A Cowboy’s Faith: Casey came to town – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Casey came to town

“It was a really big deal when Casey Tibbs came to Council Grove.”

He parked his shiny purple Cadillac right at the Ritz Theatre front door.

Wearing his high-crowned, signature-creased black hat, Casey’s prominent dark curly hair set off his forever-ornery grin. A white silk neck scarf blowing in the breeze highlighted Casey’s doubled-breasted purple shirt with pearl snaps.

His buck stitched engraved personized leather belt sported Casey’s skillet-size 1955 world champion all-around cowboy buckle. Casey’s starched Wrangler jeans draped over the custom-made white boots embossed with his purple “CT” brand.

World champion rodeo cowboy Casey Tibbs the night he came to Council Grove.

The famous saddle bronc rider, who also rode bareback broncs and bulls, wasn’t wearing his personally-designed, brand-engraved spurs.

Reminded of that night when Casey guest starred on Dale Robertson’s Tales of Wells Fargo television show.

The nine-times world champion professional rodeo cowboy turned Hollywood movie star was in town for a 1966 movie premier. “Born To Buck” had just been released in Casey’s home-state South Dakota with Casey as writer, producer, and leading star.

Enroute to Council Grove, Casey went to Strong City and picked up his good friends Emmett, Ken, and Gerald Roberts. The Roberts boys were also professional rodeo champions. Dad Emmett, rodeo contractor, renowned for riding bucking horses too, was Rodeo Man of the Year.

Custom harvester-local cowboy Sam Curry then owned Ritz Theatre and had made sure the rodeo celebrities were in attendance.

Of course, theatre seats were overflowing, including local rancher Andy Olson. Longtime pickup man for Roberts Rodeo Company and Flint Hills Rodeo Association, Andy knew Casey well. Not that night, but Andy often related true stories about Casey’s after-rodeo shenanigans and mischievousness.

Ellis Rumsey, Rumsey & White Hardware owner, brought a saddle for display. Don McNeal, Council Grove Republican editor-publisher, was there taking a cowboy picture for the next day’s issue.

The movie was about Casey rounding up 400 head of potential bucking horses. Cowboy friends assisted as the outlaw broncs were adventurously driven across South Dakota going through several deep, wide, roaring rivers.

Upon arrival at Casey’s hometown Pierre rodeo grounds, the wild horses were tested out of the bucking chutes.

Past his prime, Casey, considered the best cowboy ever, mounted three broncs in the movie and bit-the-dirt on all three.

Reminded of First Thessalonians 3:6: “Always think kindly of others and treasure your memories.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Powered by WordPress