This is Page 8
See Page 1 here with the current photo of the week.
If you have a photo to share, email us for information about sending it to us.
May 28, 2007
Minnesota poet and rancher Diane Tribitt shared this photo. She told us:
I took this photo at the Elko River (Minnesota) Little Britches Rodeo a few years back. This little kid slept like this for over an hour. The horse never moved, never tried to eat…just sat there just like this until the kid woke up. If you look closely, his front foot is in the stirrup and the back foot up on the seat of the saddle. My daughter was competing that same weekend. It is one of my favorite photos
Read more about Diane Tribitt and read some of her poetry here.
Share your photos.
If you enjoy this feature, help keep it going! We need your photos.
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 welcome vintage 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.
May 21, 2007
Poet, writer and horsewoman LaVonne Houlton shared family pictures from the early 1900s. She told us:
[The photo above is my uncle] Elbert R. ("Ed") Titus and one of his Belgian stallions, "King," on the old Triangle Bar Ranch in the Badlands of North Dakota, about1918. The ranch was near Bullion Bluff and the "Little Mo" River, and part now is in the Theodore Roosevelt National Grasslands Park.
Ed was from an old New York Dutch family, and his wife Margit came to America from Norway, in 1879, as an infant. They first tried farming in Minnesota, but their land was too boggy, so they opted for a homestead in Dakota, and a sod house to begin with. The first couple of years Margit baked bread and rolls and sold them in Fryberg and Medora, and to neighboring bachelor ranchers, to help them get started.
I've been told that this barn could hold up to 40 shod horses during the winter.
This is the couple in front of their sod house:
This is their 1901 wedding photo:
LaVonne comments:The story of how they met is kind of interesting, too. E. R. (Ed) Titus left New York, heading for the Klondike and possible riches, working his way across the country as he went. He stopped in Stavanger Township, Traill County, North Dakota in 1900 to work in the Grandin Farms grain fields for the summer.
Liking softball, he got together enough young fellow farm hands to form a couple of teams, to play on their day off. Their 'playing field' was right across the road from the ranch of Halvor A. Nash.
Recently widowed, Halvor had summoned his niece Margit Brevik from St. Hilaire, Minnesota, to help out with his children and cook for the hay crews. It didn't take Ed long to notice the pretty young lady across the road who seemed to work so hard. By September, 1901 they were married, and the Klondike was a forgotten dream.
Read more about LaVonne Houlton and some of her poetry here, and read some of her other Western Memories contributions here.
May 14, 2007
South Dakota rancher, writer, and poet Robert Dennis shared some photo treasures from the early 1900s. He describes the people and the photos:
This is John Timmons on the horse, circa 1910 to 1920. Notice the suspenders he is wearing and the tooling on the square skirt, of the saddle. And look at how far down the blankets, under the saddle are hanging, typical "Dakota or Montana" crease on the hat, stripped-faced horse with four white feet and a flaxen mane and tail. I'll bet he was a dandy, in his day. Also notice the "raggy" rope hanging off from the fork. It appears to have some sort of a ring for a hondo. Maybe a braided rawhide one, though the rope looks to be a grass rope with a horn loop tied in the opposite end as the hondo and not a braided rawhide riata. This photo may have been transposed, as I doubt if John was left handed. I think someone would have told me if he was. And don't think he couldn't use that rope! More about that later in the tale.
John came to Dakota Territory with the first party into the Black Hills. I believe this was the Gordon party, who had their goods confiscated and were escorted out, in 1874. John was just a child and came with his mother and maternal grandmother. His father was a scout for the Chicago White Sox baseball team, as I heard it. Flannery was his name.
John's parents were separated at the time. VP Shoun was a freighter and was courting John's grandmother, who he later married. The story has it that he also delivered the mail and "sorted" it a little. His friend and fellow freighter who worked for him, Joe Timmons, was courting John's mother. So by the time Johns father arrived to try and patch things up with his wife, he was too late. Seems none of his letters had arrived! He left broken hearted and granted her a divorce. Joe adopted John and John took his last name.
Joe and John's mother were married in 1889 while Dakota was still a territory. John and his step father never got on too well, so he spent most of his time with Granny Shoun, who's marriage to VP evidently didn't last too long! she squatted on and established a small place just north west of Stoneville, South Dakota. There are still remains of a small rocked up building on the site, that might have been an ice house or even her house.
John grew up with the country, working with cattle and doing what any young man does in a unsettled area. He eventually met and married a cute little schoolmarm named Ona Dennis, who had moved out from Iowa. When her younger brother Walter (my grandfather) came out at the tender age of 16, he worked for John and Ona when he wasn't working for different outfits around the country.
One day in about 1902, John and Grampa found two slick (unbranded) yearling heifers. John told Grampa to register a brand and get them branded. Grampa registered the V Slash 4 brand and put it on them, thereby declaring ownership and the start of his herd of cattle. Today these actions might be frowned on, but in those days you were expected to look after your stock and keep them branded up, or someone else would. Our family is still using this brand to this day.
John was known as a good hand and real handy with a rope, though he lost a leg at a fairly young age and had a peg leg. Whenever there were young horses to be worked around the country, John was the one who roped them by the front feet to jerk them down. It was said that when he rolled out a loop to catch one, you had better be ready, because he very seldom missed.
John and Ona staked a claim next to Granny Shoun and started a ranch of their own. They had one daughter, Ruth. You can see Ruth on the bull. Quite the herefords they had in those days! Seems plumb gentle, or maybe he was just too short on feed to care!
In the picture of Ruth and her doll buggy, we can see that evidently John and Ona did well for themselves and weren't afraid to spend some hard earned money on their only child. She has a real dog and a play dog. And very nice clothes. Notice John in the background. Notice the low lying hills in the background with no trees, typical of this country.
John and Ona also could afford a formidable rock barn. You can judge the size by noticing John in front of the barn with a calf or yearling, on the left side of the picture. There was another barn, of the same size and type, built by the same man or men, on John's mother and stepfather's place. John's barn has tumbled down over the years, with no one living on the place for many many years, to keep it up, while the other barn has been restored and kept up by the Frank Timmons family, down through the years. Notice the haymow. These barns were made by stacking loose flat sandstone rocks and using mud to fill the gaps, between the rocks. All that was left of this barn a few years ago, when I was at the site, were three tumbled rows of flat rocks.
The ranch that John and Ona started has passed down through several different parties through the years. Shortly after John's death in 1929 or maybe 1930, Ona offered it to my grandfather for one dollar an acre. Grampa had his own ranch, but he scratched and figured for a week and then told her he couldn't pay for it if he lived to be 100! The way times were then, I'm sure he was right, but oh, how I wish he could have made it work. This past fall the same land went up for sale at auction and brought almost 400 times that! I'll bet Grampa and John are rolling in their graves! And I am no different from Grandfather as I couldn't see how I would pay for it, if I lived to be 100!
You can read more about Robert Dennis and read some of his poetry here.
Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski
See the current Photo of the Week on Page 1 here.
What's New | Poems | Search
Features | Events
The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week
Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us
Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form.
CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.
Site copyright information