101 Ranch Memories

101 Wild West Rodeo

   

 

   

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The 55th Annual 101 Wild West Rodeo

June 12-14, 2014

Website will be updated as information becomes available.

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Work Sessions

Work will continue through this year and next on improvements to the 101 Wild West Rodeo Arena, watch here for upcoming dates. Volunteers are always welcome.

   

 

   

UpcomingEvents

Steer Roping; 2 complete go rounds of Steer Roping

Saturday, June 14, 2014

10:00AM TO ?:??PM

   

 

 

Rejuvenated 101  Rodeo Recalls Memories

 

(Note: The below article was published in the Thursday, August 27, 1970, issue of the Ponca City News.....Myrtle (Peggy) Prentice, now of Fairview, remembers with pleasure and nostalgia the, season she spent with the 101 Ranch Wild West show, 1925. She has written, for The News and 101 Ranch fans, the following account based on her recollections.)

By MYRTLE PRENTICE


The 101 Ranch as well as the Wild West Show was owned and operated by the three Miller brothers; Joe, Zack and George of Ponca City.

 

Zack Miller, in his book, "The Fabulous Empire," wrote of how the ranch was established. I will endeavor to describe the beauty of it.

 

The big "White House" centered a spacious lawn. Surrounding it were employees quarters, a fine orchard, grocery store, Post Office, canning plant, large stock barns, corrals, rodeo grounds as well as herds of buffalo, cattle and horses.

 

The welcome mat was out for all who cared to come and visit, and people came from all over the world.

 

A schoolmate of mine, Hazel Plank, and I signed with this great organization in 1925, to ride with the cowgiri string.

 

We were on the ranch three weeks before going on the road, and during this time put on several rodeos and made some scenes for three moving pictures. The stars were; Marion Davies and Jack Mulhall, adopted son of Col. Zack Mulhall and thus brother to Lucille. Mulhall, the famous cowgirl of those days.

 

The big day came when we were to leave the ranch for parts unknown. Our first stop was Kansas City. We arrived in a pouring rain, and riding on that muddy lot made me a bit homesick, but my father, having been a bronc rider with the Pawnee Bill Show, had told me that if I came running home when the going get rough, he would disown me. He didn't get that chance.

 

We were all through the South and while there encountered some very severe storms. In leaving Birmingham, Ala., we were asked to leave the sleeping cars and ride out on the steel flats; as the Millers were afraid that if we remained in the coaches the road bed might wash out, and we would be drowned. We huddled under canvas and pole wagons in that rain for two days, going back into the privilege cars just long enough to get something to eat. It was like being in the middle of a large lake.

 

It was in one of these downpours that I made my first big mistake of the season. I came on the lot and was asked by Col. Joe to get up into the ticket wagon out of the rain. As I sat by the front window a man came up and asked if I had seen any "Bull Men" around. Seems as though he had a pole wagon stuck in the mud and needed an elephant to push it out. Not knowing they call Elephant Trainers "Bull Men," I promptly replied, "No, but there are a lot of cowboys out back." Well, this became the joke of the season.

 

Of course it wasn't all rain; there was also a lot of sunshine mixed in. The time Mrs. Zack Miller brought the children on to see their father.

 

Zack Jr. was the proud owner of a little Shetland pony and all the cute western gear that went with it, And when Mr. Joe had a birthday party and we were all invited to their private car to celebrate.

 

We traveled through so many beautiful states and cities. Up state New York, the New England States. Went swimming in the Great Lakes, visited Niagara Falls, in all her splendor.

Went boating on the "Maid of the Mist," a boat carrying passengers down under the falls, Walked on the famous "Hurricane" deck and the spray from the falls came over on us.

We also visited the capital of the United States and crossed the beautiful Potomac River. We went. sight seeing whenever we could. Had the pleasure of touring New York City and Coney Island.

 

While touring the eastern cities there were many little children who came to the lot without money for tickets, so Mr. Joe, Zack or George would raise the side wall of the tent and let them crawl under. This made many a little boy and girl happy.

 

We had some of the greatest riders and ropers of all times with the show, such greats as Tad and Buck Lucas, Velda and Louis Tindell, Kenny Williams, Hank Daraell, Buff Braidy, Dick Shelton, Joe Braire, Zeima Zimmennan, the  Blatherwick children, Eddy and Tillie Bowman, Blondie Russell, Clair and Bob Belcher, Leo and Leonard Murray, Peggy Murry, Rene Hafley, Eddy Botsford, an Indian interpreter, Tex Cooper, an announcer, who was often mistaken for Buffalo Bill, Bill Pickett, who bulldogged steers with his teeth. To accomplish this, great feat, he sank his teeth into the animal's lip, bringing him down every time.

 

Then there were California Frank Hafley and wife, Mamie Francis, with their great shooting act, Ezra Meeker, the grand old gentleman, and Dan Dix, with his  famous trick mule "Virgil." It is also my understanding that Will Rogers started his fine rope spinning act while visiting the Miller Brothers. I shall never be able to recall the many names of those who played important parts.

 

Through the kindness, and understanding from the hearts of three great men, Joe, Zack and George Miller, the 101 Ranch Wild West show was born. It seems such a pity when the Miller Brothers died, that the "Fabulous Empire" died with them. It was one of the greatest attractions Oklahoma has ever known. I feel very proud to have traveled with this great organization.

   
 
 
   
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