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Ward 150 150 ctx

Fay Ward (1887-1979) Papers
3 cubic feet (4 document boxes)
Location: Row 8, Bay B, Shelves 5-6
Collection #: MS109


Fay Ward was born on October 8, 1887, in Ackley, Iowa. He grew up in foster homes, but at a young age he left the state system to live the cowboy life. He worked as a bronc-breaker, rodeo contestant, and cowboy clothing tailor for years. After reading 1920s western stories in pulp magazines, Ward tried his hand at writing and illustrating. He discovered a passion and talent that would become the focus of the rest of his life. In 1927 he attended the Chicago Art Institute to improve his illustrating skills, and quickly began work on many different articles about western life. Eventually Ward decided to write a book about how to live like a cowboy and The Cowboy at Work was born. He went on to write several other manuscripts for how-to books. These manuscripts include a guide to rodeo events called “Rodeo and How,” and an anthology titled “Cowboy Verse and Song.” Ward also worked toward creating an index of rodeo event results called “Rodeo, Roundup, and Stampede Fact Finder.” In 1975 he was honored as the man of the year by the Museum and three years later the Museum recognized him for his expertise on rodeo history. Fay Ward died from illness on August 12, 1979, in Prescott, Arizona.

The Papers contain letters, photographs, publications concerning Ward, rodeo programs and result records, and original drafts of Ward’s articles and unpublished books. The 75 letters in the Papers are generally responses to Ward inquiring about rodeo results. The majority is from his friends and acquaintances from the rodeo world, but there are also replies from different historical and rodeo societies. The rodeo result records are from competitions all around the country and are in spiral notebooks.

The writings and research materials series contains the original drafts of Ward’s articles and unpublished books. It is organized by alphabetical order. Included in the “Rodeo and How” subseries are supplements to each chapter of the manuscript. These supplements are the original drawings by Ward and photographs he wanted included in the final publishing. Some of the photographers images used are Louise L. Serpa, Ben Allen, Frank Milne, and Foxies Rodeo Photography.

Personal Names:
Fletcher, George
Hinkle, Milt
Vernon, Buffalo
Ward, Fay

Subject Headings:

The Fay Ward Papers were organized and described in 2012 by the processing archivist.

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

Fay Ward Papers, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Box Folder Folder Title / Description
1 1 October 1957 – November 4, 1959
2 January 11-16, 1960
3 January 26, 1960 – March 16, 1960
4 March 19 – July 18, 1960
5 July 27, 1960 – May 5, 1961
6 December 30, 1691 – December 19, 1962
7 December 29, 1962 – March 15, 1963
8 April 5-25, 1963
2 1 May 17, 1963 – November 19, 1964
2 February 15, 1965 – December 13, 1966
3 December 30, 1966 – October 2, 1967
4 October 25, 1967 – February 15, 1984
5 Undated
6 Undated
7 Rodeo Association of America Bulletin, May 5, 1937 –

August 1938

8 Hoofs and Horns, January 1941
9 Wild Bunch, July 1975 – November 1976
10 Horse Tales, Fall 1972; Western Horseman,

March 1994

11 Western Outfitter, August 1972
3 1 Programs, 1917-1966
2 Results of rodeo events ranging 1897-1969
3 Binder of results of rodeo events ranging 1903-1964
Writing and Research Materials
4 Book, The Cowboy at Work: All About His Job and How He Does It, by Fay Ward, 1958
5 Draft of “Cowboys in Jackpots: Serious Predicaments which Cowboys Got Into with a Horse,” by Fay Ward, undated
6 Draft of “Cowboy Song and Verse Anthology,” by Fay Ward, undated
7 Letters and photographs from Buffalo Vernon, undated
8 Letter, photographs, and articles from Milt Hinkle, undated
9 Article about George Fletcher, undated
4 1 Drafts of articles, undated
“Rodeo and How”
2 Draft, undated
3 Supplement to Chapter 1: Bronc Riding, undated
4 Supplement to Chapter 2: Bareback Bronc Riding, undated
5 Supplement to Chapter 3: Steer or Bull Riding, undated
6 Supplement to Chapter 4: Steer Bulldogging, undated
7 Supplement to Chapter 5: Gimmicks and Gadgets, undated
8 Supplement to Chapter 6: Ropes and Roping, undated
9 Supplement to Chapter 7: Calf Roping, undated
10 Supplement to Chapter 8: Dally Team Roping, undated
11 Team Tying, undated
12 Supplement to Chapter 9: Steer Roping and Rope Trip and Tie, undated
13 Supplement to Chapter 10: Miscellaneous Rodeo Events, undated
14 Photographs and photocopies of artwork for the book, undated
Adventure District
Adventure Road
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