And the inductees are…
For Tri-State Livestock News
The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame will add 11 individuals to their prestigious group spring.
This year’s inductees are:
Clarence Correll — Gering
Emory Daly — Thedford (posthumously)
Vern Dent — Mullen
Charles Irvin Fletcher “Fletch” — Sargent
Joyce Fletcher — Sargent
Eddie Guynan — Paxton
Mariel Klingbeil — Callaway
Dale Svoboda — Burwell,
James (Jim) Svoboda — Ord
Floyd Franklin ‘Red’ Edelman — Hyannis,
Willis (Bill) Ruby — Lander, Wyoming (formerly from Stapleton)
The Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame (NSCHOF) banquet will be at the Municipal Building in Broken Bow June 11.For tickets, contact Rod Palmer 402-387-2212; Ronny Morgan 308-346-4391 or Dale Prickett 308-520-8575.
Emory Daly was born in 1924 calling Tryon area his childhood home. His grandson Tyler In his nomination stated “Emory personified the Sandhills Cowboy.” He grew up riding and training horses. He married Evelyn Correll, another McPherson Co. native in 1953 after he returned from the Korean conflict. He worked for the Monahan Ranch in Grant Co. then was foreman for the Paxton Ranch for eight years before purchasing the ranch south of Thedford on the Dismal River in 1961 where he lived until his death. He rodeoed until the kids came along, working hard, passing down cowboy values and a love of rodeo to his kids, Charles, Dave and Lori. He was a director for the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association and helped during the Thedford High School Rodeo. Charlie was 8 when Emory began the battle of his life against cancer. “I remember going to team ropings with Dad, he had to quit the rough stock riding, but that didn’t stop him from roping as long as he could. He supported all of us in our high school rodeos. I was 18, graduated in the spring of 1975, he died that November at age 51.”
Willis ‘Bill’ Ruby formerly of Stapleton, now lives in Lander, Wyoming. Born in 1928, Bill loved riding calves and the milk cows while growing up, changing to bulls and saddle broncs during his rodeo career which spanned several decades. He married Ramona Hanna in 1946. He was foreman of the Tom Morrison ranch north of Stapleton from 1948 to 1967 when he moved to Lander to become foreman of another ranch owned by Morrison. In 1970, Morrision sold that ranch and Bill bought his own ranch. He would come back to Nebraska to participate in the Old Timer’s Rodeo at Hyannis. Ramona died in 1976 and he remarried in 1980 to Lois Nielsen. He is hoping he will be up to coming back and rubbing shoulders and swapping stories with some of his old rodeo cronies.
Charles and Joyce
Man and wife inductees, Charles Irvin ‘Fletch’ Fletcher and Joyce Fletcher “have a Sargent address, but call Taylor area home”. They too called Logan Co. home for several years. Fletch was born August 1928, Joyce in May 1932. March 15 they celebrated 63 years together. Fletch worked on the Paxton ranch alongside Emory Daly for three years, then became foreman of the Tom Morrison Ranch when Bill Ruby left. They worked there even after Morrison sold it and it became known as the S&W Ranch. They had four daughters, Raeleen, Bobbi, Pat and Cindy. (Raeleen and this writer were classmates at Stapleton until their junior year.) After leaving Logan Co. the summer of 1972, they bought a ranch near Taylor, downsizing it several years ago. During Fletch’s rodeo career, Joyce would be the driver, making three rodeos a weekend was not uncommon. Fletch rode his last bull in 1955, then rode in the Old Timer’s Rodeo at Hyannis until 1972. Both deserve this recognition for passing their love of America’s sport to the next generations as they sponsored the Nebraska High School Rodeo at Bassett from 1980 to 1996, then helped with the Jr. Rodeos as well.
If one follows the sport of rodeo at all in Nebraska, they know of PRCA cowboy, Steve Dent of Mullen. His granddad, Vern, 90 years young is one of the inductees. “I didn’t rodeo, but I worked hard ranching, earning enough so my kids could.” Vern was born Feb. 23,1926 in Ord, Nebraska His first ‘herding’ was that of turkeys, not cows on the Shinn Turkey Ranch when as a young boy his family lived and worked around the Dunning/Halsey area. Vern was a self-educated man, never finished formal education as he left home at 16 with a box of clothes and a saddle, hoping to become a cowboy. He hopped a train, met a man going to work at the JHL north of Ashby, followed him there and got his first job away from home. He too carried the cowboy’s core values with him to the numerous ranches he worked on. He married Helen Pearson in 1948, instilling in his three children those values as well. From leasing ranch land to owning it, Vern acquired upwards of 42,000 acres. He and Helen moved off the ranch into Mullen “just before Christmas last year. I don’t do much now, except go get the mail. I may not be going strong, but at least I’m still going,”
The inductees’ stories bring to mind James P. Owen’s seven core ‘cowboy’ values of courage, optimism, self-reliance, authenticity, duty, honor and heart.
The 400 tickets are going fast, said Rod Palmer, founder of the NSCHOF. Palmer started the non-profit to recognize, according to their website, ‘individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the Western Lifestyle or horse culture in the areas of competition, business, support of rodeo, … western arts, entertainment and special achievement in the State of Nebraska.’
Twenty members representing that many central and western Nebraska counties make up the voting board. 2016 inductees number 11 and bring the total of inductees to 119.
Board members can vote in support of any number of individuals, and a minimum of seven votes is needed to confirm a nominee.
The event will top off a busy week for the community. On June 6, nearly 700 bicyclists and their support staff will overnight during the annual BRAN (Bike Ride Across NE). The next night, approximately 150 tractor enthusiasts, will overnight during the sixth annual TRAN (Tractor Relay Across Neb). On June 8-9, the Nebraska Cattlemen will host their Mid-Year meeting with Barb Cooksley, president of the NC welcoming members and friends. F