B O O T H I L L M U S E U M
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
Fred Germann was born to G.F. and Blanch Germann, March 3, 1921 at Blue River Valley north of Manhattan, KS. Though he was active as a young man in church, 4-H and high school sports, he never thought of doing anything other than carrying on the family tradition of farming and ranching. In 1939 he entered Kansas State College of Agriculture and received a draft deferment as a farmer during World War II. However, his graduation was delayed by several years due to a horseback riding injury. In 1948, while in college, he excelled as a livestock judge. In the 1950’s Fred was active in the unsuccessful fight against putting a dam in Blue River Valley. When the dam was built in 1957, the Germann’s relocated to Humboldt Valley southeast of Junction City. Here they eventually acquired 3500 acres. Fred married Helen Van Buskirk in Howard, Kansas in 1959. The couple has two daughters, Debra Taylor and Lisa Williams, and three grandchildren. Though known mainly as a cattle grower, Fred raised hogs using a new technology, specific-pathogen-free pork, which kept hogs in conditions that minimized disease and improved herd health. He sold these special hogs across America and Internationally. Fred is the only person to have served as President of both the Kansas Livestock Association, of which he is the longest living individual member, and the Kansas Pork Producers Council. Germann was honored as Stockman of the year in 1989. In 2003 he wrote a book, Recollections…My Life Story. Fred is the recipient of many honors and awards, but he is most proud of helping young people get started in agriculture. Fred passed away September 17, 2010.
“If someone hands you a lemon, squeeze it and start a lemonade stand.
David Dary was born on August 21, 1934 in Manhattan, KS to Russell and Ruth Dary near where his great-grandfather, Carl Engel, settled in 1865. David graduated from Kansas State in 1956 and received a graduate degree from the University of Kansas. He began his journalism career in Topeka where he worked in radio and TV. He worked in Texas before joining CBS News in Washington, DC, where he transferred to NBC News. In the late 1960’s he returned to Topeka to help build an NBC station, and began teaching journalism at the University of Kansas. Twenty years later he became chair of the School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He retired in 2000 and is now an emeritus professor at Oklahoma. Dary is the author of 20 books; three deal with journalism, the rest are about the West. Titles include Cowboy Culture, The Santa Fe Trail and True Tales of Old-Time Kansas. One title, The Buffalo Book was a “Book-of-the-Month” Club selection and a Pulitzer Prize nominee. In 2008 he wrote Frontier Medicine which won him the Dr. Walter Alvarez Award from the American Medical Writers Association. He has received two Wrangler Awards from the Cowboy Hall of Fame, two Western Writers of America Spur Awards and the Westerners International Best Nonfiction Book Award. In 2002 he was honored with an Owen Wister Award from the W.W.A. for lifetime achievement. In 2008 the Oklahoma Center for the Book gave him an Arrell Gibson Award, also for lifetime achievement. Dary has chaired numerous historical organizations. He resided in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife, Sue until his death on March 15, 2018. They have four daughters and seven grandchildren.
“It would be impossible to understand the culture of the cowboy without considering his history.”
Sonny Worrell was born in Neodesha, Kansas to Carl and Helen Worrell on August 24, 1936. He lived with his family on the Pratt Ranch southwest of New Albany, Kansas until he was nine when the family moved into town. Sonny’s rodeo career began at the age of 11 when he won third place in calf roping at a rodeo in Erie, Kansas riding a horse he raised. When he was 15 he won calf roping at Mound City. He began his professional career while attending Oklahoma State University. Here he met the daughter of legendary steer roper Everett Shaw, Mary Sue Shaw of Stonewall, OK, and in 1957 the couple was married in Stillwater. He competed in calf roping and bulldogging, and later in steer roping, and was on his NIRA card until he got his PRCA card in 1960 when he was runner-up for Rookie of the Year. He was the first Kansan to qualify for the National Finals. In 1970, a leg injury at the Houston Astrodome ended his calf roping and bulldogging, but he continued in steer roping. Sonny won money 23 times out the 28 times he entered the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. He placed or won in numerous rodeos throughout America. Worrell won money in Kansas at rodeos in Dodge City, Phillipsburg, Coffeyville, Hayes and Strong City. His career spanned well over 20 years and he competed in 16 National Finals Rodeos. Worrell was inducted in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame Class of 2006 and has been a member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame since 1994. The Worrell’s had three children, Neil, Beverly and Kelly and two grandchildren who are rodeo contestants, Cacee Sue and Colby. Sonny passed away on Jan. 28, 2013 at his home in Stonewall, OK.
“Rodeo is like any other sport – when you’re young you need a lot of practice.”
Mervin Wilson was born to Elmer and Mary Wilson in Ainsworth, Nebraska on March 27 1913. When he was young the family moved north of Dodge City. Breaking horses and mules while riding them to school was a way of life for Merv. He, along with his father, hauled horses and mules to Illinois and brought back corn when he was in his 20’s. When he was in his 30’s, Merv and his father purchased palomino horses from Colorado that had never been haltered, ridden or handled, and “green broke” them in 30 days. They brought cattle from a ranch in Gray and Hodgeman Counties to the railroad in Dodge City and rode with them on the train to Kansas City where they sold them. Merv married Velma Tuttle in 1933 and they had five children, Bonnie, Bill, Don, Dean and Leon. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Merv drove cattle on horseback 15 to 20 miles to Dodge City to sell at livestock auctions. As a young cattleman he rounded up, moved and doctored neighbors’ cattle. During his many years working in Dodge City feedlots, he is credited with saving the lives of many cattle because he was quick to spot and treat ill animals in the herd. He worked part-time at feedlot riding pens into his seventies. Merv rode in numerous parades and trail drives in the region. As a member of the Dodge City Marshal’s Posse, he rode in President Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural parade. In 1990 he was a marshal of the Dodge City Days parade. He was a charter member of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo and was President of the Boothill Saddle Club. He was inducted into the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2005. Merv died on October 1, 1994. For 75 of his 81 years Merv was on his horse almost daily. He was married to Velma, who passed on April 15, 2008, for 61 years.
“His horse was his work, his business, his hobby and his pleasure.
Earl Kuhn was born to Emil and Zita Kuhn on October 5, 1947 in Victoria, Kansas. As a child he lived in Plainville, where worked from the age of five through high school at a family run grocery store. While at Fort Hays State College, Earl developed his talent as a western artist by painting and drawing for friends, and by painting rodeo signs around the region. While at FHSC he met Kaye Lukens, a rodeo cowgirl from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. In 1970 they married and lived in St. John for a year before moving to Medicine Lodge where Earl taught high school Art. He opened his Sagebrush Gallery of Western Art in Medicine Lodge in 1979. The Kuhn’s hosted the Indian Summer Days Professional Western Art Show each fall during the 1980’s in Medicine Lodge. This event brought in artists from throughout the U.S. In addition to many venues in the U.S., Earl’s paintings regularly show in Amarillo; Tucson; Houston; Denver and Oklahoma City. His watercolors won “Best of Show '' at the World Championship Ranch Rodeos “Best of the West” Western Art Show in 2001. He has won gold, silver and bronze medals at the National Western Artists’ and Texas Cowboy Artists’ Annual Shows. In 1986 he received the Mercedes Boot Award for Best of Show in painting at the Texas Cowboy Artists’. exhibit. Kuhn was the 1989 Artist of the Year at the American Royal Western Art Show. He had Best of Show in Albuquerque at the Chuckwagon Art Show in 1995. Earl’s work has been selected for many event programs, prints and posters, and has graced numerous magazine covers. The Kuhn’s have three sons, Kelly (Michelle), Kory (Stephanie) and Kerry (Misti). Grandchildren are Megan, Garrett, Amy, Kauy, Kolt, Kendall and Kody. Shown here is a reproduction of Earl’s painting “Preschool” featuring his grandson Kauy, son of Kerry.
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
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