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Cuba Crutchfield Collection

Cuba Crutchfield Collection
Creator: Ann Crutchfield
Dates: 1910-1965
Quantity: 1 inch
Accession: R.262.01


This collection contains photographs of Cuba Crutchfield performing trick roping skills, programs from his early stage performances, and two certificates of land allotments for property near Tahlequah, Oklahoma.


Cuba Island Crutchfield was born to Frank and Ida McDaniel Crutchfield on March 15, 1891, in Claremore, Oklahoma. By age 12, Crutchfield started spinning ropes with skill and planned to follow Will Rogers into show business. In 1912, “Buffalo” Bill Cody saw him perform and invited him to join his Wild West show. Crutchfield performed with Annie Oakley, among others, as the troupe toured Philadelphia, New York, and other cities.

By 1915, he joined the Miller Brothers’ 101 Ranch Wild West Show and performed unique and impressive rope tricks. By 1918, he was a regular on Broadway, sometimes using the name Will Crutchfield, and usually performing as a team with his wife, Helena Travis Crutchfield.

Crutchfield turned his attention to the more lucrative rodeo circuit during the summers after he spent much of the rest of the year in show business. He performed and competed at the Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon, the Boise Stampede in Idaho, the Calgary Stampede, and Cheyenne Frontier Days.

In 1924, a film company in Los Angeles signed Crutchfield to star in four western films. He was billed as “Cuba Coolidge,” and three of the films were produced before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Cuba and Helena decided to retire from show business. They bought ranch property near Galena Creek in Nevada.

In 1966, a large Sierra wildfire destroyed several out-buildings on the Crutchfield ranch and much of Cuba’s memorabilia from his performing days. He and his second wife Ann moved to a home in Washoe Valley, Nevada. In 1968, the Crutchfields attended Will Rogers Day festivities in Claremore. He rode a white horse in the parade and was the subject of a story in the local newspaper.

Cuba Crutchfield died October 14, 1969, at his home in Washoe Valley.

Scope & Content Note

This collection contains seven photographs, four photographic postcards, five programs, one passport, one certificate of allotment, one certificate of homestead allotment, and three letters and excerpts from Cuba Crutchfield’s unpublished biography. The photographs and postcards present Crutchfield trick roping. The programs are from various venues where Crutchfield performed.

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Crutchfield, Cuba
Rogers, Will, 1879-1935

Subject Headings:
Trick roping

Processing Information

The Cuba Crutchfield Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Preferred Citation

Cuba Crutchfield Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Container List

Cuba Crutchfield Collection

Box Folder Folder title/Description
1 1 Souvenir programs and allotment certificates, 1905-1921, 1967
1 2 Photographs, 1910-1927

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