This small collection of rodeo photographs and postcards prominently features Bob Askin, a well-known and respected saddle bronc rider of the 1920s, who was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1978.
Robert “Bob” William Askin was born on May 9, 1900, in Rochester, New York. He spent his youth in South Dakota and Montana. According to some memoirs, his rodeo career began on July 4, 1915. With the 1925 Championship in Saddle Bronc Riding at the Pendleton Roundup, Askin rose as a rodeo star during the 1920s. He rode the toughest horses in the game such as Midnight and Five Minutes to Midnight and Hells Angels. Friends have commented that Bob Askin was his own man, modest and polite, while in competitions he was a known trendsetter, and he was a stylish rider poised and balanced no matter what contortion the horse went through. He pioneered a way of spurring front to back called “long stroking” or “cattle boarding” which became very popular in the northwest.
Askin was ill for some time with emphysema and died on October 8, 1973, in Miles City, Montana, where he is also buried.
In 1978, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum inducted Montana’s Bob Askin into the Rodeo Hall of Fame, where his memory was honored for being such an exceptional saddle bronc rider. Gail Woerner recounted in her article “Goin’ Down the Road” a story told by rodeo performer Monk Carden during an interview:
“Yakima had won the 1919 bronc riding on a horse called No Name. Bob Askins, an early-day bronc rider, said he knew he could ride the famous bucking horse, too. Yakima bet him $100 he couldn’t. Askins rode No Name and Yakima paid him $100.”
In his article “The Old Timers,” Ernest Tooke writes about some early stories featuring Bob Askin:
“Bob Askin went to a wild horse roundup near Powder River in the early 1920s. Bob didn’t take a horse, just his saddle and hackamore. Several wild horses were in a rope corral, so Bob picked out a 1,250-pound gelding that appeared to be 10 or 12 years old. The horse was roped and thrown down. Bob put his outfit on the horse, and when the other hands turned him loose, Bob was in the saddle. The horse was a terrible bucker, and Bob let him buck until he quit; then he got behind a bunch of wild horses and, in a short time, had the bronc working.
On another occasion, Bob and a cowboy were riding from Powder River to the Tooke ranch. They happened to ride near a herd of Tooke rodeo broncs. One bronc came out of the herd and trotted toward the two riders. He stopped about 30 yards away and stood there with his head up, blowing and snorting. That particular bucking horse had never been successfully ridden in a rodeo arena. Bob looked at the bronc awhile and then said, ‘If you’ll rope that horse, I’ll ride him to the ranch.’
The cowboy gave it some thought, but he finally decided not to as he didn’t think his saddle horse was strong enough to handle the bronc. ‘If I could have roped that bucking horse,’ the cowboy later said, ‘I know Bob would have ridden him to the ranch.'”
Tooke, Ernest. “The Old Timers.” Western Ag Reporter. June 5, 2009. http://www.westernagreporter.com
Woerner, Gail Hughbanks. “Goin’ Down the Road.” Rodeo Attitude News: Behind the Chutes and Elsewhere. http://www.rodeoattitude.com
Scope & Content Note
This collection contains ten rodeo photographs and thirteen rodeo postcards. The majority of the photographs are of Bob Askin in saddle bronc competitions. One photograph is of Will Rogers and Pat Ryan in New York. There are two Ralph R. Doubleday rodeo postcards in the collection and one Out West rodeo postcard.
Doubleday, Ralph R.
Rogers, Will, 1879-1935
Cheyenne Frontier Days
Saddle bronc riding
This collection was accessioned on September 2, 1980 and was processed shortly thereafter. A brief content and scope note was written in February 2003 by librarian Karen Spilman. The current finding aid was written and posted online by archivist Laura Anne Heller in October 2009.
The Bob Askin Collection is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.
Bob Askin Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
|Series 1: Bob Askin Collection|
|Box/Folder #||Accession #||Description|
|01/07||R.264.11||Bob Askin – center. Photograph, b&w, 7 x 11 in.|
|R.264.12||Cowboy on a bronc. Sketch of horse on back. Photograph, b&w, 10.5 x 13 in.|
|R.264.13||Cowboy on bucking bronc. Photograph, b&w, 10.5 x 13.5 in.|
|R.264.14||“Bob Askins on No Name. Winning World Championship Bucking Contest Round Up 1925 Pendleton, Ore. D. Photo by Pendleton Drug Co. #108.” Photograph, b&w, 10 x 12.75 in.|
|R.264.15||“Kaufmann & Fabry.” Group of cowgirls on horses. Photograph, b&w, 8 x 10.5 in. Very poor condition, torn corner.|
|R.264.16||“Mr. Will Rogers and myself taken at the Roosevelt Hotel, N. York City in 1924 with the Roosevelt Trophy for winning the Riding at Cheyenne Wyo. & Pendleton Oregon. Pat Ryan. Will Rogers presenting Roosevelt trophy to Pat Ryan in New York. Margie Askin.” Photograph, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.17||“Bob Askin, Jon L. Barnettes Ranch, Jowayo (?) Park, Texas.” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.18||“? ‘on’ ? We’ll say she’s wild. Bozeman.” Illegible. Ralph R. Doubleday. Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.19||“Bob Askins Rides No Name. Round Up 1925. Winning World Championship Bucking Contest. Pendleton Drug Co. D.” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.20||“Bob Askins on Phillip Rollins Winning Second in Bucking Champ. Of World. Pendleton Round Up. Pendleton Drug Co.” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.21||“Bob Askins on Roosevelt Trophy. Pendleton Round Up. Pendleton Drug Co.” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.22||“Riding Bareback, Miles City Roundup, July 1-2-3.” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.23||Unidentified. Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.24||“Bob Askins Win Bronk Rididng on Web Foot, Sumas Round-Up. (Doubleday).” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.25||Bareback riding Belle Fourche, S.D., Round-Up (Doubleday).” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.26||Unidentified. Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.27||“Bob Askins on Broken Box. Finals Cheyenne Frontier Days 1930. Out West Photo.” Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.28||“Bob Askin on Powder River, Tucson, Arizona.” Pereira Studio. Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.29||Unidentified. Photograph, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.30||“What do you think of this ride?” Photograph, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.31||“Bill Roberts encouraged the boys to try bucking horses which led to several becoming world famous riders. This is Bob Askin at the Roberts Livery barn. Return to Marjorie Griebel, Ismay, Mont.” Partial Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5 x 5 in.|
|R.264.32||Five men standing outside a building. Photograph, b&w, 3.5 x 2.5 in.|
|R.264.33||Two men next to a truck and one man at the driver’s seat. Photograph, b&w, 3.5 x 2.5 in.|