“The committee is going to great expense to bring Rex Allen as a feature of the show.”

Weather: Not reported


Dates: July 31, August 1 and 2 [245] – “”Rulon Dunn was burned about this—there were rodeos at Idaho Falls and Caldwell at the same time as ours to say nothing of Frontier Days at Cheyene. That’s the reason you saw just a bunch of young fellas competing here. The big time riders were at other shows where more money was offered. Rulon blames the Rodeo Association for this foul-up He said Preston was offered these exclusive dates when the other shows were offered the same time. [246]


Grand Entry Time: 8:00


Ticket Prices: Thursday, family night, kids get in for $0.25. Other nights, general admission was $1.50, reserved seats were $1.75, and kids were $0.50. [247] Tickets were on sale at the old Golden Rule store connected to First Security Bank. [248]


Profit: Not reported


Attendance: 12,00 to 16,000. Near capacity crowds each night.


Cowboys Participating: Not reported


Queens and Queen Contest: Barbara Keller, Preston, queen with Carlene Bird, Mendon and

Gayle Burton, Tremonton, attendants. Judges were Karma Oliverson, Preston, Orrin Morrison,

Arimo, and Herman Wakeman, Soda Springs. [249] Girls were able to sign up with Harold Winn

at his barbershop. To enter there was no age limit, and you had to compete on the same horse

that you rode in the rodeo. Sponsored by the Boots and Saddle Club, the queens were all

awarded a cash prize. Thomas Saddlery donated a trophy for the queen. Territory for eligibility

included Cache Valley, Bear Lake, Soda Springs, and McCammon.


Parades: 6:00. Miss Idaho 1958—Bonnie Baird from Heyburn, Id.-- was featured in the parade. [250]


Promotional Activities: Western garb week in which three articles of Western attire were requested. Eldon Tanner was over this event. [251] “Did you happen to see Ellis Johnson in his rodeo outfit this week? He’s wearing a great big 10-gallon hat and looks a riot. One thing about Ellis, he has a tremendous sense of humor and when you laugh at him, he giggles back.”


Rides and Concessions: Monte Young Carnival [252]  


Rodeo:

        General Chairman: Virg Knudson Committee: Rulon Dunn, Lyle Shipley, ticket sales.


        Stock Producer: Earl Hutchinson [253] Announcer: Jack Oakey [254]


        Clowns: “The clowns were so scared of the brahmas they wouldn’t get with 50 feet of them, so the crowd didn’t get much of a show from them.” [255]  

       

        Specialty Acts: “It’s time to change producers. Earl Hutchinson didn’t break his neck this year to get special acts.” [256]


        Purse: $2500 [257]


        Winners: Not reported


244 The Preston Citizen, July 24, 1958, p. 1                       245 The Preston Citizen, July 24, 1958, p. 11                                  246 The Preston Citizen, August 7, 1958, p. 1                             247 The Preston Citizen, July 24, 1958, p. 16                             248 Ibid.

249 The Preston Citizen, July 24, 1958, p. 1                      250 The Preston Citizen, July 31, 1958, p. 1                                     251 The Preston Citizen, July 17, 1958, p. 1 252 Ibid              253 The Preston Citizen, July 24, 1958, p. 11                              254 Ibid.

255 The Preston Citizen, August 7, 1958, p. 13​               256 Ibid. p. 1                                                                                                   257 The Preston Citizen, July 24, 1958, p. 1

Appendix 1: That Famous Preston Night Rodeo Significant Events


1921 – The first Preston Fair and Roundup in Franklin County was held.


1936 – The first night rodeo was held. Ed Crockett (first general chairman) was named the “Daddy” of the night rodeo. The first pole chutes                        were built (four or five) and lights installed. Dorothy Maughan was the first rodeo queen.


1938 - That Famous Preston Night Rodeo joined the Rodeo Association of America.


1938 – The first annual horse show was usually scheduled for the night before the rodeo. It ran annually for six to eight years.


1942 – The first time the rodeo was cancelled because of World War II restrictions and cowboys enlisting as soldiers.


1948 – The orientation of the rodeo arena and grounds was moved from east to west, to north and south.


1951 - The first family night tickets at a reduced price were sold for the Thursday night performance.


1960 – Rex Allen, TV and movie star, singer/songwriter, and narrator of several Disney nature and Western films, appears at the Preston Rodeo.


1978 – Tom Ferguson – 6-time National All-Around Cowboy and the first rodeo cowboy to win $1,000,000, competed at the Preston Rodeo.


1983 - Charlie Sampson was the first black cowboy to enter the Preston Night Rodeo.


2020 – The second time the rodeo was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 24th Annual Famous Preston Night Rodeo 1959 ​

“The roughest competitive sport in the world.” [244]

Weather: Not reported


Dates: July 28, 29, 30 [278]


Grand Entry Time: 8:00


Ticket Prices: General Admission, $1.75; Reserved Seats, $2.00; Children, $0.50 Thursday night, 0.75 Friday and Saturday. Tickets available at first Security Bank, rodeo headquarters. [279]


Arena: The fence was removed from around the arena. This made it possible for ticket holders to go directly to their seats without going through the gates to stand in line. [280]


Attendance: Near capacity crowds each night. “A good night’s entertainment. It was a great success.” [281]


Cowboys Participating: Not reported


Parades: Chairman, Harold Winn. Parades started at 6:00.


Promotional Activities: Business owners had their windows painted with rodeo scenes and business people were encouraged to wear western garb.


Rides and Concessions: Monte Young Rides and Shows 


Queens and Queen Contest: Queen, Loy Ray Smith of Grace with attendants Sandra Nalda

from Garland, UT and Joyce Young from Grace. The contest was open to women ages 16-25.

Applicants were accepted from Hyrum on the south to McCammon on the north, and Malad

to Montpelier. They were judged 75% on horsemanship and 25% on their horse. No stallions

were permitted. Judges were Dave Treasure from Downey, Don Clark from Georgetown and

Alton Hunsaker from Honeyville. The contest was sponsored by the Preston Boots and

Saddles Club, with Harold Winn as chairman. [282]


Rodeo:

        General Chairman: Virg Knudson


        Committee: Luther Boyd, Alvin Beckstead, Greene Wells, Harold Winn,


        Stock Producer: Earl Hutchinson, Gannett, Idaho


        Announcer: Cy Taillon [283]


        Clowns: The Kajun Kidd, bull fighting clown. [284]


        Specialty Acts: Bill Buschbom and one of the finest trained horses in the

                                      world – Sir Roger; Ken Boen and his “New” Gray Mare. [285]


        Purse: $2625 plus entry fees 


        Winners: Not reported




277 Quoting Virg Knudson, The Preston Citizen, July 21, 1960, p. 1                              278 The Preston Citizen, July 28, 1960, p. 1                                279 The Preston Citizen, July 21, 1960, p. 1                              280 Ibid.                                                                                                    281 The Preston Citizen, August 4, 1960, p. 1                                                                          282 The Preston Citizen, July 16, 1960, p. 1                                 283 The Preston Citizen, May 26, 1960, p. 1                             284 The Preston Citizen, July 16, 1960, p. 9                               

285 The Preston Citizen, July 21, 1960, p. 9

1978 – Governor John Evans/Naomi Shumway, General LDS                          Primary President/Lt. Gov. Bill Murphy

1979 - 1980 – Sheriff Lee Hansen

1981 - 1982 – 1983 – Sherwin Webb

1984 – Ezra Taft Benson/Darrell Manning

1985 – Dick Bowden, first night rodeo

1986 - 1987 – 1988 - Bill Weber

1989 – Max Norton

1990 – Betty Jo Jeppsen, General LDS Primary

1991 – 1992 - Lynn Fackrell 1993 – Orval “Duke” Robinson

1994 - Kurtis Keller

1995 – Dean Abrams

1996 – Pink Ladies

1997 – Don Elwell

1998 – Bill Craner

1999 – Bob Mattson

2000 – Preston Firemen

2001 - Vern Rogers

2002 – Robert Geddes

2003 – Governor John Evans

2004 – Walter Ross

2005 – D. A. Nash

2006 – 2007 – Stephen Meek

2008 – Don Carter

2009 – Brian Hyde

2010 – Douglas Webb

2011 – Carol Parker

2012 – Ron Keller

2013 – Steve Edwards

2014 – Joe Ward

2015 – George Wilcox

2016 – Lyle Henderson

2017 – Reid Carlson

2018 – Zelma Woodward

2019 – Mike Lower

2020 – Rodeo Cancelled (Covid 19)

2021 – Jim Summers 

289 Kris Beckstead private records 

​Weather: “Not even a threat of rain; the weather was perfect.” [231]


Dates: August 1, 2, and 3 [232]


Grand Entry Time: 8:00


Ticket Prices: Reserved seats were reduced to increase the number of general admission tickets. Sold at First Security Bank, ticket prices were General Admission, $1.50; Reserved, $1.75, Children General Admission, 0.50. Thursday night, traditionally family night at the rodeo, children could attend for $0.25.


Profit: The Chamber of Commerce reported spending $3,544.85 on the rodeo grounds and still having a fund that stands at $8,880.71. These amounts were reported in January of 1957 and reflect profits from 1956. [233]


Attendance: Capacity crowds each night. Leah Knudson, who was sitting over the chutes, “barely missed getting hit in the face by a large dirt clod kicked up by a bucking bronc.” Hit on the shoulder, Lean was “glad it was only dirt.” Leah is the wife of Virg Knudson, general chairman of the rodeo. [234]


Cowboys Participating: Not reported


Queens and Queen Contest: Rodeo queen candidates rode through the business district prior to the queen contest. [235] The Boots and Saddles Club offered four prizes to the general public who bought tickets to the queen contest. The prizes were a saddle, a blanket, a bridle, and a lariat. Harold Winn accepted applications for the contest at his barbershop and tickets were sold at Owl​ Billiards.



















Early applicants were Louis Christensen, Downey; Ellen Tarbet, Grace; Laurance Gregory, Preston; Carolyn Peterson, Grace; Marjorie Weaver, Lewiston, and Sandra Christensen, McCammon. [236] Entertainment at the contest was provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Posse and the Boots and Saddles Club members who competed in a “water race, musical chairs, and cowhide races.


Parades: Parades were scheduled an hour earlier than normal at 5:30 to allow people more time to get to the rodeo arena. [237] Parade winners were Sheriff’s Posse, 1st Place, $75; the Boots and Saddles Club, 2nd place, $50; Franklin, 1st place float, $12.50; and Lewiston Third Ward, 2nd place float. [238]


Promotional Activities: Businesses and citizens were urged to dress Western the week before the rodeo.


Rides and Concessions: Not reported 


Rodeo:


          General Chairman: Virg Knudson [239] Committee: Rulon Dunn, Secretary, Chamber of Commerce, was the only one reported.


          Stock Producer: Earl Hutchinson. Earl promised to bring “some of the roughest, toughest stock these cowboys have ever tried to ride.” [240]


          Announcer: Jack Oakey [241]


          Clowns: Not reported


          Specialty Acts:  Marie White from Texas and her seven-year-old zebra, Ribbons.

As part of this act, Ribbons would jump over a Ford convertible. Jimmy Murphy and his

“wild and reckless Roman-style riding. Sizzler and his performing dogs. [242]


          Purse: $2,625 total, with $525 allotted for each major event. [243]


          Winners: Not reported


​​[230] The Preston Citizen, July 25, 1957, p. 1                   [231] The Preston Citizen, August 8, 1957, p. 1             [232] The Preston Citizen, July 18, 1957, p. 1

[233] The Preston Citizen, January 10, 1957, p. 1           [234] The Preston Citizen, August 8, 1957, p. 1             [235] The Preston Citizen, July 18,1957, p. 1

[236] The Preston Citizen, July 11, p 1                                [237] The Preston Citizen, July 18, 1957, p. 1                 [238]The Preston Citizen, August 8, 1957, p. 1

[239] The Preston Citizen, July 25, 1957, p. 1                  [240] Ibid. 241 Ibid. 242 Ibid.                                                 [243] The Preston Citizen, August 1, 1957, p. 1



Appendix 3: That Famous Preston Night Rodeo Producers

The 23rd Annual Famous Preston Night Rodeo 1958

Note: The producer contracts to provide the rodeo stock, help for the stock including pickup men, judges, chute help, timers, announcer, and the arena secretary. He also provides the freighting costs, and feed for the stock. Depending on the contract, the producer brings at least one high class specialty act, which must be approved by the rodeo committee. [286]

1936 – Dorothy Maughan, Preston, ID

1937 – Edna “Ted” Palmer, Preston, ID

1938 – Bertha Bateman, River Heights, UT

1939 – Bonnie Treasurer

1940 – Letha Bronson, Fairview, ID

1941 – Ardis Hansen, Mink Creek, ID

1942 - Rodeo cancelled because of WWII

1943 – Carma Oliverson, Preston, ID

1944 - Christie Bastian, Weston, ID

1945 – Joyce Keller, Preston, ID

1946 – Shirley Whitehead, Franklin, ID

1947 – Conna Beth Oliverson, Frankln, ID

1948 – Mary Eleanor Swainston, Winder, Ut

1949 – Sergene Andra, Preston, ID

1950 – Vaunda Oliverson, Franklin, ID

1951- Sharon Beckstead Whitney, ID

1952 – Shirley Moser, Preston, ID

1953 – Sally Sant, Mink Creek, ID

1954 – Sondra Beckstead, Preston, ID

1955 – Sharon Spackman, Richmond, UT

1956 – Utauna Christensen, Grace, ID

1957 – Laurene Gregory, Preston, ID

1958 – Barbara Keller, Preston, ID

1959 – Jackie Wallentine, Paris, ID

1960 – Loy Ray Smith, Grace, ID

1961 – Mary Lyn Wheatley, Tremonton, UT

1962 – Paula Deschamps, Malad, ID

1963 - Lee Diderikson, Preston, ID

1964 – Linda Secrist, Pymouth, UT

1965 – Doris Hunsaker. Honeyvlle, UT

1966 – Reva Udy, Garland, UT

1967 – Carol Ricks, Smithfield, UT

1968 – Mary Ellen Clark, Georgetown, UT

1969 – Kristen Larson (Beckstead), Preston

1970 – Dixie Lou Smith Newton, UT

1971 – Kristi Lower, Smithfield, UT

1972 - Glenda Griffeth, Preston, ID

1973 - Kristi Larsen, Logan, UT

1974 – Janet Hansen, Hyde Park, UT

1975 – Diane Bassett, Wellsville, UT

1976 – Trish Wheeler, Lewiston, UT

1977 – Cindy Checketts, Providence, UT

1978 – Mary Ann Nelson, Nibley, UT

1979 – Bonnie B. Johnson, Lewiston, UT

1980 – Kim Holmes, Pleasant View, UT

1981 – Susan Grimmett, Bear River City, UT

1982 – Sheryl Naylor, Dayton, ID

1983 – Teri Thompson, North Logan, UT

Appendix 4: Rodeo Parade Grand Marshalls [289]  

1984 – Lynette Ward, Dayton, ID

1985 – Angie Hillyard, Smithfield, UT 1986 – Marie Weeks, Malad, UT

1987 – Stephanie Cantwell Balls, Smithfield, UT

1988 – Angie Nelson, Logan, UT

1989 – Jacque Johnson, Preston, UT

1990 – Jeanna Stoker, Smithfield, UT

1991 – Shannon Conley, West Weber, UT

1992 – Teressa Willis, Laketown, UT

1993 – Artemesia Robinson Murphy, Ogden, UT

1994 – Monica Brenchley Thompson, Wellsville, UT

1995 – Angie Somsen Mendenhall, Soda Springs, ID 1996 – Kaydee Nelson Miner, Bear River City, UT

1997 – Brandi Christensen Gleason, Fairview, ID

1998 – Brooke Christensen Talbot, Fairview, ID

1999 – Britny Christensen Field, Fairview, ID

2000 – Katie Matthews, Smithfield, UT

2001 – Jill Phillips Keech, Smithfield, UT

2002 – Jann Miller , Hyrum, UT

2003 – Kristan Jo Gibbs Earl, Lewiston, UT

2004 – Erin Page Seamons, Logan, UT

2005 – Jeannie Hollingsworth , Preston, ID

2006 – Chelsea Richmond, Benson, UT

2007 – Bryn Christensen, Fairview, ID

2008 – Jackie McMullin, Smithfield, UT

2009 – Measha Lee Gittins, Dayton, ID

2010 – McKenzie Crouch, Tremonton, UT

2011 – Taylor Thompson, Tremonton, UT

2012 – Callie Jo Checketts, Paradise, UT

2013 – Claira Hollingsworth Spackman, Preston, ID 2014 – Jessica Johnson, Preston, ID

2015 – Emily Johnson, Benson, UT

2016 – Jenni Kait Nelson, Hyrum, UT

2017 – Kelcee Christensen, Smithfield, UT

2018 – Miah Atwood, Alpine, UT

2019 – McKenna Ward Wadman, Preston, ID

2020 – Rodeo cancelled because of Covid-19 pandemic

“This year’s rodeo looks as if it will be a dilly dandy.” [277]

The 22nd Annual Famous Preston Night Rodeo 1957

STAN HAWKES: “Rodeo producers were Parley Hall and the Hillside Rodeo Co. consisting of Hall, Charlie Felt, and Earl Hutchinson. They worked together a few years and then Hutchinson bought out the others. Then Hutch produced here for years. He was from Wellsville, one of the original members of the Hillside Rodeo Co. Mel Reeves originated that name.

     “Everett Coburn and Earl “Doc” Sorensen worked together. They used to produce the Henry Stampede and they got them down here a few times. They were here about 1934—I remember because I almost sold Coburn a bucking horse. Their stock used to go back to Madison Square Garden nearly every year. Sorensen was from Camas, Idaho, and I’m not sure about Coburn— around Blackfoot, I think.

     “Then there was R. A. Richter from Montana. They called him “Wild Horse Richter” because he always had a mess of wild horses they couldn’t handle. They weren’t halter broke and they couldn’t get them out of the arena. The pick-up men couldn’t get ahold of them and it slowed down the show. You wouldn’t think a wild horse would slow things down, but they do. A regular bucking horse is easy to handle once you get hold of them. But with a wild horse that’s when the trouble begins. They came off the Dillon mountain up there, wild runners right out of the old Mustang stock. 

​      “Richter’s big business was getting these wild horses and bucking them in a show or two and then selling them, the ones that proved out. He was using Preston as a training ground. He was here two or three years, as long as we’d put up with this. “Harry Rowell is the one who had a horse named Scene Shifter, a famous bucking horse, and he had two of the best pick up horses that ever came to Preston. One of them was called Old Guts, a horse that weighed 1400 pounds. I don’t know where Rowell was from—east of here somewhere.

      “Then there was Ray Skinner. First he came here as a cowboy. He bull-dogged and calf-roped. Ma Skinner was what everybody called his wife. They were from Deseret, Utah. Ray would always do a little horseshoeing and grooming for the cowboys. He got his start by buying out another producer, got himself a string of horses and some stock.

      “Dale Haslam came in later. He used to be over in Bear Lake—he had a place over there. I don’t know where he’s from originally. This was after I left the committee. Then after that was Swanny Kerby from Salt Lake. He’s been producing here for years.” [288]


286 The Preston Citizen, April 8, 1948, p. 1                      287 Interview, Stan Hawkes, found in Cache Valley Newsletter, No. 82, edited by Newell Hart, August, 1975

​288 Interview, Stan Hawkes, in Cache Valley Newsletter No. 82, by Newell Hart, August, 1975

There has never been a year when the Famous Preston Night Rodeo has not drawn a score or more of top performers, some of them the best in the business. [230]

​1957 rodeo queens, left to right: Gwen Whitehead, Franklin, first attendant; Laurane Gregory, Preston, center, queen; and Lanny Munsee, Inkom, second attendant. (Photo courtesy of the Preston Citizen, July 25, 1957, p. 1.) ​

Appendix 2: That Famous Preston Night Rodeo Queens

The 25th Annual Famous Preston Night Rodeo 1960 

1936 Harry Williams and Jack Dew

1937 Jack Dew

1938 C. O. “Dogtown Slim” Leuschner, Texas

1940-41 Hillside Rodeo Co, N. W. “Whit” Kimball, secretary

1942 Rodeo cancelled because of the war

1943 Harry Rowell

1944 R. A. Richter

1945-47 J. C. “Doc Sorenson

1948 R. A. Richter

1949-50 J. C. “Doc Sorenson”

1951-53 Ray Skinner (sells out to Haslam and Hall)

1954 Haslam and Hall

1955 Western Rodeo Producers

1956-60 Earl Hutchinson, Gannett, Idaho

1961-1975 Swanny Kerby [287]

Weather: Saturday night rain started, “but no one got very wet.” [258]


Dates: July 30, 31, August 1259


Grand Entry Time: 8:00 Ticket Prices: Sold at First Security Bank, rodeo headquarters. [260]


Profit: Not reported


Attendance: The arena was nearly packed all three nights. [261]


Cowboys Participating: Top cowboy Don Adams from Newhall, CA, a bronc busting entrant. [262] “Phil Munsee from Fort Hall bit the dust and was thrown and trampled by a bronc and had to go to the hospital.” [263]


Queens and Queen Contest: Harold Winn, Chairman, Boots and Saddles Club sponsor.

Twenty-one contestants signed up. Winners were Gwen Silvester, Tremonton, attendant;

Jackie Wallentine, Paris, queen; and Anita Caccia, Pocatello, attendant. [264] A trophy was

donated by Thomas Saddlery for the queen and cash prizes were given the attendants.

Prizes offered at the contest were a saddle, a bridle, a pair of boots, and a lariat. [265]

Entrants needed to be between the ages of 15-25 and could not have won a previous contest. [266]


Parades: William Warner, chairman. Parades all three nights started at 6:00 p.m. and included

floats, marching bands and riding groups. [267] The parade route started at the Snooty Cat Café,

went east to 100 East, turned south to 200 South, went west to State Street, then north through

the business district to 200 North. It ended at the rodeo arena. [268]


Promotional Activities: A car caravan traveled to Wellsville to escort the Weber County Sheriff’s Posse to Preston. The caravan stopped at Hyrum, Logan, Smithfield, Richmond and Preston for a square dance demonstration by the posse. The Weber Posse also performed a mock cattle rustler’s hanging on the corner of State and Oneida Streets, “a humorous and entertaining event.” [269] The Old Pony Express Route was celebrated by four riding groups: the Weber County Sheriff’s Posse, the Franklin County Sheriff’s posse, the Bear Lake Riders and the Boots and Saddles Club. Each group was given a different starting point seven miles from town, mail to deliver, and a route to follow. The first group to come into the center of Preston was declared the winner. [270] Rides and Concessions: Monte Young Rides and Concessions. [271]


Rides and Concessions: Monte Young Rides and Concessions [271]


Rodeo:


        General Chairman: Virg Knudson [272]


        Committee: Rulon Dunn, Chamber of Commerce Secretary; William Wanner, parades; Harold Winn, queen contest; [273]


        Stock Producer: Earl Hutchinson, Gannett, Idaho


        Announcer: Not reported


       Clowns: “The clowns were not so hot.” [274]


        Specialty Acts: Rex Allen and Koko, plus the Men of the West trio. Rex Allen was the star of TV’s “Frontier Doctor” had been in many movies and was a recording artist. He was the narrator of many Disney nature and western shows. Born in Arizona on a homestead, remote ranch, he was known as “Mr. Cowboy” as a result. “The committee is going to great expense to bring Rex Allen as a feature of the show.” In addition, the Weber County Posse performed. [275]


        Purse: $2625, $525 per event plus cowboy entry fees. [276]


        Winners: Not reported


258 Ibid.                                    259 The Preston Citizen, July 16, 1959, p. 1                                              260 Ibid.                                                 261 Ibid.                                                       262 The Preston Citizen, July 30, 1959, p. 9                                                263 The Preston Citizen, August 6, 1959, p. 1

264 The Preston Citizen, July 23, 1959, p. 1                     265 The Preston Citizen, July 16, 1959, p. 1 & 9                                   266 The Preston Citizen, June 25, 1959, p. 1                                     267 The Preston Citizen, July 16, 1959, p. 1          268 The Preston Citizen, July 30, 1959, p. 1                  269 The Preston Citizen, July 23, 1959, p. 1                    270 The Preston Citizen, July 16, 1959, p. 1 & 9                                    271 Ibid. 272 Ibid.                                       273 Ibid.                                274 The Preston Citizen, August 6, 1959, p. 1       275 The Preston Citizen, July 16, 1959, p. 1                 

276 The Preston Citizen, July 30, 1959, p. 9