Dick Cosgrave - Builder
Inducted - July 9, 1984
Dick Cosgrave's father, Pat, came to Canada from Dublin, Ireland. He ranched for a short time in the Whitewood District of Saskatchewan, but moved to Alberta in the 1890's where he was in charge of livestock on the Blackfoot Reserve. Dick was born on the reserve on January 24, 1905. He was educated at Gleichen, Cheadle and Calgary.
In 1916 he started farming at Cheadle and Michichi, Alberta. In 1933 he moved to Rosebud and in 1945 he added the old Jack Miller Ranch to his holdings. He spent many years managing the extensive lease near his ranch which belonged to the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede and was responsible for breeding and raising rodeo stock on this lease.
In 1935 Dick married Olive Flett and had a son, Robert (Bobby) Cosgrave, who became a champion chuckwagon driver in his own right.
Dick became friends with Guy Weadick and ran the chutes for Weadick at the 1925 Calgary Stampede, the beginning of a lasting involvement with this world famous rodeo.
He joined the Alberta Rodeo Company in 1927 and made a major contribution to this traveling rodeo troop which covered more than 30,000 miles and staged rodeos in both Canada and the United States.
Dick Cosgrave gained his greatest recognition as a chuckwagon driver. His record shows he was the best on the circuit during his 20 successive years of racing. During these years, which extended from 1926 to 1946, he won the Chuckwagon Championship ten times, a record which remains unbroken.
He was appointed Arena Director of the Calgary Stampede in 1947 and, with great effort and dedication, helped guide it towards its present excellence in the world of rodeo.
In 1969, Dick Cosgrave retired as Arena Director of the Calgary Stampede after having served in that capacity for 22 years. He was named an Honorary Director of the Stampede and continued to actively attend and contribute to Stampede Committee meetings until he passed away at his ranch home at Rosebud, Alberta on the morning of January 18, 1973.
Tom Dorchester - Contestant
Inducted - July 1, 1984
Tom Dorchester was born into a wagon racing family, May 31, 1911, this staunch cowboy was destined to become one of Canada's foremost chuckwagon drivers. The Angus Ridge District south of Wetaskiwin, Alberta was his home. His father taught him the skills of chariot and chuckwagon racing and by age 11 Tom entered, and won, his first race at the Wetaskiwin Fair. Driving his own chuckwagon was his ambition and by the 1940's he had achieved this. . In 1944, he raced professionally for the first time and for many years he drove the Jack Sheckter wagon and later the Stewart Ranches wagon.
With the support of his wife, Joy Shantz, and their six children, Tom's career as a chuckwagon champion escalated. In 1966, 1969, 1970 and 1971 he won the Canadian Chuckwagon Championships and was fondly known as "King of the Chucks." Winning the famous Calgary Stampede was a feat that eluded him for 21 years, but he finally succeeded in 1970 and again 1971. Among his titles are five Central Alberta Chuckwagon Championships, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972.
Hospitalized in 1973 with a broken spine after a spill at Morris, Manitoba, Tom was forced to convalesce for several months. He announced his retirement from active competition in 1974. However, chuckwagon racing being in his blood, he re-entered competition and won the first North American Chuckwagon Racing Championship at High River in 1976.
He served as chuckwagon director of the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association for several years and in 1973 was awarded the Woodward's "Cowboy of the Year" trophy.
The people of his community, in both Wainwright and Westerose honored him with "Dorchester Night" in 1973 and 1976 respectively.
His love of rodeo still keeps him an ardent fan in his retirement.
Earl Bascom - Contestant
Inducted - November 10, 1984.
Earl Bascom was born in a log cabin on the 101 Ranch near Vernal, Utah, 180 miles from Salt Lake City, on June 19, 1906. He came to Canada in 1914, entering his first professional rodeo in 1918.
One of his best years was 1933 when he won second place in North American Championship contest at Calgary, set a new world record time and placed third in the world standings for the year.
As a member of the Rodeo Historical Society, Earl Bascom is known in rodeo history as the inventor of two important pieces of rodeo equipment. In 1922 he designed and made a hornless bronc saddle which everyone called the "Mulee". In 1924 he designed and made a one handed bareback rigging. Today, the two items are standard equipment used at all professional rodeos throughout the U.S.A. and Canada.
Bascom is said to be the first cowboy to go through college (B.Y.U.) on money earned from rodeo competition. There were no amateur or college circuits back then and all events were with the top hands in the world at that time.
He is an honorary member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in the U.S.A. as well as a life member of the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Rodeo Historical Society at Oklahoma City.
Earl loves to chat about the early days of rodeo, a sport he helped pioneer, creating innovations that are still in evidence today. He's done it all in his time, from acting to cowboying and now to art, using bronze sculptures to recreate his days "going down the road" as an original in the world's toughest sport, rodeo.
Five Minutes To Midnight - Animal
Inducted - November 10, 1984
Five Minutes To Midnight
Five Minutes to Midnight was born around 1921. Bill Winters of Indus, Alberta., bought him at the pound in 1924. The little black horse stood out from the rest as being a little wilder and was very difficult to halter break. Boyd McIntyre entered him in the bucking contest at Langdon, Alberta. held during fair time, under the name of "Two Minutes to Midnight." Later on someone changed the "Two" to "Five Minutes to Midnight."
Bill ended up selling him to Pete Welsh for $100. Welsh and the newly formed “Alberta Stampede Company” featured the two famous black horses Midnight and Five Minutes to Midnight. These two horses traveled together, to Europe, and across Canada and the U.S.A. In 1928 they were sold to Jim Eskew and he in turn sold them to Vern Elliott and Eddie McCarty, then later to Vern Elliott Rodeo Corp.
Vern realized that "Five" just plain did not like or trust humans. Vern's straw boss, Louis Kubitz (Screamin' "Hi Ki") got the chance to weigh him at Fort Worth. "Five" was a mere 859 lbs, 14-1/2 hands of black dynamite. So the actual light weight of "Five" balanced against his record, helps point out his remarkable ability. "Five" was a thinking critter and when he wasn't getting his job done one way, he'd change his style in mid-stream and so compensated for his lack of size with determination and "smarts."
Vern retired him in 1945 and "Five" died later that year. He was buried alongside his compadre, Midnight. Both Midnight and Five were moved from their burial grounds at Vern's ranch to be interred on the grounds of the National Cowboys Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, a move that they truly earned and deserved.
Art Lund - Contestant
Inducted - July 9, 1984
One of the best-known rodeo families in Southern Alberta is the Lund family. A.K. (Art) Lund was born April 7, 1903 on a farm near Raymond. Art was one of eleven children of Deloss and Mary Allen Lund, five girls and six boys; Andy, Art, Clark, Rozzel, Harry and Ersel (known as Bronc).
Art started riding race horses at nine or ten years of age and started riding broncs at 16. By 1924, Art and Andy were considered two of the top cowboys in Canada. As a result, they were chosen to represent Canada in England. This was truly a highlight in his rodeo career.
Art competed actively in rodeos throughout North America for nearly 30 years except for one year when, 1943, he had appendicitis. He won 16 firsts at 16 rodeos in Steer Decorating from Calgary to Montana. This gave him a comfortable lead for the championship of the world for which he was crowned. He has twice held the Canadian All Around Championship in 1937 and 1940. In 1937 he also won the World's Steer Decorating. In 1938 he was offered the chance to go to Australia to represent Canada. He declined and his brother Clark went in his place.
Art was 45 when he rode his last horse at Shelby, Montana in 1948. Since his retirement from active rodeo competition he judged many rodeos and was arena director and rodeo producer in southern Alberta to Montana. Art has been honoured by the Calgary Stampede Board in 1981 and was presented with a silver buckle with the Calgary Stampede brand on it. In 1983, he was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
At the age of 80, Art still sits tall in the saddle as was evident at the Raymond Rodeo last year (1983) when he was honored there.
Art, at the present time resides in the Prairie Rose Lodge in Milk River, Alberta.
Lloyd Myers - Builder
Inducted - November 25, 1984
Lloyd Myers was born in Lower Salem, Ohio in 1895. He moved to Vanguard, Saskatchewan in 1906 and first competed in the saddle bronc riding at age 18.
For years he competed at local rodeos in Saskatchewan and Montana. During much of this time, his only means of transportation was his horse, Sonny.
In the early 1930's Lloyd successfully competed in the Saddle Bronc riding at most of the major rodeos in Canada and the United States.
Lloyd's interests turned to rodeo production and we recognize that his contribution to the sport of rodeo during the 1930's and 1940's was of major significance to the development and preservation of rodeo in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Many of the present day rodeos in these provinces, were originally started by Lloyd Myers.
In the early 1950's he retired from active rodeo involvement and moved to the Moose Jaw area.
Lloyd Myers is truly a gentleman and a cowboy.
Don Thomson - Contestant
Inducted - July 9, 1984
Don's family came to Alberta before the turn of the century and homesteaded in the Black Diamond area in 1905. They had a large family, ten boys and two girls, Don being born in 1911.
The ranching background led Don to feel comfortable in the saddle and by 1933 he entered his first rodeo at Calgary, Alberta. He was an all around hand, competing in the Saddle Bronc, Bareback, Bull Riding, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling and the Wild Horse Race and Wild Cow Milking.
From 1935 to 1937 he competed in many major rodeos in the United States. He excelled in Bull Riding in 1937 and won the event a Gresham, Ellensburg, Centralia, Walla Walla and Omack. At Centralia he also won the Bareback Riding.
Don's rodeo career was not without injury. In 1926 at Chicago, he broke his wrist before the ride and his neck once the ride was over. A mean fracture to the thigh in 1937 curtailed his riding career and it wasn't until further surgery to the leg in 1938, that he was able to compete again.
Six of the Thomson boys were well known rodeo cowboys, that were considered short in stature and long in courage.
One of Don's most coveted memories was when he won both the Bull Riding and the North American All Around at the Calgary Stampede in 1937.
With his marriage to Leona Connley of Turner Valley in 1942, Don's responsibilities became heavier at home and by 1943 he had retired from active competition. His rodeo involvement, however, has still continued. He supplied the cows and calves for the Calgary Stampede from 1948 to 1983. He spent 12 years doing a variety of judging for them including chuckwagon, riding events and chute judge.
The Calgary Stampede honoured him in 1976 as a "Pioneer of Rodeo".
Jack Wade - Contestant
Inducted - November 10, 1984
Jack Wade was born June 6, 1910 at Wakefield, England and came to Halkirk, Alberta where he lived until 1936, with three sisters and six brothers.
He started his rodeo career in 1925 at Battle River, Alberta, riding mane hold mounts. He claims he made more money there in two days than ranch work paid in two months.
For ten years he farmed and took in most summer rodeos in Alberta. In 1932 he trailed a chuckwagon and some bucking horses to Calgary. One horse, Typhoon, won the Calgary's best bucking horse money. Jack drove chuckwagon for a time in the Calgary Stampede, until 1936, when he entered his first rodeo in the U.S.
Jack went to Sidney, Australia in 1938, winning the Steer Wrestling, returned in 1939, only to have a horse fall and Jack broke his foot.
Some of Jack's accomplishments were All Around Cowboy 1936 in Dauphin, Manitoba and winning the Pendleton Round Up. He also won:
World Bronc Riding - 1939
Calgary North American All Around - 1940
Calgary Steer Decorating - 1940
Calgary Steer Riding - 1940
Calgary 2nd Bareback Riding - 1940
Calgary 1st Bareback Riding - 1942
Iowa State Fair All Around - 1941
He married Jeffie Gray of Hardy, Arkansas on June 2, 1942 in Little Rock, Arkansas. From 1947 to 1953 he judged in Calgary as well as St. Paul, Minnesota, Omaha, Spokane, Ponoka and Stettler, to mention a few. Having quit the rodeo run in the early 1950's and finding little work in Canada, they moved to California. Here Jack drove Auto Transport for 17 years. Still living in Modesto, California, Jack has retired due to health problems.
Slim Watrin - Contestant
Inducted - July 9, 1984
Born in Iowa on February 24, 1901, Slim Watrin moved with his family to a ranch in the High River district when he was but nine years old. When his father passed away, Slim was just 16. Being the eldest son he took over the ranch and looked after the family.
Two years later he rode in his first Saddle Bronc competition at Aldersyde, Alberta and won first prize.
With this encouragement, he went on entering rodeos all over the province and gained recognition as a top Saddle Bronc rider. By 1924, he was well established and won 13 of the 16 rodeos he entered. Traveling east in 1926, he won the Saddle Bronc riding at the Ottawa Centenary Rodeo. A healthy $1,500 and the Douglas Fairbanks trophy was his reward. At Toronto that same year, he captured the bronc riding again and was awarded the Carlsrite Hotel Trophy.
In 1928, at Calgary, Slim won the North American. For this he received two trophies, one donated by the Chrysler company and the other donated by the Governor General of Canada. Slim traveled to the U.S. that year to a rodeo in Chicago where he won money 12 of the 14 days.
Winning the Canadian at Calgary in 1931, Slim was awarded a white gold pocket watch, the E.W. Beatty trophy and a silver cigarette case donated by the Prince of Wales.
Rodeo has been good to Slim and for ten years he traveled all over Canada and the U.S. He broke his leg at the Sundre rodeo in 1932 and this put him out of competition for a full year.
Slim joined the Air Force in 1941 and on his discharge in 1946, he moved his family to ranch at Rocky Mountain House.
Ill health forced the family into early retirement and at 62 Slim sold the ranch and moved to Lethbridge where he and his wife still reside.