HOME OF CHAMPIONS....
Red Lodge, MT
Statue of Bill Linderman.
At the entrance to The Cowboy Hall Of Fame there is a life size bronze statue of Bill Linderman.  (It was sculptured by  Bob Scriver, of Browning, Mt.)

                                                                         

  I grew up in Billings, Montana.  This is rodeo country; and the area has produced many national rodeo champions.  Seven of these came from Red Lodge, Montana (about 60 miles from Billings.) Red Lodge is called "Home of Champions.''   Every year,  one of the more anticipated events was the Red Lodge Rodeo.  This rodeo had outstanding contestants including Bill and Bud Linderman and Turk, Alice, Marge and Deb Greenough. Bill Smith is listed in record books as being from Cody , Wyoming; but folks around Red lodge know that Red Lodge is where he hails from.

Here is a list of some of their credits: 

BILL LINDERMAN....Tabbed the original "King'' of professional rodeo by his peers.
                                        Won seven world titles during his career in three different events.
                                        All-around world champion in 1950 and 1953.
                                         In 1950, Linderman accomplished something no cowboy has done since. He won world titles at both ends of the arena,
                                         in steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding.
                                        World champion bareback rider in 1943 and 1945.
BUD LINDERMAN      Saddle Back Champion   1945, 1950  Bare Back Champion 1951
TURK GREENOUGH   Saddle Back Champion  1933, 1934, 1936
ALICE GREENOUGH  World Bronc Riding Championship titles in 1933, 1935, 1936 and 1941.  Alice Greenough was the first cowgirl
                                         inducted into the  Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Hereford, Texas, in 1975.                      
DEB GREENOUGH      World Bareback Championship 1993. (Deb Greenough qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 13 times.)
MARGE GREENOUGH  Inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1978.     
BILL SMITH                 World Saddle Bronc titles in 1969, 1971 and 1973.                                           

     All are in the Cowboy or Cowgirl Hall Of Fame.
    And Billings, Montana is the home of another great rodeo champion...

DAN MORTENSEN  World Champion All Around Cowboy   1997
World Saddle Bronc Championship  1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998
First cowboy in history to go over the  $2 million mark in rodeo earnings.

                              

Photo of Bill Linderman.
      Bill Linderman

Photo of Deb  Greenough.
Deb Greenough

 

Photo of Alice Greenough.
  Alice Greenough

Photo of Dan Mortensen.
     Dan Mortenson

 



 


THE RED LODGE RODEO

(1940s - 1950s)
 

Photo of Bill Linderman.
Bill Linderman


Forget??  I've not forgotten
those times when I was young;             
and the memory of those rodeos
tastes sweet upon my tongue.
Red Lodge on July the fourth,
I'd find a way to go
to where the crowd and action was...
the home town rodeo.

I'd head on out for Red Lodge
where everyone was goin'.....
where rodeo grounds were packed with folks
and streets were over flowin.
The ruckus of the rodeo
would rock the Red Lodge crowd.
The cheers and chants and jeers and rants
would vibrate thunder-loud.

And when the chute was opened
and Bud Linderman shot out, 
the home town crowd went crazy,
as the bronco spun about.
With both legs on the same side,
he'd spur the bronc's right side -
then toss across to the left,
a spurrin' as he'd ride.
The right side- then the left side-
a spurrin' all the while;
and then he'd face the hometown crowd
and flash his hometown smile.


And when it came Turk Greenough's time,
we'd marvel at his skill-
the way he'd step right off the bronc
like it was standin' still.
Standin' still? Not hardly!
It bucked! It kicked! It spun!
But Turk stepped off so casual-like
when his ride was done.

And then came destiny's fair child,
and I can see him still......
the Champion All 'Round Cowboy-
Bud's big brother, Bill.
He could ride the bulls and broncs
that came straight outta hell.
He could ride most any brute
and always he'd excell.

Rodeos...I've seen a lot..,.
but nothin' can compare
to the home town rodeo
when all your friends are there;
and you're all there together
a cheerin' loud; and when
the riders that you're cheerin' for
are local home town men.

Bette Wolf Duncan
copyright2000 All rights reserved
 


 

About the author....BETTE  WOLF DUNCAN said:

         I was born during the depression, on my grandfather’s ranch in Stillwater County, Montana. Later my folks moved to Billings, where I went to grade and high school.  This is rodeo country; and a good portion of summer entertainment involved rodeo attendance.  It is also cattle country; and it was difficult not to grow up a  cowpoke of sorts by osmosis. My maternal grandparents were among the earliest pioneers to settle in the northwestern corner of North Dakota (near Wahpeton). My paternal grandparents settled in the Huntley Project area of southeastern Montana in the late 1890s. I married a Montana cowboy whose grandfather, Caleb Duncan, was one of the earliest ranchers  in southeastern Montana.   
                               
       I worked during high school as an usherette in a movie theater.   I worked my way through college as a long distance operator; and  I graduated from Rocky Mountain College in Billings Montana in 1954. For the next 18 years I worked as a Medical Technologist, chiefly in the field of toxicology.  Among other institutions, I worked at Texas Children’s Hospital and Southwestern Medical School in Dallas,  Los Angeles County Hospital in Los Angeles and Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California. 
In 1974, I graduated from Drake University Law School.  Subsequently, I was employed as a Prosecutor in The Polk County Attorney’s Office, Des Moines, Iowa;  Director of the Regulatory Division and legal counsel, Iowa Department of Agriculture; and Administrative Law Judge for the State of Iowa. I retired in 1995.   I am finishing a novel, JACOBY CROSSING; and I have two published books of cowboy-western poetry:
                                             

                                                        Russell Country  

   
   This collection of poems is an echo of the stories I heard as a granddaughter of early Montana and North Dakota pioneers. These poems contain memories of a time when the great buffalo herds still thundered through the valleys, when Cheyenne and Crow still camped around the Yellowstone River, when mountain men and cowboys, prospectors and miners, rustlers and vigilantes still populated Russell Country. Many of the poems are true accounts of events in the lives of Emma and Caleb Duncan (Grandparents of my late husband, Bill Duncan.)

      The poem "Shaney Ridge"  tells about how Caleb Duncan and his brother George, through hard work, built up a large ranch in Russell Country; and how George gambled it away. The poem "Empty Cradle Sad" tells about the abduction of Bill's father, when he was an infant, by a Crow Indian.

        Bill was raised on the family ranch. As a small boy, he and his brother Pete rode bareback on bucking  calves with Bud Linderman, pretending to be rodeo stars.  ( Bud Linderman later became a World Champion bareback rider.) Bill was active on the family ranch.  In Spring, he helped drive cattle about 50 miles from the home base, to higher leased ranges on the Crow Indian reservation. In fall, he helped drive them back.  He figured he'd been on about 20 such cattle drives. Many of the poems were based on accounts in Bill's life.

        The poem "Rustler's Roost" is about a band of rustlers that operated out of the Big Horn Mountains.  As head of a nine member crew that surveyed the Big Horn Mountains prior to the construction of the Yellowtail Dam, Bill traveled through country that few white people have ever seen.  In the five months they were there, they lived chiefly off of the abundant game to be found in the Bighorns. In a very remote section of the Big Horns, the crew came across a narrow pass into the canyon. It had a  heavy chain attached to a hook in the granite wall. It wa
s stretched across the pass, and across the adjacent river.  Past the boulders, there was a pathway to a fertile plateau.   It had long been rumored that there was a band of rustlers that operated out of the Big Horn Mountains; and this apparently was the place.  The entire area is now under water; and is part of the Yellowtail Dam Reservoir. Bill was  fortunate to have seen this bit of Montana history and to have experienced the wild west in a way that  few people living today have known. 
    This book is $9.95.
 

                                                                    Rodeo Country

   The author, Bette Wolf Duncan, grew up in southeastern Montana, not far from the Wyoming border. This is Rodeo Country; and she celebrates this rich western heritage with poems and photos of regional rodeo champions.  She is the granddaughter of early Montana and North Dakota pioneers; and she was married to a former cowboy whose grandparents were among the earliest ranchers in southeast Montana. She can still hear with her heart the pioneers tales of relatives and other old-timers. This book is the echo of their tales and of good times remembered.

  RODEO COUNTRY contains a collection of poetry and written accounts that embody much of the history and events that shaped Montana and Wyoming: the westward movement of the covered wagons;
Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show; data and poem about Earl Durand; Wyoming's enactment of the Suffrage Act (the first state to do so); the Mormon handcart trek through Wyoming;  Black Sunday (April 14, 1935) and the dust bowl; the Johnson County War; the Coal Mine Disaster at Bearcreek, MT; the disastrous winter of 1885-1886;the migration of the homesteaders (the Honyockers) from about 1910  to 1922, in large portions of Montana and Wyoming; and the recession that hit farms/ranches in the 1980s. And of course the book features bios, stats, photos and poetry about the rodeo champions from Montana and Wyoming.

         RODEO COUNTRY  received the 2007 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Publishing of Cowboy Poetry.
The book is $12.95.
                                                         
        

 
You can order  RUSSELL COUNTRY  and/or RODEO COUNTRY
by snail mail:

B Bar D Publications
1755 S.E. 108th
Runnells, IA 50237
(515) 966 2461
Or by e-mail:  wacobelle@msn.com
 

  

                                                                                             Do visit my other three web sites:

 http://wacobelle.org  Cowboy Poetry of Casey's Corral
 http://www.charlierussell.org  Charlie Russell's Stagecoach
 http://www.rangewriter.org    The Range Writers