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This is Page 7

See some past weeks' photos below

See an index of all past weeks' photos here.

See Page 1 here with the current photo of the week.



We welcome your pictures. We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We're looking for vintage photos and contemporary photos: family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo to share, email us for information about sending it to us.

Each week, we'll post selected photos from those received. We'll also share some photos posted previously elsewhere at CowboyPoetry.com.


Send your photo.

 Email us for information about sending it to us.



If you enjoy this feature, you may also be interested in our 
Western Memories Project, the personal recollections— many with photos— contributed by BAR-D visitors.  Your stories and photos are welcome.

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If you have a photo to share, email us for information about sending it to us.


May 7, 2007


About the photo:

California cowboy poetry reciter Tony Argento sent this photo of his grandfather in the Salinas Rodeo, about 1919. He told us:

My great grandparents emigrated to America in 1902 from Santa Cristina Gela, Sicily. My Grandfather Antonio Argento was 4 years old at this time. They came West and settled in San Francisco. After losing everything from the 1906 earthquake they moved to the San Jose, California area.

When my Grandfather was in his teen years he started working with horses. He was a scout in the Calvary during World War One. After returning, he got into rodeos. He was very good with bucking horses and bulls. In July 1919, he entered in the Salinas Rodeo. He was the first bull rider to ride a Black Angus bull and took first place winning $500. He rode under the name of Tony Silver, so his parents wouldn’t know he was in the rodeo. He was a well acclaimed rodeo rider.

From rodeos, he went to Hollywood and did stunt riding and doubling for Tom Mix and other movie stars of that time. (By the way, Tom’s horse was named Tony.)

He also worked for Miller & Lux, Inc. Named after Henry Miller & Charles Lux, Lux was Miller’s main competitor until they incorporated in 1858. Lux died in 1887, Miller died in 1916. But the company continued it’s operations for many, many years thereafter.

Miller & Lux owned land throughout California, Oregon, and into Nevada, the largest private piece of real estate in the U. S. in their time. Remarkably, this included over one million acre feet of water rights. Miller was reportedly the only person in the U. S. to ever own over a million head of branded cattle on the range at one time. This was considered to be the largest cattle operation in the world.

After Grandfather got married, he went into the construction trade, running heavy equipment. In the winter, he would break and train horses. He loved the Morgan horse. He did this every year until his passing in April 1964.

My father Tony Argento Sr. also rode horses at a young age. When he got married that was the end of horses for a while. Now he’s back riding again, not horses but mules.

I rode horses off and on at a young age, mostly off. I ride and pack with him every chance I get.

[Ed. note: A 2001 book, by David Igler, Industrial Cowboys; Miller & Lux and the Transformation of the Far West, 1850-1920 tells the story of the company's affect on the "industrial development and environmental transformation of the American West during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." Read more at the publisher's site, the University of California Press.

A 1931 book, The Cattle King  by Edward Treadwell is a biography of Henry Miller.  H. A. Torchiana was a Miller & Lux ranch superintendent in the 1890s and wrote California Gringos, a book published in 1900 about his experiences.

At the Online Archive of California site, Jamy O. Faulhaber's "Following the Cattle King: A Lifetime of Agriculture, Water Management, and Water Conservation in California's Central Valley" is filled with historical information about Central Valley rancher, land developer and water expert George Wilmarth Nickel, Jr., the grandson of Henry Miller, and includes historical information about Miller & Lux.]


Tony Argento (www.tonyargento.com) recites classic cowboy poetry.


April 30, 2007

photo by Sabina Frutiger
Ken and Kiel Cook


About the photos:

South Dakota poet and rancher Ken Cook sent these photosby  Sabina Frutiger of Rapid Cityof branding in April, 2007. Ken told us:

Every spring, without fail, branding season begins 15 miles north of Martin, South Dakota at the Ross Hicks ranch on the third Saturday in April. Ross, and his sons Merle, Delbert, and Harvey live and work in some of the best cattle country in Bennett County. 

They do not build a wood fire anymore, and we do put up a few panels and sort the calves from the cows, but it is a good old branding in the pasture for cowboys of all ages.  Over the next month and a half the "Cook Crew" will help neighbors brand about four thousand calves, and all of them will be drug to the fire.  So here's to another branding day spent with family and friends...doin' what we love to do.

photo by Sabina Frutiger
Ken and Kelly Cook


photo by Sabina Frutiger
Kiel Cook


Read more about Ken Cook and some of his poetry here.

photo by Sabina Frutiger

 April 23, 2007


About the photo:

Andy Nelson sent this contemporary photo from his brother Jim Nelson's ranch in Cora, Wyoming. Andy told us:

Pictured is part of big brother Jim and family’s Flying U Ranch remuda. In the background is one of the ranch’s original out buildings built by Dick Noble’s (of “Dick’s Picks” fame and Jim’s father-in-law) grandfather when he homesteaded in Cora Wyoming over 100 years ago. This year, the Green River Valley Cattleman’s Association honored Dick and his family as one of a dozen “Century Ranches” still operating in this area.


The Green River Valley Land Trust web site tells more about the Flying U Ranch, including:

The Flying U Ranch has been under the stewardship of the Noble family for five generations. Dick Noble's grandfather, James Noble, homesteaded the property and founded the original town of Cora on the ranch in about 1898. The old blacksmith shop still stands, complete with tools and equipment. "We want this place to stay a ranch forever," said Dick Noble's daughter, Tina Nelson.

Jim and Andy Nelson are the co-hosts of the popular Clear Out West (C. O. W.) Radio show, and each week they feature one of "Dick's Picks," a vintage cowboy music recording.

In 2006, Andy and Jim Nelson were named Top Radio DJ's of the Year by the Western Music Association (WMA).

photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Andy and Jim Nelson


See the current Photo of the Week on Page 1 here.





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