Free Essay

101 Ranch

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jacarter47
Words 1457
Pages 6
101 ranvhOutline
Thesis: The 101 Ranch Wild West Show was great in part to performers like Will Rogers and Bill Pickett.
A. Opening remarks B. Thesis statement
II.Will Rogers A. Childhood B. Joins ranch C. Life after ranch and death
III. Bill Pickett A. Childhood B. Joins ranch C. Steer wrestling D. Life after ranch and death
IV. 101 Ranch Wild West Show
A. Will Rogers' contributions
B. Bill Pickett's contribution
V. Conclusion

The 101 Ranch Wild West Show was a great, if not the greatest wild west show of all time. Its diversity and showmanship gathered thousands of people from around the world to watch and be amazed at the spectacular show that was put on. The 101 Ranch Wild West Show combined the thrills of the Wild West with the acts and performances found in a circus; from trick riding and roping to elephants and their trainers (1927 Show Roster, 2013). The 101 Ranch Wild West Show traveled the world and many people got to bask in its glory during its hay day. The show was a masterpiece put together by visionaries and it brought many people jobs and even stardom. The 101 Ranch Wild West Show was great in part to performers like Will Rogers and Bill Pickett.
Will Rogers was born on the 4th of November in 1879 (Biography, 2013), in the area that is now Oologah, Oklahoma. He was part Indian descending from the Cherokee tribe (Rodeo Star, 2013). Will Rogers was the baby of the family, having seven older siblings (Biography, 2013). After four of Will's siblings passed away, he was left with just three older sisters. Coming from a tightly knit and loving family, he greatly looked up to his sisters and they inspired and morphed him into the sensible, sensitive, young man that everybody grew to love (Early years, 2013). Will grew up on his family's ranch, where he developed his riding and roping skills while herding cattle. Will attended a few different schools as a child, but after tenth grade, he dropped out to do what he loved, to be a cowboy. Though he dropped out of school, it wasn't because he was dumb. He went on to write books of his own and eventually participated in political debates(Rodeo Star, 2013).
His roping skills on the ranch are what caught the eye of a few different wild west shows, and from those the Miller Brothers, who ran the 101 Ranch Wild West show, took interest in him and gave him a spot on their roster. Will would soon surpass simply preforming in wild west shows and go on to be in over seventy movies and plays and even have his own radio show. Will Rogers was voted Hollywood’s most famous actor in 1934 (Biography, 2013).
While on a planned vacation to Alaska, Will's life was abruptly ended at the age of 55. On August 15th, 1935, he and his pilot, Wiley Post, crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska. Both of the men instantly lost their lives. Will was laid to rest in Los Angeles, but eventually his wife Betty Rogers decided to bring him back home. She created a memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma where she was buried as well (Biography, 2013). Though now dead, his story still lives on.
Bill Pickett was born on the 5th of December in 1870 on the Travis County line in the Jenks-Branch community (Lamar, 2013). He was half Indian and half African American (Will Rogers, 2013), to which both of his parents were freed slaves(Lamar, 2013). Bill, like Will Rogers, learned how to ride and rope by herding cattle on the ranch that he grew up on. Bill Pickett was the second oldest of thirteen kids and after finishing the fifth grade he began his cowboy career. He often put on shows for crowds and would put out his hat to collect generous tips and make a few dollars. It was in these little shows when the phrase and action of “Bulldogging” first started.
“Bulldogging” is an early more primitive form of the steer wrestling we know today. These shows caught the Miller brothers eyes and and they signed him for the 101 Ranch Wild West show in 1905. Two years later they signed him as a full time employee working on the 101 Ranch. Bill's success in the wild west show brought him to stardom and though he didn't go on to write books like Will Rogers did, he did star in various movies, making him the first black, cowboy, movie star.
Bill Pickett died on the 2nd of April in 1932 from a blunt blow to the head from a horse. Will Rogers, Bill's beloved friend and former co-worker announced his funeral on his radio show. Not only was Bill Pickett introduced into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame, but later in 1989 he was put into the Prorodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy(Lamar, 2013). Though now dead, his story still lives on.
Will Rogers was brought to the 101 Ranch Wild West Show because of his riding and roping abilities. In one of his acts he would take three lassos at once and throw them at a man riding a horse, one rope would wrap around the horses neck, one would wrap around the rider, and one would wrap around all four of the horses feet. This act would later be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for most lassos thrown at once (Biography, 2013).
Though he was an incredibly talented rider and roper, he soon realized that the audience responded the best when he made witty, funny, remarks about the rodeo, or things like everyday life and politics. He always had something to say, and people always wanted to hear it. This led him into the vast career that followed with many star roles in movies and the radio show he had. Even though he was a high school drop out, he went on to write many critically acclaimed books and speeches (Rodeo Star, 2013). Will Rogers death was a tragedy to all and if he would have lived a full life, who knows what more he would have accomplished.
Bill Pickett was also an incredible rider and roper, but the main thing he brought to the 101 Ranch Wild West Show was what he called “Bulldogging.” This name came from a bulldog breed that would take down cattle by biting there upper lip, and bringing them down into submission, and that is exactly what Bill Pickett would do. He would ride along side of the Longhorn steer on his horse, Spradley. Next he would leap off of his horse and grab the horns of the Longhorn and twist his head up to bite the steers upper lip and gain full power, thus leading the steer to the ground. The 101 Ranch Wild West show was the first place to ever have this event and the crowd raved over it. This event is now referred to as steer wrestling and they bring the steer down in a more orthodox way, but Bill Pickett is the originator of the event (Lamar, 2013).
The 101 Ranch Wild West Show was a spectacular extravaganza that had many stars, and many firsts. There is no doubt that it was one of the most incredible performances of all time. People would travel from far and wide to see Will Rogers ride and rope and to hear him say just a few good words. They would come to see Bill Pickett wrestle down a steer among many other things. The show was one of a kind, and the people who got the chance to see it were very lucky, and the people in it were for sure a part of something special. The 101 Ranch Wild West Show was the start of many famous actors and cowboys, and will live on through stories and text books.

1997 Show roster. (2013). Kay county intfo. Retrieved from http://www.kaycounty.i fo/101_ranch/1927roster.htm Biography. (2013). The official website of Will Rogers. Retrieved from http://www.cmgww.
Early years. (2013). Will Rogers. Retrieved from tml Lamar, H. (2013). Bill Pickett. Famous Texans. Retrieved from l Rodeo star Bill Pickett born in Texas. (2013). Old west. History.. Retrieved from m/this-day-in-history/rodeo-star-bill-pickett-born-in-t... Will Rogers born in Oklahoma (2013). Will Rogers is born in Old west. History. Retrieved from http://

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