Jennifer Hall provided the information for this post. She first told me the story, and then agreed to scan the photo and give us the details.
“I was shopping in an antique store and this photo caught my eye. The photo appealed to me because of the vintage western clothing the people are wearing. It never occurred to me to look for family members, so it was quite a surprise when I recognized my great-uncle, Leo, in the picture! I quickly bought the photo and showed it to other members of the family. They pointed out that it wasn’t just Uncle Leo in the photo, but also Uncle Bob and his wife, as well as a cousin. Family members say this is a photo of the roping club my uncle started. It just goes to show that genealogical sources can be found in unexpected places.”
Jennifer wrote later,
“I think the photo was taken in the late ’40s to early ’50s. My Uncle Robert tells me he’s certain this is the roping club Leo started in Stillwater. I did a little bit of searching on the web and found some information.
There is an article about the 60th anniversary of the OSU Rodeo Association. It says Uncle Leo formed the club with his friends in 1946 when they enrolled at OSU. The group started with 6 members. They won first place at their first intercollegiate rodeo in 1948. The trophy now belongs to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
The article names Larry Kilgore as one of the founding members of the group and he is also pictured in the photo I have. My mom knew him and recognized him in the picture.
I found another article on OSU’s website about the scholarship my cousins created in Leo’s honor. It tells a lot about Uncle Leo’s. See this OSU website article.
I’m not looking at the photo right now, but Uncle Bob is seated on the front row, a little to the left of center. There’s a blond woman to the left of him. She was his wife, Bert. Uncle Leo is almost in the center of the photo, a little to the left. He his wearing a light colored cowboy hat that is tilted toward the back of his head so that it almost forms a circle around his face. He didn’t want to flatten his hair, I guess. Uncle Leo passed away last year, but Uncle Bob (not the Uncle Robert I emailed, I have 3 Uncle Roberts on the same side of the family, so confusing!) is still living. I don’t have an email address for him, so I’ll be sending him a letter. He should be able to give me more info.”
Jennifer Hall, Boston Avenue UMC Genealogy Class Student. Fall 2008