B O O T H I L L M U S E U M
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
Alfred Barby was born September 3, 1915 to Louis and Edith Barby near Knowles, Oklahoma. He graduated high school in Laverne, Oklahoma and attended Dodge City Commercial Business College. After graduation he worked for Robbins Ranch Company of Belvidere, Kansas as a foreman and bookkeeper for 15 years. He made a home along the Cimarron River north of Knowles joining the family ranching operations. Alfred’s first wife, Dorothy Allen, passed away. In 1958 he married Gwenda Lea Wheeler. This union lasted 43 years. Alfred purchased the VV Long Ranch south of Meade, Kansas where he lived most of the rest of his life. In 1971 he bought part of the Harper Ranch near Ashland, Kansas. His total holdings exceeded 30,000 acres and he ran as many as 2,000 cattle. Alfred had two sons who still live in the area, Bill and Allen; and a daughter, Jean O’Brien who resides in Leawood, Missouri. He was a leader in all that he did and was a member of many organizations including the Kansas Livestock Association, the Texas Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, The Meade County Fair Board, and both the American and Kansas Hereford Associations. Alfred served on the Kansas Livestock Association board of directors. He received the Meade County Western Heritage Award in 1999 and The KLA Cattleman of the Century Award. Gwenda died on December 4, 2001 in Meade. Alfred passed away in Laverne, Oklahoma on October 2, 2005 at the age of 90 leaving behind a legacy that will be remembered by many.
“He was a leader in all that he did,” son Bill Barby.
Don Rowlison is a Sheridan county resident and native, being born in Hoxie, Kansas on March 18, 1950 to Johnny and Elda (Barr) Rowlison. Don is a fourth generation cowboy in Kansas and he grew up with cowboys while his father operated a feed store. After attending school in Hoxie he went to Colby Community College and later to Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison. He transferred to Kansas State University where in 1972 he obtained a B.S. in Anthropology with an emphasis on Archeology. In 1973 he went to work for the Kansas State Historical Society as an archeologist. After a stint of managing a ranch in the Flint Hills, he returned to doing archeological work for the KSHS. In 1976 he received a Master’s in Education from Kansas State and became a project archeologist for the KSHS until 1980 when he became the first State Public Archeologist for Kansas. In May of 1985 he married Pratt, Kansas native Mellanie Nossaman who also studied archeology at Kansas State. They have a son Ian who was born in October 1993. He has been at the Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site in Sheridan County since 1985 and is currently Site Curator. Don has spent many hours in the saddle as a working cowboy at the Historic Site and in the Flint Hills. He was first a cowboy and later developed an interest in cowboy history during his University studies. He is a member of the Friends of Cottonwood Ranch and the Morland Community Foundation. He coordinates the Annual Sheep Dog Trials, the Barbeque Contest, Christmas at Cottonwood and the Cottonwood Ranch Trail Ride
John McBeth was born on October 2, 1940 to Harold and Lorene (Padgett) in Kingman, Kansas where he was raised and educated. He attended Hutchinson Junior College and went on to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana on a rodeo scholarship. From 1956 to 1963 he pursued an amateur rodeo career, but went to two rodeos in 1963 as a professional, placing in both. Starting in 1965 he began riding in the National Finals Rodeo returning nine more consecutive times and again in 1978. In 1974 he won the Champion Saddle Bronc Rider World Title. John also had two appearances at the NFR as elected judge and 1976 and 1979, and was color commentator at the event several times. He performed in pro rodeo until 1988 when he retired by scoring 81 points on his last bronc ride at Yukon, Oklahoma. He married Francie Brewer in El Dorado, Kansas in 1962. They have two sons, Bart born in 1963, and Blake born in 1972. John and Francie have five grandchildren. John has a Bronc Riding School held mostly in Oneida, South Dakota. Many notables have come out of his school including Derek Clark, Tom C. Miller, Marty Jasndreau, Monte Melvin, his oldest son Bart, Gibson Nez, Larry Jordan, and Matt and Joe Reed. As many as eight of his graduates have qualified for the NFR. Three of his students Robert and Billy Etbauer, and Tom Reeves have eight world titles among them. John is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the Senior Pro Rodeo and the Rodeo Historical Society
Asher Crowley was born on the Chromo Ranch near Pagosa Springs, Colorado to Pet C. and Sara Russell Crowley on July 17, 1904. Getting an early start at a long career during a long productive lifetime, he first rode on horseback at the age of two. At nine he got his first rope and at 16 he competed in his first rodeo. He participated in his first team roping competition when he was 18. During his long life he won many competitions in team roping as a “heeler.” He lived on the family homestead until 1935, marrying Myrtle in Durango, Colorado on Sept. 6, 1927. Their marriage lasted 80 years until his death. From this union came a son Willis and a daughter Doris. In 1952 the couple moved to Wichita County in northwest Kansas where he spent the rest of his life. Many of Asher’s accomplishments came after what most people would consider retirement age. In 1966, when over 60 years old, he went to work for Hi Plains Feedlot (later Caprock Industries) in Leoti, Kansas. He worked there until retiring in 1997 at 92. Asher won many awards during his life; later ones include the IFCA World Championship Team Roping in 1984, The Whimp Hughes Memorial “The Top Hand Award” in 1988, and in 1995 he had the fastest time of 47 teams in the Celebrity Team Roping at the Beef Empire Days in Garden City. He held memberships in Leoti Rodeo & Horse Show Club, Leoti Rough Riders, Wichita County Roping Club, Wichita County Rodeo Club, Wichita County Fair Board & Parade Committee, International Feedlot Cowboys Association, and many civic and church organizations. Asher passed away on May 22, 2007 at the age of 102 years and nine months.
“There is no use to quitting as long as you can still do it.”
Marion “Mac” McLain was born in Nebraska on May 13, 1889 to Frank and Marietta (Marnie) McLain. In 1908 the family moved to the Hostetter Ranch near Sun City, Kansas from Toronto, Kansas. He worked as a farmer and stockman during his young adulthood. Mac is best known for being the owner of “McLain’s Roundup” which was the world’s largest independently owned rodeo. It ran from 1922 to 1939 at Sun City. Open to any contestant who could pay the entry fee, the rodeo drew world champions including Bob Crosby, Irby Mundy, Everett Shaw, Dick Truitt, Ike Rude and Bud Hampton as well as locals. Mac provided top quality stock, did marketing, and attracted contestants, specialty acts and bands for this annual event. Along with this rodeo were carnival rides. In the later years of the McLain Rodeo Mac started off the rodeo with a “Grand Entrée” with his two sons, Max and Mark, from his marriage on November 2, 1912 to Ruth Lillian Massey who hailed from near Sun City. The couple also had a daughter, Marjorie. Mac was involved in founding the Cowboy Turtle Association. Created in response to unfair treatment of rodeo contestants, they called themselves the “turtles” because though they were slow to organize they eventually stuck their necks out. The CTA later became the Rodeo Cowboys Association, which is predecessor of the PRCA. He was a life member of the CTA, RCA and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Frank died in Greensburg, Kansas August 21, 1972 at the age of 83. Though all his children are deceased, his memory lives on in his grandchildren who next to his McLain’s Roundup were the crown of his life.
“Rarin’ to Go!"
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
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