B O O T H I L L M U S E U M
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
Olis (Oley) Glenn Goodnight was born at Ashland, Kansas to Olis Glenn Goodnight, Sr. and Iona Grace McKinney Goodnight on October 29, 1929. Oley was raised in Englewood, Kansas. Oley and Shirley Franks were united in marriage on October 5, 1952 at San Diego, CA where Oley was stationed. In April 1954, while stationed in Kodiak, Alaska, their first child, Sherre was born. After retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1954, he, his wife and their daughter returned to Englewood. Oley worked for the Theis Ranch from 1954 to 1959. During this time they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Dana, in March of 1955 and daughter Gayle in August 1959. Oley left the Theis Ranch in 1959 and began leasing a small farm acreage as well as working the Goodnight parcels of land; some of these parcels have been in the Goodnight family for more than 100 years. This was the beginning of what is now the Goodnight Ranch. In December 1961, their son, Greg, was born. They started with a Hereford cow/calf herd and later expanded to a stocker feeder operation with large acreages of wheat and alfalfa. Later the Goodnights added a substantial neighboring ranch to theirs when they purchased part of the Claremont Ranch, which was established in the 1880's by Englewood's founder C.D. Perry, from Mrs. Locke Theis. Oley has always had a love for quarter horses. He and four of his cowboy-turned-seamen shipmates would anxiously await the newest Quarter Horse Journal magazine aboard the U.S.S. Pine Island AU-12 in the Pacific Ocean during the Korean War. The five mates were featured in the August 1952 issue in a picture that read, “We five boys, all good buddies, really like our Quarter Horses. ... Since we can’t be at home and work with our own horses, The Journal kind of helps to take the place of our horses.” Oley stocks a number of AQHA quarter horses for ranch work, and breeds and trains and races thoroughbred horses. In 1995, the family bought a longhorn steer and named him Smoky. Smoky graced Dodge City with his presence for years residing in the Longhorn Park east of town. Oley was elected Trustee of the Sand Creek Township in Meade County in 2000 and continues to serve on that board. Oley served on the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service boards in Clark and Meade Counties. He also served on the USD 220 School Board from 1966 to 1976. Oley and Shirley are active in the Methodist Church in Ashland. Their second daughter, Dana, died in 2007. Son, Greg has taken over the Ranch. Oley and Shirley have 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren which keeps them active.
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame connection: Olis is the younger brother of 2002 Historian Don Goodnight.
"We're Burning Daylight!"
Gary & Margaret Kraisinger
Both Gary and Margaret Kraisinger are descendants of Kansas homesteaders. Gary was born on November 6, 1939 in Hays, Kansas, to Alfred and Christina Kraisinger. Margaret, his wife, was born on July 14, 1941 in Garden City, Kansas to Archie and Livona Beller. The couple met in 1960 at Fort Hays State University and were married in 1963. Gary received a BS at FHSU in 1963, and Margaret a BA from FHSU in 1964. As a partial requirement for his MS degree at Emporia State University, Gary wrote his thesis on "The Garden City Nickel Plate Railroad - C.J. Jones' Dirt Railroad." His 1966 degree was in Geography and Cartography. In 1967, Margaret got a Master's in Business Education at ESU. Both taught for a short time in the Dighton school system. It was during this time they became interested in the cattle trails across western Kansas. In 1968, the couple moved to Wichita where Gary worked in the cement, sand, and aggregate industry for more than 40 years. Margaret continued to teach in Wichita and Halstead until her retirement in 1997. Soon after, she began writing history and purchased an old hardware store in Halstead. The couple has been enthusiastic about cattle trail history since early in their marriage. Together the Kraisingers have written two books on the Western Cattle Trail. The first one, "The Western, The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail 1874-1886," was published in 2004 and the second, "The Western Cattle Trail 1874-1897 Its Rise, Collapse and Revival," was published in 2015. A third book, "The Fort Arbuckle Trail, 1867 - 1871," is scheduled for release in early 2016. The Fort Arbuckle Trail located in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) funneled longhorns into Abilene, Kansas. Gary is a board member of the national Great Western Cattle Trail Association and of the Kansas Chapter. He is a member of the Kansas Cattle Towns Association, International Chisholm Trail Association and of its Dodge City/Fort Dodge/Cimarron Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association. Gary and Margaret ardently write and educate the public about cattle trails. The Kraisingers have three children, Kurt, Eric and Kristi Stewart, and they have eight grandchildren. Margaret and Gary live in Halstead, Kansas where Margaret operates the Old Hardware Store, a business in a historic 1879 stone building.
"If no one had written about it [the Western Trail], it would have been lost to time."
Harley Dean Gilbert
Harley Dean Gilbert was born on June 7, 1934 in Busby, Kansas to Harley "Ermine" and Kathryn "Iris" Gilbert. He was the younger of two children, his sister Mary being born two years before. His parents ran a Hereford calf-cow operation and farmed hay and grains. Harley attended grade school in Busby. When he was 10 he began breaking horses, starting with one he had raised from its birth. Throughout his youth he broke many more horses and a few Brahma bulls. He graduated from nearby Longton High School in 1952. Though his parents wanted him to stay on the ranch, his dream was to ride bulls. A compromise was reached when he agreed to stay on the ranch during planting and harvest. He became friends with many rodeo greats while commuting to and from rodeos. In 1959, he started riding bulls for the RCA (now PRCA) competing in 13 States. He placed first at Nixa, MO; Ponca City, OK; Strong City, KS; Copan, OK; Burwell, NE; Kankakee, IL; Miami, OK; Huntington, WV; Davenport, IA; Burden, KS and Wichita, KS. He was listed as one of the top 15 bull riders in 1963. For several years, he worked with 2010 Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee, Sonny Worrell for Harry Knight, owner of the Flying A, as a pickup man. In addition to bull riding, Harley did some steer wrestling and roping. He placed first in steer wrestling in Great Bend, KS and Burden, KS. On November 15, 1966, he married Patty Jo Morris and they raised three children, Gerald "Jerry" Gilbert, Clinton "Clint" Gilbert and Tamberly "Tammy" Baker, in Busby. They have 10 grandchildren. In 1969, when his father died, Harley took over the ranch, but continued to rodeo professionally until 1974. After that, he competed in "old timers" events and reunions, and judged amateur and PRCA events. Harley is a PRCA Gold Card holder and has memberships in the American Quarter Horse Association, Kansas Thoroughbred Association and Kansas Quarter Horse Association. He is a licensed trainer for both Kansas and Oklahoma, and has been in the winners' circle numerous times in horse races in both States. Though not currently licensed in Nebraska, he has won several races in that State. In 2009, the Kansas Thoroughbred Association awarded him Aged Horse of the Year for "Grand On Affair." Harley is currently semi-retired working as an oil and gas consultant and lives near Fredonia, Kansas. Harley continues to ride horses to this day.
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame connection: Harley Gilbert worked with Sonny Worrell, 2010 Rodeo Cowboy, as a pickup man.
"The [aptitude] test told me I could be anything I wanted, so I became a cowboy!"
Gerald "Jerry" Nelson Peck
Gerald "Jerry" Peck was born in rural Wakefield, Kansas on August 4, 1928 to Henry Nelson and Edna Schweitzer Peck. He grew up with cattle and horses and began breaking and riding horses as a young man. In 1946 around the age of 18, he started working for the late Bud McLinden of rural Marion, Kansas as a ranch hand and, in his early 20's, began a lifetime journey as a foreman of the Big-4 pasture located on Highway 77 six miles south of Junction City. Jerry served his country as a member of the Kansas National Guard. Before his marriage, he worked as a pickup man in local rodeos. In the 1950's he helped drive Texas cattle from railroad cars in Cassody, Kansas to local pastures. In 1954, he married Lucile Macoubrie. In 1955, they moved north of Skiddy, Kansas renting the 980 acre Ebbutt Ranch from the widow of 2012 Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee, Bill Ebbutt. Here, Jerry began building up a cowherd and, throughout his lifetime, had a close connection with his cattle. He didn't need an ear tag to identify his cows and calves. He knew which calf belonged to which cow. In addition to the 980 acre Ebbutt Ranch, he rented and managed another 1,600 acres of pasture. At Skiddy, Jerry was a friend of, and rounded up cattle with, 2014 KCHF inductee Dusty Anderson. In 1976, Jerry bought his own ranch and rented some of the same pastures. During this time he worked in the stockyard on sale day and was a cattle field representative for the Herington Livestock Commission Company until he died on April 1, 2002. In the late 1990's until his death, he managed for Fred Berns the same four section pasture he managed and worked on for Bud McLinden. Jerry was a traditional cowboy. He checked his cattle as well as others' closely, roped and doctored as needed, castrated calves, dehorned cattle, maintained pasture fences, and rid the beautiful prairie of noxious weeds. Jerry loved the Flint Hills prairie and some of his fondest memories were the times he traveled to help roundup cattle in Chase, Morris and Wabaunsee Counties. Jerry was an accomplished cattleman and rancher, and was very well known and respected. He was a kind and gentle man who was very generous when it came time to help a neighbor, friend or family member. He was a man of integrity, whose word was honest and genuine. Jerry and Lucile have two daughters, Gayle Ann Fielder and Linda Lucile Moffenbier. Lucille joined him in death on March 15, 2020.
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame connection: His sister the late Faye Louise (Peck) Heath was inducted into the 2020 Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame as Rodeo Cowboy. Jerry rented ground from 2012 Cattleman/Rancher Bill Ebbutt. And he was friends with KCHF Working Cowboy Dusty Anderson.
"My dad was not a horse whisperer, but he was gentle with animals and knew how to earn their respect," daughter Gayle Ann (Peck) Fielder.
Orin Friesen was born in York, Nebraska on September 1, 1946. Orin is a cowboy of many talents as a radio broadcaster, musician, author, actor, lecturer and business manager. He grew up learning how to cowboy, working with cattle and horses. As a youth in York, NE, he was 4-H King and a member of the York Trail Riders Saddle Club. He built a radio transmitter in the early 1960's and received a ham radio license in 1963. In 1964, Orin graduated from Henderson High School in Nebraska. He has been in broadcasting for over 50 years, beginning his career at the Bethel College and Kearney College radio stations. He transferred to Wichita State University where he earned a BA in Speech/Radio & Television. Since graduation, he has been employed at a number of radio and television stations; the vast majority of them in Kansas. His voice has been heard on KFDI in Wichita since 1977, doing his "Cowboy Hour" radio show for many years. In 1994, Orin started his first cowboy band, the Home Rangers and, in 1999, he started the Prairie Rose Wranglers. He has recorded 17 albums of cowboy music with the Home Rangers, Prairie Rose Wranglers, Diamond W Wranglers and Prairie Rose Rangers. He has performed with Michael Martin Murphey, Roy Rogers Jr., Rex Allen Jr. and fellow KCHF inductee, Barry Ward. Orin produced the Great American Cowboy at Carnegie Hall concerts in 2003 and 2004, and concerts in China in 2006. He also produced the nationally released radio show special "Music of the Wild West." He was curator of the Hopalong Cassidy Cowboy Museum from 2003 to 2007. He is on the board of directors of Lone Chimney Films, which won the Western Heritage Award for Best Documentary from the National Cowboy Museum & Hall of Fame for "Road to Valhalla." Orin has received many honors and accolades. In 1990, he was named the first Broadcaster of the Year for the International Bluegrass Music Association. The Academy of Western Artists made him Disc Jockey of the Year for 2002. In 2007, the Elliott School of Broadcasting at WSU honored him as Alumnus of the Year. Orin received a Distinguished Service Award from the IBMA in 2012. He is also a member of the America's Old-Time Country Hall of Fame. In 2015, Orin received the Authentic Cowboy of the Year from the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Reenactment & Pow Wow Association. In 2014, Friesen authored the book, "Goat Glands to Ranch Hands: The KFDI Story." Currently, he is the operations manager of the Prairie Rose Ranch and Chuckwagon, curates their Silver Screen Cowboy Museum and is the leader of their house band, the Prairie Rose Rangers. Annually, Orin produces the Western Days Festival at the Prairie Rose. He raises and trains his own horses on his Rocking Banjo Ranch in Butler County, and has worked numerous roundups and cattle drives over the years. He hosts the KFDI Radio show "Bluegrass from the Rocking Banjo Ranch." This show was one of the first big bluegrass radio shows in the U.S. and at one time syndicated on 35 radio stations nationally. Orin is musical director for the upcoming documentary about the song "Home on the Range." In his spare time Orin has lectured on various cowboy history topics. On November 6, 1982 he married Bekki Gardner. Orin has two sons and a daughter and a granddaughter.
"I never wanted to be anything but a cowboy."
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
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