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Privett 150 150 ctx

Samuel Thomas “Booger Red” Privett Papers, 1895-2007
4 boxes
Collection#: MS102


Samuel Thomas “Booger Red” Privett was born in west central Texas sometime in the 1860s. His nickname came from his red hair and scars from a childhood accident. Booger grew up on ranches and became known for his skill with horses. The stories say he often challenged local residents of towns his wild west show performed in to bring their rowdiest bucking horse to the show, and if he was tossed off while riding it, he would give the owner a hundred dollars. Legend says he never had to pay up.

In December 1895, Booger married Mollie Webb. They decided to start their own traveling Wild West show, The Booger Red Wild West Wagon Show, in which both of them performed with Booger Red as the chief attraction. They had six living children: Roy (1896), Ella (1897), Thomas (1902), Luther (1906), Alta (1908) also known as “Lady,” and William (1915) also known as “Bill,” who travelled and performed with them. As the children grew older, they began branching off and joining different circuses. Ella and her husband Frank Linton worked as performers in Tom Mix’s circus for several years.

Booger died in Miami, Oklahoma, in 1924. Because of financial difficulties, he was buried without a headstone. In January of 2011, through the efforts of people around the state, a grave marker was dedicated.

The Papers contain original photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, and two date books owned by Ella Privett Linton with occasional entries about her daily activities while working for a circus. There are also copy photographs and negatives taken by Charlsie Poe, and the resulting books: World Champion Cowboy: Booger Red by Charlsie Poe and Texas Cowboys: Memories of the Early Days edited by Jim and Judy Lanning.

The Family series contains original documents from Linton and concerns all members of Booger Red’s immediate family. It contains mostly photographs, grouped by sitter, but also a few letters and data books.

The Books and Research Materials series concerns items gathered by Jim and Judy Lanning and Charlsie Poe, when they were writing their books about Booger. These items include correspondence with other writers, copies of newspaper articles, and copies of original Privett family pictures.

The Miscellaneous series contains magazine articles unrelated to any specific member of the Privett family.

Personal Names
Beck, W.C.
Futch, Alta “Lady” Privett
Poe, Charlsie
Privett, Ella
Privett, Luther
Privett, Roy
Privett, Samuel Thomas “Booger Red”
Privett, Tommy
Privett, William “Bill”
Simms, W.L.

Subject Headings

In November 2010, Jim Lanning donated the materials after Ella Privett Linton had given them to him. Much of the Papers had previously been loaned from the family to author Charlsie Poe to be used in the biography she wrote about Booger Red.

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

Samuel Thomas “Booger Red” Privett Papers, MS 102, Box # Folder #, Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Box Folder Folder Title
I. Family
Booger Red
1 1 Outline of “The Life and Times of Booger Red,” by Chris R. Hurd, April 12, 1990
2 List of names of people from Bronte and Ballinger, Texas, undated; Printed excerpt from a book, undated; Printed articles from the internet, printed April 4, 2003
3 Newspaper, Raton Advance-Roby Star, January 18, 2007
4 Photographs of Booger Red, Mollie, and family group, undated
Roy Privett
5 Photographs, undated
Ella Privett Linton and Frank Linton
6 Datebooks with daily information, 1927-1929
7 Newspaper, The Billboard Weekly, December 24, 1949
8 Newspapers: unknown from 1915, The New York Evening Journal, March 19, 1937, The Kansas City Times, February 27, 1984
9 Magazines: The Wild Bunch, February 1980, True West, January 1984
10 Letter from circus performer W.L. Simms, January 1, 1951
11 Postcard present from Hank Privett, 1914
12 Photographs, undated; postcards, 1908-1913
Tommy Privett
13 Photographs, undated
Luther Privett
14 Photographs thought to be Luther, undated
Alta “Lady” Privett Futch
15 Photographs, undated
William “Bill” Privett
16 Photographs, undated
Unknown photographs
17 Rodeo, undated
18 Circus, undated
19 Miscellaneous, undated
2 1 Group circus photograph, ripped, undated
2 Group circus photograph, ripped, undated
3 Group circus photograph, rolled, undated
Adventure District
Adventure Road
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