It’s always great to hear from our colleagues at various Museums but even better when the call comes in from the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs telling us that one of our local cowboys, the late John Bowman is being inducted during their ceremonies on Saturday, July 13. We were only too happy to assist the Hall and John’s granddaughter Candy Eckert in compiling information and memorabilia that included, John’s 1936 All Around Champion Saddle, his 1931 Champion Calf Roper Silver Trophy from Miles City, MT, and some chaps, spurs and photographs. All will be displayed on a temporary loan.
John was born in Rodgers, AR in 1900, and grew up on a ranch near Ponca City, OK. At the age of 17, he entered the Beggs, OK Rodeo and placed first in the bronc riding and second in the calf roping. John continued to enter rodeos concentrating on the timed events. He won at Calgary, Cheyenne and Pendleton, winning his first gold buckle in steer roping in 1933 and won both the steer roping and the All Around World Championship in 1936 with earnings of $10,800.
John married Lucile Capps of Salida and they made their home in Oakdale in 1936. John was instrumental in starting the Oakdale Saddle Club in 1948, where the All Around trophy continues to bear his name. John was also responsible for enticing other rodeo greats like Harley May, Jim Charles and Bill Martinelli to make their homes in Oakdale, thus making Oakdale, the “Cowboy Capital of the World.”