Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
The First Rodeo?
There have been many claims made as to where the first rodeo was held--we do not know whether the question was ever entirely settled--but we believe we have stumbled onto an event that can rightly be called the very first rodeo in western history. J. W. Vaughn recounts the incident in his recent book, With Crook on the Rosebud--a book which throws much light on the march of Brigadier General George Crook from Fort Fetterman, south and east of the present city of Casper, Wyoming, to the Rosebud river, at a point just east of the scene of the Battle of the Little Big Horn where General George A. Custer and his entire army were annihilated in June of 1876. The story is told in the words of Frank Gruard, Crook's head scout, and the offspring of a French Creole father and an Oglala Indian squaw. Gruard was on scouting duty when Crook gave the order which resulted in the holding of the "rodeo", but returned to camp in time to witness it. Crook's command consisted of both cavalry and infantry. The scouts had brought in information which caused Crook to move towards the Yellowstone river at once and as speedily as possible. So he decided to mount the infantry. The only mounts available were the army mules belonging to the army train--but let's let Gruard tell of the incident: He says: "The work mules were turned over to the tender mercies of the infantrymen (or vice versa) and the first circus Goose Creek valley ever held began. Many of the infantrymen had never been in a saddle in their lives, while none of the mules had ever had a saddle on their backs, and, under the supervision of experienced riders, the officers prepared to give the infantry a lesson in equestrianship. I never saw so much fun in all my life. The valley for a mile in every direction was filled with bucking mules, frightened infantrymen, broken saddles and applauding spectators. Having nothing else to do, the entire command took a half holiday to enjoy the sport, and some of the most ludicrous mishaps imaginable were witnessed. But the average soldier is as persevering as the mule is stubborn and in the end the mules were forced to surrender. The City of Sheridan is now located on the immense flat where the incident occurred. Does anyone know of an earlier rodeo?