Neal Torrey Cowboy Poetry Collection

Neal Torrey Cowboy Poetry Collection, circa 2000
1 folder
Location: 0142, Box 1, Folder 14
Accession #: 2002.162


This small collection includes several poems by Neal Torrey, a cowboy poet born in Missouri but raised in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Neal Torrey, cowboy poet, was born in Missouri but grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he raised AQHA and Appaloosa horses. He now lives in Bolivar, Missouri. Torrey says,

“I grew up reading Will James and Zane Grey, in fact, I think I read all that our small library had of those two. I tried my best to learn how to draw horses like Will James and Charlie Russell. I spent my Saturday afternoons in the movie theatres, watching Hopalong Cassidy, the Durango Kid, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Bob Steele, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Red Ryder and all that bunch of good, clean-cut heroes. Later in life, as a Special Deputy Sheriff in Teton County, in Wyoming, I rode patrol on horseback, six-gun strapped to my hip, looking for (believe it or not) cattle rustlers! I had to pinch myself to see that I wasn’t dreaming. Our children, and perhaps a good many of our young adults need exposure to the moral code that was held by the real cowboys and ranchers. The later Hollywood image of the anti-hero in the leading role has done a lot of damage to the true story of the West.

As I can, I try with my cowboy poetry to show the cowboy, the rancher, the lawman, the soldier and the Native American in a good, positive light. Sure, there were bad men in the West, but they were definitely a minority, and were quickly eliminated by the decent citizens of the West. There is much to tell of the privations, the harsh weather and primitive conditions under which the men of the old West functioned.

If you study the hymns and the songs of the cowboy, you see that for the most part, he was a man of honor, integrity and faith. That story is one that needs to be told, and I have taken it upon myself to tell it.”

Neal Torrey is a member of the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association and the Oklahoma Western Heritage, Inc. He is the author of Sagebrush Sentiments.

The Cowboy Directory

The Neal Torrey Collection consists of a single series, Poetry, which includes nine original poems written and typed by Torrey.

Personal Names
Torrey, Neal

Subject Headings

This collection was accessioned in 2002 and filed along with other small cowboy poetry collections. Archivist Laura Anne Heller created the current finding aid on July 15, 2009.

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Neal Torrey Cowboy Poetry Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Series 1: Poetry, circa 2000
Item Title/Description
Poem, “Oh, Bury Me Not” or “The Post-Mortem Meanderings of Elmer McCurdy.” 3 pages. [1]
Poem, “Twisted History.” 3 pages. [1]
Poem, “The Marshal and the Chicken Thieves.” 3 pages. [1]
Poem, “The Newton General Massacre.” 2 pages. [1]
Poem, “Diamondbacks Are Not a Girl’s Best Friend.” 2 pages. [1]
Poem, “The Hoot Owl Killers.” 1 page. [1]
Poem, “The Confession.” 1 page. [1]
Poem, “Thirsty.” 1 page. [1]
Poem, “Old Four-Eyes.” 1 page. [1]