B O O T H I L L M U S E U M
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
NORMAN Lee Giles
Norman Lee Giles was born on July 8, 1924 in Burdett, Kansas to Norman Albro and Eula Lee Giles. Norman Lee traced his cattleman roots back to his maternal grandfather, George K. Lee. George emigrated to Burdett, Kansas from Galesburg, Illinois in the spring of 1878 to handle cattle on the open range country while retaining a career as a livestock commissioner in Kansas City with the firm of Lee & Curtis. He drove the Kansas-Texas trail from 1880-1884 handling Southern Texas horses and Longhorn cattle. In 1884, he brought into Pawnee County, Kansas one of the first Galloway bulls imported into this country from Scotland and established one of the first registered herds. Norman Lee's father continued in the cattle business in the Spearville, Kansas area where Norman Lee and his older sister Myrna (Fox) graduated from high school. Norman Lee met Dolores Norris from Wright, Kansas while in high school and they married on February 22, 1943 in Wright. They had eight children Trudy Giard, Roger Giles, Jodie Marie (who died in infancy), Audry Gates, Jody Peintner, Lorie Horacek, Kelly Giles and Julie Cox. In 1947, Norman Lee and his father purchased the original Giles Ranch in Clark County. They spent many years building on the property and raising Hereford cattle until the 1980's when the Ranch transitioned to black Angus. Through Norman Lee's legacy and hard work, the Giles family operation stretches over four counties in southwest Kansas. The family name continues as Norman Lee's son Roger and wife Cathy, along with three of their daughters, and a son-in-law, operate the original Giles Ranch raising an Angus cow/calf herd, wheat, corn, alfalfa and a stocker/feeder cattle operation in Clark County. Daughter Lorie, her husband Jon and their son operate HG Land & Cattle Company on the original Giles homestead raising an Angus cow/calf herd, wheat, sorghum, alfalfa and operate a winter back grounding/stocker outfit in Ford, Hodgeman and Edwards counties. Norman Lee was Beef Improvement Federation Commercial Producer of the Year in 1999, Kansas Livestock Association Stockman of the Year, and received the Clark County and Ford County Conservation Grassland awards. He served on numerous boards including the Trustees for Dodge City Community College, the Federal Land Bank, Offerle Cooperative Association and Spearville Schools. He was a Life member of the Kansas Livestock Association and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and a charter member of US Premium Beef. The Giles ranch was on Gov. Bill Graves Farm Bureau Ranch Tour, and Norman Lee was a Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program Tour Partner. Confirmed and Baptized as a Catholic at the age of 65, Norman Lee was active in his church and the Knights of Columbus. Norman Lee Giles died on December 20, 2010 at the age of 86. The legacy of Norman Lee got the family through the trials of ranching life and was instrumental in their recovery from the devastating Starbuck fire of the spring of 2017 which completely burned the Ranch.
"You are to leave the land better than you found it."
David V. Williams
David V. (Dave) Williams was born on Sept. 28, 1924 to Clifford and Addie Williams in a farmhouse 6 1/2 miles west of Caldwell, Kansas. Dave and his siblings attended one-room Bailey School built by their great-grandfather John Bailey. A major influence that shaped Dave's life as a cowboy and western enthusiast was his uncle Kenny Williams, who won many all-around rodeo cowboy championships and traveled the world with the Miller Bros. Wild West Show as a trick rider and roper. After graduating high school in 1942, Dave enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He flew patrols in the Pacific looking for Japanese ships and rescued many Allied sailors and aviators. After his service, Dave returned to Caldwell marrying his high school sweetheart, Marian Prophet on Feb. 23, 1946. Together, they had six children, Terry Williams, Linda "Janie" Williams (who died in infancy), Patti Williams Sprague, LuAnn Williams Jamison, Michelle Williams Schiltz and Danielle Williams Schmidt. They farmed early in their marriage until Dave was offered a job as water well driller. He traveled around the world as a driller for oil and water. Though sometimes the family joined him, most of the places Dave worked were isolated. To pass the time alone, he read stories about Caldwell and the Chisholm Trail. His regular attire of cowboy hat and boots drew much attention in remote villages. Villagers swarmed to meet "Cowboy Dave." He even drew the attention of Roy Rogers, who on a trip to Ethiopia, went out of his way to meet him. Upon the death of his older brother in 1972, Dave returned to Caldwell to operate the Williams Bros. Livestock Auction, which had been in the family since 1901. Upon his retirement in 1983, Dave resumed his love of researching the history of the area. Disheartened by the loss or deterioration of many historic sites in the Caldwell area he turned his attention to preserving the history of Caldwell. Using the historical knowledge he had gained over the years, he mapped historical sites in Caldwell and on the Chisholm Trail. His endeavors included research for the historical markers lining Caldwell's Main Street. Dave was sought out as a local historian and re-enactor. He was a source for authors who have written about Caldwell. Dave had memberships in the Caldwell Historical Society and Sumner County Historical Society, and the Cowboy Storyteller Assoc. of the Western Plains. He helped re-establish the Caldwell Saddle Club and was host for the National Leukemia Society's annual trail ride for several years. He served as chairman of the Border Queen Museum, was a member of the Cherokee Strip Centennial Celebration Committee and helped in the restoration of the Caldwell Opera House. David V. Williams died on Jan. 17, 1998 at the age of 73. He is interred in Caldwell City Cemetery.
"I reckon I was just born 50 years too late."
Will Lowe, pro rodeo Cowboy, was born on Christmas Eve 1982, the middle of three children, in Gardner, Kansas to Alex and Susan Lowe. Will's love of rodeo started at a very young age as his family had season tickets to the American Royal Rodeo in Kansas City since before he was born. At the age of seven he began bronc riding. His parents wouldn't allow him to ride bulls (steers) and they didn't make bronc saddles for seven year olds, so Will rode bareback. Will rodeoed at Spring Hill High School and was a three time bareback champion and an all around champion in Kansas High School rodeo. Will earned his Associate in Science degree at Vernon (Texas) College. In 2001 he joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. He got off to a running start winning the 2002 Resistol Overall and Bareback Rookie of the Year while finishing third in the world. That same year, Will married professional barrel racer, Tiffani, in Las Vegas, Nevada and they have two sons, Garrett William born 2009 and Levi born 2012. Will won the World Championships belt buckle in 2003 and set a record for winning the most bareback riding money in a year. In 2004, he was the World Champion runner-up and he retook the World Champions in 2005 and 2006. He placed second in the World standings in 2012. He has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for every year since 2002 except for 2016 and 2017. In 2019 he was champion or co-champion in six rodeos including the Dodge City Days Roundup Rodeo. Will Lowe currently resides in Canyon City, Texas.
"I just try to conduct my life properly and leave the rest to the Lord."
Jim Arnold was born in Attica, Kansas on December 17, 1927 to Clyde and Elizabeth Arnold. As a child he purchased an Arabian stallion with a prize pig and money he had earned at 10 cents a day. In his teenage years he rode and trained horses for Harry and Hazel Shepler of Shepler's Western Wear. He also showed Charlie Rank's stallion "Yellow Dog" at horse shows. He was not interested in working at his father's bakery, instead he hung out at the Wichita Stockyards until they finally hired him. He rode bulls until he married Vesta Velda Goodrich of Wichita on August 25, 1946. However, Jim's rodeo career continued with bareback bronc riding, and calf and team roping. Jim has received numerous rodeo awards. He began his ranching in Dillon, Montana at the famous Matador Ranch owned by Wichita's Koch brothers. After a time, he returned to Kansas and began ranching for Les Cooper and Don Young of the Young & Cooper Cattle Company at Ashland as a foreman and cowboy. On these 15,300 acres he raised their children, Janice Lynne Ritter, James Perry Arnold, Terry Wayne Arnold, Beth Ann DeMont and Jimmie Lou Hinkle, teaching them horsemanship, cattle ranching and rodeo. Jim stepped in and saved a condemned horse which was later sold to Clark McEntire, the father of Reba. This horse was instrumental in Clark getting consecutive World Steer Roping championships. Jim moved on to a Young and Cooper ranch near Kendall, Kansas and later partnered with Tony Beaty forming the "Rawhide Cattle Company." On this 15,000 acre spread they raised Santa Gertrudis and Simmental cattle. After Tate Ranch annexed the Beaty Ranch, Jim was foreman of 41,000 acres spreading across Kearny and Hamilton Counties. As Jim moved from ranch to ranch, he continued his team roping career. In 1988, Jim and Vesta moved back to the Ashland area where he finished his final leg of ranching with Young and Cooper. Jim is a member of the Cowboys Turtle Association, was in the PRCA from 1946 to 1949, belonged to the United States Team Roping Champions Association, the American Quarter Horse Association and is a 4-H leader in horse and cattle. Jim has an exhaustive knowledge of horse lineage which has led to a successful rodeo and ranch horse breeding program. Jim Arnold is a well respected friend and mentor to many people. He has passed on the cowboy way of life to his children, grandchildren and now his great grandchildren.
KCHF Connection: Jim is pictured with Wayne Dunafon at Wichita Rodeo, Dunafon was the 2009 Rodeo inductee.
"The old cowboy ways are dying with the men who created them."
Brent Harris was born to David and Roma Harris on July 27, 1951 in Dodge City. Brent graduated from Dodge City High School in 1969. After graduation, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Saint Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kansas. On Nov. 30, 1987 he married Patricia Harris in Dodge City. This union produced two daughters Jamie Harris Rajewski and Katie Harris. He spent two years with a Blackfoot Indian Gentler treating troubled horses, training young horses and caring for cattle. For two years Brent worked on a 1,000 acre ranch caring for 400 cattle, 50 horses, 12 Angus bulls, two draft horses and six dogs. He handled calving, fixed fences, hauled hay and dunged out stalls. In performance of his duties he regularly drove five different horse drawn vehicles. Brent also had a pilot's license. Brent worked as Director of Marketing for Humana Hospital and Director of Personnel for JAG Construction, both of Dodge City before going to work as Facilities Coordinator for Boot Hill Museum in 2000. Brent is proud of the construction and carpentry he had done for the Museum, but he is most noted as "Marshal Brent Harris the Face of Dodge City" and for his role as Chalkley Beeson in the Long Branch Saloon Variety Show. He has traveled throughout Kansas and beyond to showcase Dodge City and to entertain the many travelers to the region. At Boot Hill Museum he was the resident "storyteller" often dropping what he was doing to impart to guests the rest of the story. As the face of Dodge City, Brent's rugged countenance has appeared on numerous visitor's guides, magazines, postcards, brochures, television ads, websites and billboards. He even once graced the tail of an airplane. For a time he ran the Boot Hill Stage Line and was a Boot Hill Museum gunfighter. Representing Dodge City and Boot Hill Museum, he has done the honors at event openings and ribbon cuttings. He has earned numerous awards and honors including the 2010 Dodge City Daily Globe Readers Choice #1 Businessman, an Honorary Drover and Kansas Finest Award in 2012. In 2013 he was named the Marshal of Dodge City and Boot Hill Honorary Marshal. That same year he was Dodge City Days Parade Marshal. Brent was placed on the Wild West Walk of Fame in 2014, and received the 2018 Bronco Buster Award. Brent Harris has retired from Boot Hill Museum, but continues to step in and lend a hand when needed. Brent currently participated in the Dodge City Citizens Police Academy. He said "I figured I should learn what 'real lawmen' face."
"There's more to being a cowboy than just knowing about cattle and horses."
Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame
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