book actually began when I met Dean 12 years ago,” Fran explains. “That cowboy talk of his always got me.” Four years ago the former Beulah elementary teacher used the cowboy stories she had compiled as the basis for her master’s thesis. Topics include Dean’s family, his rodeo and ranching comrades, his race-horse days, modern-day rodeo cow-
boys and Fran’s cowboy relatives. Other stories portray the author’s love of the land and special horses. For example, four pages are dedicated to Red, a big-hearted, high-strung horse that Dean rode on the ranch for many years. The book tells that he eventually sold Red to Connecticut horse trader Steve Chase. Dean later asked about Red and Chase replied, “Oh, the last time I saw him, a little old lady in an English saddle was ridin’ him over the hill!” The Armstrongs split their time between a winter home in Beulah and summers at Dean’s family’s ranch, the Diamond Bar Bed & Breakfast, north of Sentinel Butte. To order a book, send $15.99 plus $3 shipping and handling to Fran Armstrong, Box 554, Beulah, ND, 58523. For inquiries call 701-623-4913 or 873-5117.
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Vonny Young, Bismarck
NDCHF District: 9 Family: one daughter, Michelle Dissette, Waconia, Minn., and a few distant cousins. Occupation: Retired and enjoying every day! What was your first job? “Ticket agent for Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis. It was war-time, 1943-45, so salaries were low. I believe my monthly check was $490.” Favorite Rodeo Event: “Steer wrestling – the animal is usually as good as the cowboy, so it’s a thrilling contest.” First horse: “Dolly, a Shetland pony that arrived in Cannon Ball on the ‘Galloping Goose’ (train) when I was 4 years old. We had great times together.” Favorite Ranching Memory: “In 1942 I was a guest at the McGinness Hereford Ranch, Excelsior Springs, Mo. I had a neat Quarter Horse to ride and never before had seen so many white faces.” First Rodeo Experience: “The Mandan Rodeo was a must-see for the Young family.” When you were 13, what did you want to be when you grew up? “Not a nurse, I couldn’t tolerate cuts and bruises, so I’d say, a secretary.” Name five things you like: “Horses, of course; dogs; politics; gourmet food and traveling the Western United States.” Who do you consider a hero? “Former President Reagan. He pulled the country together and made the majority of citizens proud to be Americans!” Free-time activity: “Something new–birding. I hadn’t realized that North Dakota is a bird haven. It’s so relaxing.” Latest book read: “Coming Home” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Greatest learning experience: “It started with my Grandfather Wilcox at Cannon Ball. He told me stories of Lewis & Clark. I was enthralled and therefore have been more or less a student of their unbelievable journey.” Advice for a young person: “Be persistent and follow through on your desires.” Honors and accomplishments: Appointed and reappointed to the Governor’s Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Advisory Committee. Why do you support the NDCHF? “Our western heritage must be preserved for future generations.”
50 Years in the Saddle Holds Annual Roundup requirements changed. Membership is 50 Years in the Saddle held its annual charter members are deceased. As the years passed membership now open to men and women who roundup on June 16 in Watford City. have long been involved About 85 members and with horses and livestock. guests gathered for a deliCurrently, members must cious roast beef meal, be at least 58 years old. business meeting and However, a motion was humorous entertainment introduced at the meeting by cowboy poet Bill to lower the membership Lowman, Sentinel Butte. age requirement to 55. The social organization The motion will be diswas founded by 22 piocussed and voted on in neer working cowboys on June 2002. May 26, 1957, at New Today, the organization Town. Their goal was to continues to preserve gather annually “to prewestern history and has serve memories and tradimore than 130 members tions.” Membership was from North Dakota, limited to those who Montana, Minnesota and “shall have been a workofficers of 50 Years in the Saddle are (left to right): Arlene Arizona. The group is a ing cowboy pertaining to Current Isaak, Arnegard, president; Orvel Thorp, Watford City, vice president; useful handling of stock Millie Jean Ceynar, Arnegard, secretary; Milton Wold, Watford City, charter member of the NDCHF. as of 1907 or before.” All treasurer; and Rose Eschenko, Grassy Butte, historian.
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Legislature Approves $100,000 for NDCHF Lardinois Family with Fiddlin’ Johnny to Perform at Induction
North Dakota Governor John Hoeven signed the $100,000 appropriations bill while surrounded by an spirited group of NDCHF supporters including (front row, L to R): Pearl Cullen, Mandan; Evelyn Neuens, Bismarck; Hoeven; Rep. Bill Bowman, Bowman; (center row, L to R): Ginny Eck, Bismarck; Renae Doan, McKenzie; (back row, L to R): Bob Tibor, Hebron; Cloverdale’s TJ Russell; Phil Baird, Mandan; Sen. Steve Tomac, St. Anthony; Rep. Ron Carlisle, Bismarck; Sen Dave Nething, Jamestown; Rep. Merle Boucher, Rolette; Rep. Mike Timm, Minot, and Darrell Dorgan, Bismarck.
The 2001 State Legislature provided the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame with a big financial boost when senators and representatives voted unanimously to approve SB2195. The bill appropriates $100,000 toward Hall of Fame construction costs. NDCHF Executive Director Darrell Dorgan, who covered 13 legislative sessions as a reporter, says this is the first time he remembers an appropriations bill for a project like the NDCHF passing unanimously and with little debate. “Legislators seem to realize that we have something special happening in Medora and see the significance of preserving yesterday and today for tomorrow,” Dorgan says. He notes that legislators who are NDCHF members really took the bill and ran with it. “Senator Bill Bowman (R), Bowman, whose legislative district is the Hall of Fame’s home, led the charge in the Senate. Representative Ron Carlisle (R), Bismarck, a NDCHF Trustee, was the driving force in the House.” Co-sponsors were Rep. Mike Timm (R),
Minot, and Sen. Dave Nething, (R), Jamestown, both of whom are appropriation committee chairs. Sen. Steve Tomac (D), St. Anthony, and House Minority Leader Merle Boucher (D), Rolette, are NDCHF members who also sponsored the bill and worked the floor. Those testifying before the appropriations committees included: NDCHF members and Reps. Robert Heuther (D), Lisbon, and Arlo Schmidt (D) Maddock; former Miss Rodeo North Dakotas Shanda Doan, McKenzie (whose mother, Renae, also promoted the bill as Senate Majority Leader secretary), and Robyn Nelson, Pembina; former governor and NDCHF Trustee Art Link, as well as NDCHF Board Members Phil Baird, Evelyn Neuens, Winston Satran and Willard Schnell. Since the state cannot directly appropriate money to a non-profit organization, funds were appropriated to the North Dakota Tourism Department and will in turn be granted to the NDCHF.
“Incredible Six” Videos are available for $25 each. • Dean Armstrong • Joe Chase • Duane Howard • • Alvin Nelson • Jim Tescher • Tom Tescher •
To order, call the NDCHF office at 701-250-1833.
The renowned Lardinois Family, Bismarck, will add western dance atmosphere and unequaled musical quality to the Aug. 4 NDCHF induction ceremony at Tjaden Terrace, Medora. Their musical prelude begins at 12 p.m. MDT. John Sr. and Susan Lardinois met in music theory class in college and music has always been a family priority. Their older son, John Owen, started playing violin at age 4 at the Suzuki School of Music. Today, the 21-year-old “Fiddlin’ Johnny,” is the centerpiece of the family’s musical group. His success is credited to endless hours with bow and violin in hand. He says he finds fiddling less rigid and more creative than classical violin. John Owen chooses to keep music a top priority. Meanwhile his sister, Jeanette, 19, plays the mandolin; Daniel, 17, plays the cello and John Sr. accompanies them all on his guitar. Susan manages the group, making sure their show gets on the road. John Owen has won numerous fiddling championships across the Midwest in the last ten years. In 1997 he placed third in the junior division of the National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest in Weiser, Idaho. Available CDs include: •Aural History (1994), which spans musical traditions from Civil War times to present. •Cowboy Legacy (1997), presents rich fiddle tradition and chronicles the fiddle’s role in the cattle drives from Texas to the Dakotas. The recording includes 12 pages of liner notes and photographs detailing the fiddle’s importance to cowboys. •Lewis & Clark, (1998), is a musical journey following the 1802 expedition up the Missouri River, and includes a 24-page booklet detailing music’s role in the expedition. To purchase CDs check local stores or call Chairmaker’s Rush/Makoché Recording at (800) 637-6863.
The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001 • Page 23
Frankly, NDCHF Beef Hot Dogs are Down-right Tasty The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and Cloverdale Foods are relishing the fact that NDCHF Beef Franks have mustard-up quite a following in their first few months of distribution. “We’ve been demonstrating them quite heavily and comments have been very positive,” says Cloverdale Marketing Manager Donna Thronson, Mandan. “Cowboy Hall of Fame supporters have been doing an absolutely wonderful job getting out there and pushing the product.” When grilled for examples, Thronson cited May 4, the day the hot dogs were demonstrated at Cashwise Foods in Fargo/Moorhead. “The meat manager said we should come back again because they actually ran out of inventory,” she says. “That’s good. People are sampling them and loving them.” NDCHF members will demostrate the franks at Fargo/Moorhead Hornbacher’s stores on July 14, in conjunction with the state’s Pride of Dakota program. Franks will also be available for $1 each at the Aug. 4 NDCHF Induction in Medora. That evening the franks will be featured at the Medora Musical. In addition, the Alerus Center and Ralph Engelstad Arena, both in Grand Forks, recently committed to offering the NDCHF Beef Frank at all major events.
During an April 24 press conference heritage,” says TJ Russell, CEO of at the Heritage Center in Bismarck, Cloverdale Foods. “We’re very proud Gov. John Hoeven took the ceremonial of this product. It’s honest, wholefirst bite of the Cowboy Hall of Fame some and hearty. These are qualities Frank and stated, “Best darn hot dog I that pay homage to the North Dakota ever had.” Noting that this project is a cowboy.” (Editor’s Note: Please clip and use great example of adding value to an agricultural project, Hoeven noted, the money-saving coupon below and “This is exactly the kind of thing we serve the franks at your next cookout. In the event that NDCHF Beef Franks need to do more of in North Dakota.” The premium beef franks that taste are not available in a meat case near so good nestled in a fresh coney bun you, please ask your retailer to sell in one-pound retail packages each ketchup on what’s new by adding containing six franks. A portion of them to his inventory.) sale revenues are donated to the NDCHF. Cloverdale’s goal is to raise between $10,000 and $20,000 for the Hall of Fame in the p r o d u c t ’s first year. “Cloverdale is anchored in ranching country, so we wanted to do something to promote the Cowboy supporters across the state are enthusiastically demonstrating Hall of NDCHF NDCHF Beef Franks in local stores. Those offering free samples at Fame and Mark-It Foods in Stanley in late April were Arnie Addicott, Meyer our western Kinnoin, and Ken Halvorson, serving Diane Kinnoin. (New Town News photo)
Page 24 • The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001
NDCHF Colt/Stud Fee Consignments to sell August 25 NDCHF Trustee John W. “Jack” Murphy, Steele, is hosting the Murphy Ranch Horse Sale, with guest consignor Eszlinger Quarter Horse Ranch, Ashley, on August 25 at Kist Livestock Auction, Mandan. Murphy invites and encourages any NDCHF member or trustee to consign NDCHF colt or stud fee donations to be auctioned at his sale. He will help promote the NDCHF consignments and encourages donors to create an 8 1/2 X 5 1/2-inch promotional page about their colt or stallion, which can be inserted into the sale catalog. “That might stir some interest too,” he says. The Murphy/Eszlinger sale begins at 5 p.m., offering nearly 20 colts. “They’re all shaping up real nice, with round bodies and nice heads on them,” he says, noting that his dad, George, started breeding and marketing horses more than 50 years ago. In addition, Murphy is donating a sorrel stud colt with three socks and a strip face to the NDCHF. Sired by Perrins Doc Bar Jack, A.K.A. Hiram, the colt was born May 7 and is out of Blackie’s Becky, a daughter of Mr.
Dusty Blackie. “She goes back to foundation breeding,” he says. Two other NDCHF consignments to the sale include stud fees: •Burchill Quarter Horses, Valley City is donating one stud fee to their buckskin stallion, Lucky Seven Dunit, for the 2002 breeding season. Lucky is a
grandson of the National Reining Horse Association’s all-time leading sire, Hollywood Dun It, and a son of Dun Its Lucky Charm. The two-time American Quarter Horse Association World Show qualifier boasts multiple futurity championships among his honors. Burchills will limit the number of outside mares reserved with
North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Past Inductees Rodeo ‘98 ‘98 ‘98 ‘98 ‘99 ‘99 ‘99 ‘99 ‘00 ‘00 ‘00 ‘00
Duane Howard Alvin Nelson Jim Tescher Tom Tescher Dean Armstrong Emanuel Chase Joe Chase Pete Fredericks Gene McCormick Louie Pelissier Fettig Brothers Rodeo Old Shep
Ranching ‘98 ‘98 ‘98 ‘98 ‘99 ‘99
Vic Christensen A.C. Huidekoper Angus Kennedy Sr. John Leakey Paige Baker Sr. John W. Goodall
(Ranching, continued:) ‘99 Frank P. Keogh ‘99 Cannonball Ranch ‘00 Ben Bird ‘00 Bill Follis ‘00 Ole Solberg ‘00 Eaton’s Custer Trail Ranch
Special Achievement ‘98 Killdeer Roundup Rodeo ‘99 Dickinson Match of Champions ‘00 HOTR Champions’ Ride
Arts & Entertainment ‘98 Louis L’Amour ‘99 Ted Cornell ‘00 Cy Taillon
Great Westerner ‘99 Theodore Roosevelt ‘00 Ray Schnell
Lucky, so this is a don’t-miss opportunity. For more information call Duane and Mary Burchill at 701-845-2906 or Bryan Wolla at 701-845-0784. •Gietzen Quarter Horses, Halliday, is donating one stud fee to a King-bred stud, a 3-year-old dark bay that NDCHF Trustee Glen Gietzen recently purchased out of Yuma, Colo. “This is a classy-looking stud that traces back to King six times. He’s foundation bred and AQHA registered,” Gietzen says. “He’s cow-horse deluxe. If people want a cow horse they go to King.” There is a minimum bid of $100 for the stud fee. For more information call Gietzen at 701-938-4744. Both stud fee donors plan to display their studs at the Mandan sale. Anyone else wishing to donate a colt or stud fee to this sale, please contact the NDCHF at 701-250-1833. For more information about consignments or the Murphy/Eszlinger sale offering call Jack Murphy at 701-3278341; Delbert Eszlinger at 701-2883895 or Rodney Eszlinger at 701-2883661.
Roosevelt Medal of Honor Displayed in North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt’s Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military medal, recently toured North Dakota. Roosevelt–the NDCHF’s first Great Westerner inductee–received the medal posthumously for his efforts as an Army lieutenant colonel during the 1898 Spanish-American War. He led his troops, the Rough Riders, on charges during the Battle of San Juan Heights in Cuba. The Roosevelt family intends to give the metal to the White House. They hope to display it in the White House’s Roosevelt room, along with the Nobel Peace Prize that Roosevelt received for his efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. (The Dickinson Press and its Regional Editor Richard Volesky contributed information to this story.)
The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001 • Page 25
Come ‘n get it!
Krinke Donates Studebaker Chuckwagon to NDCHF Thanks to North Dakota native Vern Krinke, Auburn, Wash., the NDCHF has a fully-restored Studebaker chuckwagon. “I found a bunch of old wagon carcasses in a ranch junk pile at Saratoga, Wyo., back in about 1970. I started restoring it,” Krinke explains. “I’m only an amateur restorer, but I know what they’re supposed to look like. I’ve tried to keep it as authentic as possible.” Once the initial work was done, Krinke put the vehicle to use; he spent about 30 years catering chuckwagon dinners. “We’d bury beef in the ground for 12 hours and make homemade beans, just like they used to do at roundup time.” The chuckwagon fed several hundred thousand people through the years. Reflecting on chuckwagon history, he laughs, “Generally it was some old stoved-up cowboy that ended up being the camp cook. I’m a little on the crippled side now, so I fit right in!”
His main employment was as a World Book/Childcraft salesman, manager and trainer, but on the side, he was a “camp cook.” He says, “I’ve enjoyed it immensely. “I tried riding broncs years ago. I wasn’t good like Tom Tescher or any of those guys; I got dropped on my head a few times. They were my heroes back in those days. I wasn’t good enough to do that so I had to do something else.” Krinke grew up at Haley, which was located south of Scranton. “It was just a little village but it was the oldest town in the county,” he says. “We had the post office there years ago. I still own that and the old hotel. Of course, it’s all closed up. We farmed and ranched in North and South Dakota and my brother, Neil, still does.” Now, Vern Krinke is ready to slow down and feels the NDCHF is a good place for his chuckwagon, his pride and joy. “I’ve offered to do a chuckwagon dinner–maybe as my swan
Activity Corral Horse Anatomy bridge of nose cheek chin crest ears eyes facial crest forehead lips mane muzzle neck nostril poll throat latch
(Editor’s Note: The NDCHF expresses heart-felt thanks to Solen artist Scott Nelson for providing the horse sketch for the Activity Corral feature. Be sure to find the 15 hidden words–frontwards, backwards or diagonally–then try your hand at sketching the horse.)
North Dakota native Vern Krinke, Auburn, Wash., donated a fully-restored Studebaker chuckwagon to the NDCHF. He found the wagon carcass in a ranch junk pile at Saratoga, Wyo., back in about 1970, then authentically restored it.
song–as a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame.” He concludes, “I am very, very pleased to be a part of the Cowboy Hall of Fame in this way. I feel honored and look forward to anything more that I might be able to do.”
Page 26 • The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001
Cowboy Hall of Fame Sustaining Members Contribute The following are new North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame sustaining members. To contribute to the sustaining drive or building fund, please complete and mail the form on page 19. Diamond Saddle ($1,000 annually) A.G. & Norene Bunker Gold Buckle ($500 annually) Don E. Beckert Ray Gress* Tom & Marge Gunderson Dakota Classic Beef Gerald & Kathy Henry Allan W. Thompson Silver Buckle ($250 annually) Bob & Alexzine Brooks Adam Schulz Lowell Malard* - Pfizer Allen & Tammy Ryberg* Vonny Young* Trophy Spurs ($200 annually) Bob Aber Karen Brookhart* Fay G. & Lynn F. Connell* Paul Christensen* MaryAnn & Patrick Durick* Pete Fredericks* Allan & Patricia Goerger* Victor & Gail Goetz* Steve & Patti Goodall* Bud & Laura Griffin* Ken Halvorson* Cary & Margie Hande* Roswell Henke* DeVerne Hoggarth* Gordan A. Jensen* Barbra Johnson* Grant J. Johnson* Dan Kalil* Guida M. Zwick Karlstad* Bruce & Kathleen Kautzman* Arthur & Grace Link*
Bob Miller* Randy & Sue Mosser* John W. “Jack” Murphy* Larry & Peg Njos* Bob Penfield* Ross Rolshoven* Donald & Sandra Sivertson* Kay Stevenson* Ryan M. Taylor* H. Patrick & Diane Weir* Alden & Almeda Wolfgram* Ranch Boss ($100 annually) Lynn & Janet Asheim* Elmer & Ella Agnew* American Petroleum Instutute Dickinson Chapter Claudia Berg Clinton & Vera Bergstrom* J.W. & Marjorie Boulware* Arnold & Sharon Burian* Adolph & Jorine Burkhardt Dale & Mary Carlson* Dale L. Chilson* Bill & Minnie Diss Byron & Kim Dorgan Darrell & Kathy Dorgan Alick Dvirnak George & Myrtle Dynes Jerry & Beaty Engels* Wade & Vicki Entze LeRoy & Carla Fettig William & Kay Fortier* Fort Union Artist’s Assn. Patricia Franzen Robert & Wilma Freise George “Woody” Gagnon* B & T Galusha Rodney Griebel Randy & Laurie Hatzenbuhler Dean & Arlene Helling* Arnold & Lois Hilleran Kent & Marilyn Hudson* Jim Hystad* Viola Kennedy Roy & Joan Kittelson Kohler Communications Richard & Kay Kuske* Mrs. Louis L’Amour Barbara S. Lang* Jim & Dona Lowman*
Eugene & Beverly Meiers* Gordon & Joyce Myran William Neuens Doug Pope* Kirt & Rorrie Sabrowsky Ray & Beverly Sandness Willard & Linda Schnell Bob & Cynthia Stauffer Berk & Kay Strothman Roger Stuber - Stuber Ranch Art Todd* Gerald Vangsness* Lester Warnke Jerry & Robbyn Weinberger Gary Williamson Wrangler ($50 Annually) Byron R. Andre Neil & Avis Berger James & Mary Bonogofsky* Roberta A. Bosch DuWayne Bott Louise Bowen Roger & Sharon Brekke Vernon & Mavis Bucholz Century 21 Morrison Realty* Jim C. Cook Ward Cook P.J. & Ann Curtis Bart Davis Lois DeHaven Derrick, Angie & Iris Dukart Wade & Vicki Entze Lowell & Janice Faris Clifford & Marian Ferebee Sandra Fricke Joey & Lanar Fritel Leanne Gardner Morris Gerbig Hal & Kathy Gershman Glen Gietzen* James D. Gion* Neal Goerger Maude Gullickson Toby & Ellen Huber* Robert & Donna Irwin* Gordan A. Jensen Dale & Barbara Jorgenson Connie Kadrmas Roman Kauffmann Gaylord Kavlie, M.D.
Meyer Kinnoin* Rueben & Phyllis Knutson Vivian Knutson Vern O. Krinke Dr. Gregory & Lynae Lardy* Stewart Lorenz Douglas Munski Ken Neuens, DVM Myles & Ranelle O’Keefe* Harold L. Olson Oscar Peterson Gary & Donna Reile Judy Tibbetts Janet Holt Tompkins Allen & Lorraine Schmidt Raymond & Geneva Schnell Robert N. Spolum Kay Tescher* Stuart Ternes Lawrence Ulsaker Floyd Unruh William M. Wolff LeNore Wagner Burton & Esther Yeager Kid Corral ($10 annually) Chance Appledoorn Kailey Appledoorn Brendon Dorgan Haley Dorgan Danielle Knutson Destinee Knutson Jaime Knutson Other Contributors George & Ruby Bruington Bismarck Current Events Club Ross F. Collins J.L. & Sonja Ozbun Constance & Bob Schriock Walter Schutt Ralph Vinje
(Please notify the NDCHF of listing changes by calling 701-250-1833.)
The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001 • Page 27
Individuals Honored with Memorial Plaques and File Cards NDCHF supporters may honor loved ones with $1,000 Memorial Wall plaques or $250 card file entries to be placed in the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame. Anna (Fredericks) Chase, Father William J. Fahnlander and Shirley Solberg are recent plaque honorees while Phyllis Connolly, Albert Fossum and Warren Myers are file card honorees. •Anna (Fredericks) Chase had four young children when her husband, Joseph Chase Sr., died in 1933. She hired a ranch caretaker and moved into Elbowoods to get a job and raise her children closer to school. Her children, Joanne Hutchinson, Walla Walla, Wash., Carmen Carroll, Portland, Ore., and 1999 NDCHF inductees Emanuel Chase (who died in 1951), and Joe Chase, Loveland, Colo., remember and appreciate their mother’s commitment to education. Thus, Hutchinson and Carroll honor her with a plaque for the sacrifices she made to assure that they attained their goals in life. •Father William J. Fahnlander was born in Minot in 1921. He graduated from St. Leo’s in 1939 and was ordained a priest in 1946. After serving Bismarck and Minot parishes he was assigned to Sentinel Butte in 1955. He was appointed Home On The Range superintendent in 1959. He assisted in
initiating the HOTR Champions’ Ride and is being honored by the 1998 rodeo inductees: Duane Howard Minne-waukan; Alvin Nelson, Grassy Butte; Jim Tescher, Sentinel Butte; and Tom Tescher, Medora. •Shirley (Burke) Solberg was born at Barton in 1936. She graduated from Leeds High School in 1954, attended Minot State and later worked at Marshall Field’s deparement store in Chicago. She married Ole Solberg in 1962 and they enjoyed raising horses and farming near York. She was a horse enthusiast early on and became a highly proficient rider, competing in horse shows throughout North Dakota. Though Shirley had suffered a cancerous brain tumor in 1977, she continued to enjoy hearing about newborn foals and horse transactions. She died in 1998. •Phyllis (Keller) Connolly was born in Beulah in 1929. She married Jim Connolly in 1953 and lived at Golden Valley, Dunn Center and Bismarck. She served Repulican Women groups in various capacities and served on the state presidential campaign committees for Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and George Bush. She worked as a state legislative employee for 11 sessions from 1971-97. Phyllis led the North Dakota Cowbelles in 1959-60
and the American National Cowbelles in 1972. She had a deep love and devotion to her family and friends. She died in March 2001. •Albert Fossum was born Aug. 31, 1922, on a ranch south of Rhame. He attended Nebo Township School through the 8th grade where he earned perfect attendance for all eight years. He married Joyce Jalbert Paulson in 1969. He raised Polled Herefords and enjoyed participating in brandings and roundups. He used his handmade airmobile to deliver food and mail to neighbors during bad winters and was a faithful servant at Bethany Lutheran Church, Rhame. He died in 1990. •Warren Myers was born in Sentinel Butte in 1927. He grew up northwest of Medora and attended school in Medora. He married Darlene Kunick in 1952. He served in the Army for a short while before buying the Kirkpatrick ranch north of Sentinel Butte. Later, they leased the Tommy Olson ranch and purchased the Koljborn Bye ranch north of Medora. He was a Medora Grazing Association board member. He died in 1999. For more information about plaques or card file entries call the NDCHF office at 701-250-1833.
2001 NDCHF Induction Ceremony Corporate Sponsors AMVETS Post #9, Bismarck Cloverdale Foods, Mandan First Western Bank, Minot
Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Microsoft-Great Plains Software, Fargo Three Affiliated Tribes, New Town
Page 28 • The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001
Obituaries Phyllis Connolly NDCHF District 9 Trustee Phyllis Connolly, 72, died March 22, 2001. Phyllis Keller was born Feb. 11, 1929, at Beulah. She married Jim Connolly on Feb. 14, 1953. They lived at Golden Valley, Dunn Center and later, Bismarck. Connolly was very active in local, state and national Republican politics. She was a well-known figure at the State Capitol where she worked as a state legislative employee during 11 sessions, 1971-97. She was North Dakota Cowbelles president in 195960 and American National Cowbelles president in 1972. She was also involved in the American Red Cross and Bismarck Elks Club. She is survived by one son, James Michael (Janet), Golden Valley; one daughter, Sheila (Greg) Mainous, Brandon, Fla.; four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Clair Cullen Clair Cullen, 89, died June 23, 2001. Clair was born Dec. 25, 1911, in Leeds. His family moved throughout his childhood, including to Canada, as his father owned and operated grain elevators. His father purchased a ranch on the Missouri River bottoms west of Hensler in the early 1930s. In 1940 the ranch became a Cullen Brothers partnership between Clair and his brother, Ross. He married Pearl Edwards March 21, 1940, in Bismarck; the couple lived on the ranch. Clair was a North Dakota Stockmen’s Association brand inspector for 36 years. He judged rodeos and loved to practice calf roping. He was the 1955 North Dakota Rodeo Association (non-RCA) calf roping champion. He received a distinguished service plaque in 1981 for 10 summers of youth training at Western 4-H Horsemanship Camps near Washburn. His favorite plaque read, “God forbid I go to a heaven where there are no
horses.” He is survived by his wife; one sisterin-law; one niece; one nephew; several grand-nieces and grand-nephews and three cousins.
Ruth Altenburg Hanson Ruth Altenburg Hanson, 93, died June 9, 2001. Ruth was born Oct. 24, 1907, at Colharbor. She attended school in Belfield and later taught for nine years. She married Clayton Hanson in June 1935. She was a 4-H leader for 10 years. She is survived by three children: Arlys (Yvonne), Sterling, Colo.; Clayton (Lucy), Boise, Idaho; and Cleone Sparks, Eugene, Ore.; 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Steven Harris Steven Harris, 76, died March 11, 2001. Steven was born Nov. 18, 1924, in Cincinnati. He became an independent geological consultant, based in Bismarck, in 1952. He married Mary Broderick on Oct. 6, 1955. Steve worked six decades in the oil industry and played a major role is establishing North Dakota as a top oil-producing state. He was also involved in the Masonic Order and the Elks band. He is survived by his wife; four sons Steve (Nancy), Bruce (Lisa), Terry (Winona), Wayne (Kristy); one daughter, Genevieve, and six grandchildren.
Kenneth Knutson Kenneth Knutson, 81, died Feb. 16, 2001. Kenneth was born Jan. 24, 1920, at Buxton. He grew up on a farm/ranch north of Dunn Center. He graduated from the 8th grade and worked in the area until enlisting in the Navy in 1942. He served three years, three months and three days. He returned home where he enjoyed riding/training horses and working the land. He married Bethol Olson in 1950. He farmed/ranched until 1986 when they moved into Killdeer. He is survived by his wife; three
daughters, Brenda (Tom) Pieterick, Bismarck, Karen (Jerry) Boehm, Killdeer, and Lori (Elvis) Kadrmas, Killdeer; two sons, Kim (Ann), Dunn Center, Paul (Deb), Killdeer; eight grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Lee Krogen Lee Allen Krogen, 48, died Jan. 22, 2001. Lee was born May 15, 1952, at Tioga. He grew up on a ranch south of Tioga and later farmed and ranched there. During the last few years he owned Dry Fork Cattle Corporation and worked in nuclear power plants in the South during the winter. He enjoyed horseback riding and spending time with his daughters. He was involved in the Tioga Farm Festival, White Earth Rodeo and White Earth Saddle Club. He is survived by his daughters, Summer Dawn Krogen and Brooke Amber Krogen, both of Minot; his parents, Arnold and Dorothy Krogen, Tioga; two sisters; a granddaughter; and his girlfriend, Natalie Johnson.
John Kuhn John Kuhn, 66, died June 22, 2001. John was from Lefor and is survived by six children: John, Erhardt, Minn.; Carmelita Anderson, Hebron; Mark Kuhn, Mandan; Luke Kuhn, Orinda, Calif.; Matthew Kuhn, Lefor; and Suzanne Kuhn, Salt Lake City; nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Lucille Law Lucille Law, 81, died April 14, 2001. Lucille Schnell was born Feb. 18, 1920, in Dickinson and attended all levels of school there. She and two sisters moved to California in 1943, where Lucille met Navy sailor Richard W. Law. They married Feb. 23, 1946. They returned to Dickinson in 1948. Lucille eventually joined Eagle Petroleum as a “landman,” traveling North Dakota, Montana and Colorado, until retiring in 1984. She was a funloving person, a tireless worker and an (Continued, next page.)
The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001 • Page 29
THANK YOU The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame expresses a hearty “THANK YOU” to all the folks who have gathered and submitted historical facts and photos for NDCHF nominees and other articles. Your assistance and cooperation is greatly appreciated, and serves to preserve yesterday and today for tomorrow. •If you have historical documents, reference books, magazines or newspaper clippings that would assist the NDCHF in preserving and verifying North Dakota’s western history, please contact the NDCHF office at 701-250-1833. •Also, The Cowboy Chronicle has featured eight early North Dakotans involved in southto-north trail drives. If you know of a trail driver who has not been featured but should be, please contact the NDCHF office. Thank you for your involvement and support.
Obituaries (Law, continued from page 28.) avid bridge player. She also co-founded a gourmet cooking club. She is survived by two sons, Richard (Nancy), Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Robert “Bob” (Laura), Clayton, Calif.; a daughter, Cathie (Woody Jr.) Mann, Houston, Texas; six brothers, two sisters and five grandchildren.
Matt Remsing Matt Remsing, 92, died March 10, 2001. Matt was born Aug. 25, 1908, in Dickinson. He grew up and attended school through the 8th grade in Killdeer. He started working as a farm laborer at age 12. He married Goldie Brown on Sept. 12, 1930. He farmed all of his life; putting up hay was his favorite task. He loved fishing, hunting, trapping and especially playing pinochle. He is survived by his wife; two sons, Darrell (Joanne), Elcho, Wis. and Donovan, Dunn Center; two daughters, Beverly (Ted) Trinka, Minot, and Marilyn (John) Root, Lewiston, Minn.; one brother, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Orval J. Stadheim Orval J. Stadheim, 74, died March 16, 2001. Orval was born Jan. 25, 1927, in Adams County. He graduated from Reeder High School in 1945 and served in the U.S. Navy. He married
Emily Peterson July 7, 1948. He farmed and ranched throughout his life and had a deep passion for quality Hereford cattle. He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Sandra Stadheim, Bismarck, and Patty (Jarvis) Hegland, Oberon; three sons, Orval Lynn (Polly), Reeder; Barney (Barb), and Larry, all of Hettinger; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Orville Strand Orville Strand, 80, died June 10, 2001. Orville was born Sept. 5, 1920, in Portland. He married Solveig Korsmo in 1952. They later moved to Bismarck where he worked in the construction business. He married Arlene (Stolz) Williams on Oct. 18, 1975. He is survived by his wife; four children: Renae (John) Krueger, Greeley, Colo.; Gail Fricke, Brian Strand and Janet (Donnie) Wald, Bismarck; four step-children: Diane Mueller, Bloomington, Minn.; Tom Williams, Dickinson; Michael (Valerie) Williams, Moorestown, N.J.; and Jim (Faith) Williams, Tulsa, Okla.; 10 grandchildren and eight step-grandchildren.
Monte Swenson Monte L. Swenson, 52, died June 22, 2001. Monte was born July 10, 1948, in Bismarck. He was raised on a ranch south of Bismarck, graduated from St.
Mary’s High School in 1966 and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Vietnam War. He married Patricia Conitz on Aug. 4, 1972. They ranched south of Bismarck and he managed the Elbow Room for 10 years. He is survived by his daughters, Amy (William) Barton, and Michelle Swenson, both of Minneapolis; a son, Michael, Minneapolis; one grandson; his mother, Betty Jane McCormick, Bismarck; one brother and five sisters.
Vonne Wold Vonne Wold, 72, died May 19, 2001. Delores Yvonne Hett Wold was born July 23, 1928, at Alexander. She married Paul “P.D.” Wold and they lived in Bismarck until 1974. She is survived by a daughter Jolyn (Earl) Miller; two sons, Greg (Marie), and Jeff (Terri), all of Phoenix, Arizona; and seven grandchildren. Vonne and P.D.’s ashes will be interred at Alexander on Sept. 3.
Obituary Policy: If you are aware of the recent death of a NDCHF member, North Dakota cowboy/rancher, or friend of western heritage, please inform us and if possible, provide an obituary. Send notice/obituary to: North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1110 College Drive, Suite 212, Bismarck, ND 58501. While all submissions will be noted, space availability and NDCHF relevancy may dictate length.
Page 30 • The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001
NDCHF Gifts Honoring Loved Ones The NDCHF has received honorariums/memorials for the following individuals. To honor a loved one, please complete the form on page 19. In memory of Jeannie Allen Robert & Wilma Freise In memory of Lynn Amsden Roberta Amsden Green In memory of Anna (Fredericks) Chase William & Carmen Carroll Joanne Chase Hutchinson In memory of Phyllis Connolly Willa J. Carlson Sandy Denis Richard & Elizabeth Fockler Roger & Betty Marie Fockler Tim & Arleen Garner G.R. Gilbreath Kevin & Amy Hammond Arlene Hausauer Viola Kennedy Clair Michels Howard & Dorothy Neils Evelyn Neuens Riley & Betty Neuhardt Dave & Sheila Robinson Vonny Young In memory of Clair Cullen Elmer & Ella Agnew Cora Alderin Phil & Anita Baird & Family Mavis Bucholz Harriet Clark Mr. & Mrs. Charles Cullen Darrell Dorgan Bob & Erna Engelbretson Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Fisher Dorris Fisher Mr. & Mrs. Ellsworth Foss Mr. & Mrs. Howard Fricke Mr. & Mrs. Jack Ingham Mr & Mrs. Paul Johannes Victor & Betty Lindelow Bob & Beth McAdoo Jo McAdoo DeDe Melby & Sons Mr. & Mrs. Arnold Schafer Mr. & Mrs. Tom Schulz and Adele Kesselring
Mr. & Mrs. Terry Kurle & Shawn Ken & Donna Lange Margaret Martin Don Neuens Evelyn Neuens & Family Phyllis O’Neil Don & Diane Peterson Rud Propane, LLP Mr. & Mrs. Mark Stenson Mr. & Mrs. Clinton Tweeten Mr. & Mrs. Dick Tweeten Curtis & Vernell Yunker In memory of Audrey Hall Davey Phil & Anita Baird & Family In memory of Ureta Dingwall Sheila Marie Al & Joyce Stude In memory of Henry Erickson Don Erickson In memory of Jean Ermantrout Marlene Fortier William & Kay Fortier In memory of Father Wm. J. Fahnlander Phil & Anita Baird & Family Darrell & Kathy Dorgan Duane & Orpha Howard Alvin & Kaye Nelson Evelyn Neuens Jim & Loretta Tescher Tom & Lorraine Tescher In memory of Otto “Maddy” Feickert Jr. Vonny Young In memory of Albert Fossum Joyce A. Fossum In memory of Ruth Altenburgh Hanson James & Donna Fritz In memory of Steve Harris Roy Gilbreath Vonny Young In memory of Bennie A. Harvick Holly C. Harvick Ward-Otteson In memory of Al Hinsverk Ed & Betty Grantier
In memory of Kenneth Knutson Winnifred G. Brown Alick & Grayce Dvirnak Clifford & Marian Ferebee Bethol Knutson In memory of Lee Allen Krogen Will & Monica Chamley Lois Krueger DeHaven Gregory Krueger White Earth Valley Saddle Club In memory of Florence C. Lee Shayne G. Yetter In memory of Chad Meyer John & Carlotta Jones In memory of Ole H. Myran Henry T. Myran In memory of Walt Neuens Linda H. Carr In memory of Norman “Peg” O’Neil Phil & Anita Baird & Family Casey & Koko Gjermundson Dennis P. Paulson In memory of Joe Plante Shayne G. Yetter In memory of Matt Remsing Winnifred G. Brown In memory of Alvin Sabrosky Theodore Sabrowsky In memory of Bill Scott Agnes M. Scott In memory of Shirley Solberg Kurt & Roxanne Solberg Gillespie In memory of Orville G. Strand Vonny Young G.R. Gilbreath In memory of Mary Stuss Marney & Wade Kadrmas & Family In memory of Monte Swenson Elmer & Ella Agnew In memory of Mary Lou Armstrong Theroux Phil & Anita Baird & Family In memory of Vonne Wold Vonny Young
so well.” Reflecting on Fr. Fahnlander’s rodeo involvement, his successor and protege Winston Satran, Bismarck, says, “Father Fahnlander enjoyed knowing the cowboys and was interested in their techniques and vernacular. He always marveled that the first thing that Deb Copenhaver, Post Falls, Idaho, would do when he came up to the chutes was check the horse’s feet. If a horse had good feet he could expect him to buck better.” Fr. Fahnlander also enjoyed words used by bucking horse breeder Feek Tooke, Ekalaka, Mont., including his description of a saddle bronc rider being “just like a bird sitting on a wire on a windy day.” Satran adds, “Father Fahnlander would be the first to admit that he didn’t know much about rodeo or horses. One time they were introducing Father at the rodeo. (All-around hand) Dean Oliver, Boise, Idaho, said Father could ride his calf roping horse into the arena but they didn’t adjust the stirrups. Father came blasting into the arena and as soon as he checked the horse, the horse put on the brakes and Father landed up on the neck. Father would remember that and say, ‘Oh, it was so embarrassing.’ They announced, ‘Father Fahnlander the cowboy priest,’ and then r-r-r-r-ch he’s up on the neck!” Fr. Fahnlander became an avid fan of saddle bronc rider Bill Pauley, Miles City, Mont. Remembering when he first met Pauley he would say, “One year we were running short on filling the (saddle bronc rider) spots and the word got out. We were sitting around the table in the dining room trying to decide what to Joining Fr. Fahnlander (R) for “A Cowboy’s Prayer” at the 1973 Champions’ Ride in Sentinel Butte were (L to R): Congressman do when this guy Mark Andrews; Senator Quentin Burdick; Senator Milton Young; young HOTR - Clifford Foreng photo
(Fahnlander, cont’d from page 32.) world.” Along with taking on HOTR superintendent duties in the late 1950s came the challenge of organizing the home’s fledgling rodeo. Recalling the first rodeo in May 1957, Fahnlander said, “We had about 150 people here . . . The cars were parked where the people sit now. It was so cold the cowboys were wearing Mackinaws. Holy cow, it was cold!” Fr. Fahnlander attended numerous rodeos each year in preparation for the HOTR event. In January 1960 he went to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, where he worked out arrangements for that year’s rodeo as a guest of rodeo announcer and NDCHF inductee Cy Taillon. In 1996, Fr. Fahnlander received an all expense-paid trip to attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The trip was a gift from HOTR staff in celebration of his 75th birthday, the 50th Jubilee of his ordination as a priest, and 40th anniversary of the Champions’ Ride. Despite years of rounding up cowboys to compete in the home’s rodeo, it was the first time he had attended the NFR. While beating the rush out of the Thomas and Mack Center to catch a van back to Binion’s Horseshoe Casino and Hotel he said, “This is quite a show. I’m thrilled to death . . . Everything is done in such good taste and it’s done
and Governor Art Link, who now serves as an NDCHF trustee.
HOTR - Jeri Dobrowski photo
The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001 • Page 31
Champions’ Ride Chute Boss Winston Satran (left), Bismarck, visits with Fr. Fahnlander at the 1999 HOTR rodeo.
walked in the room and said, ‘Excuse me, I’m Bill Pauley. I hear you’re needing a rider. I can ride if you like.’” Fr. Fahnlander continued, “I said I needed to go downstairs, which I did, but while I was there I asked the rodeo secretary if she knew anything about Bill Pauley–if he could ride. She said he was a good little bronc rider and she thought it would be OK to include him.” Then Fr. Fahnlander would add with glee, “He ended up winning it that year!” Of course, Fr. Fahnlander developed an extensive relationship with FOE Eagles Aries and Auxiliaries because of the organization’s long-time support of HOTR. Fr. Fahnlander would report in his quiet, but amusing, manner, “You know, I’m the only male ever elected to the Eagles Auxiliary Hall of Fame!” Noting that he learned a lot through his relationship with Fr. Fahnlander, Satran says, “His life of prayer was a great lesson. He was quite and humble–a man of great faith.” Fr. Fahnlander died March 27, 2001. After begging pardon from the presiding bishop, his niece, Mary Jo Norum, Cottage Grove, Minn., said in her eulogy that Fr. Fahnlander was the most Christ-like person she had ever met. Satran concludes, “I had thought that many times. He was a most forgiving person. I think that’s one of the things the cowboys liked. Father Fahnlander represented goodness.” (Editor’s Note: Cowboy Chronicle Committee Member Jeri L. Dobrowski, Beach, contributed to this article.)
Page 32 • The Cowboy Chronicle Extra 2001
Remembering Father William J. Fahnlander
Recalling the first Home On The Range rodeo in May 1957, Father William J. Fahnlander said, “We had about 150 people here . . . The cars were parked where the people sit now. It was so cold the cowboys were wearing Mackinaws. Holy cow, it was cold!”
of youth in the wilderness was not my strongest desire.” However, he took hold of the reins and quickly made a tour across the country “just to learn” about operating a boys’ ranch (N.D. Journal of Human Services, 1997). He realized HOTR’s impact, early on, telling the Minot Daily News in 1963, “It’s amazing to see how some of these boys–many from the streets of big cities like Chicago and New York–have taken to the openness of the prairies and to tasks like cutting hay, picking eggs and milking cows.” Though boastful when it came to the accomplishments of his boys, Fr. Fahnlander routinely minimized his role at HOTR. He retired in December 1987. In that year’s HOTR Christmas greeting he reflected on his time at the ranch writing: “Two wonderful experiences come to my mind. First is the joy and satisfaction that comes when a former boy, who is now a successful citizen, comes back to visit and expresses thanks, and the second is the heartwarming experiences of having such caring friends like you, who have done so much to make Home On The Range what it is today . . . The years have been fulfilling with countless occurrences of wonderful satisfaction, and times of trial and anxiety mixed between. I know I would never trade these years for all the wealth in the (Continued on page 31.)
The Cowboy Chronicle
he was assigned to St. Michael’s Parish, Sentinel Butte, and Home On The Range in 1955. He assumed HOTR superintendent duties when Father Elwood Cassedy became ill in 1957, and was appointed to the position upon Fr. Cassedy’s death in 1959. He reluctantly accepted. “I wanted to be pastor of a church,” he told The Bismarck Tribune in 1962. “I enjoyed working with youngsters, but I must admit, the thought of being another cowboy priest leading a flock
North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame 1110 College Drive, Suite 212 Bismarck, North Dakota 58501
Though he didn’t plan to become a cowboy priest, Father William J. Fahnlander certainly became that–and a priest to cowboys–during his 46 years as an administrative, spiritual and philosophical leader at Home On The Range, Sentinel Butte. Fr. Fahnlander was born Feb. 27, 1921, at Minot, a son of William P. and Mildred (Lorenz) Fahnlander. His father was a tailor who built a dry cleaning plant on Third Street Northeast in Minot. Though his father died when he was 7, his mother continued with the business. “I grew up brushing lint out of cuff-link cuffs and pockets and had to learn how to press pants and deliver clothes. I had to decide whether I wanted to dry clean clothes, or souls,” he said with a smile in a 1997 video produced by Dakom, Bismarck. Fr. Fahnlander attended St. Leo’s grade and high schools where he became a stand-out basketball player on a team that won two state Class B basketball titles. He graduated high school in 1939, furthering his education at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn., and St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1946. “I think some of the sisters (at St. Leo’s) had pegged me for it and were praying for me,” he said with a smirk. After serving in Bismarck and Minot,
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