Red Lodge, MT
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.
is a list of some of their credits:
BILL LINDERMAN....Tabbed the original "King'' of professional rodeo by
Won seven world titles during his career in three
All-around world champion in 1950 and
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.
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.
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
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.
THE RED LODGE RODEO
(1940s - 1950s)
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
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
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:
This collection of poems is an
echo of the stories
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
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
tells about the abduction of
Bill's father, when he was an
infant, by a Crow Indian.
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
The poem "Rustler's
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 was
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.
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
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
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
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.
received the 2007 Will Rogers
Medallion Award for Outstanding
Achievement in the Publishing of
The book is $12.95.
You can order
and/or RODEO COUNTRY
by snail mail:
B Bar D Publications
1755 S.E. 108th
Runnells, IA 50237
(515) 966 2461
Do visit my other three web sites: