World Champion Steer Roper, 1904-1913
Born in 1862 in San Patricio County, Texas, J. Ellison Carroll learned the cowboy trade on ranches in South Texas and the Panhandle. He was a seasoned cowhand when he won his first steer-roping contest at Canadian, Texas, in 1888.
For a quarter-century Carroll was known as the master of the steer-roping event. In 1904 at San Antonio, he fairgrounded 28 steers to beat Clay McGonagill, becoming the first acknowledged world’s champion steer roper. He held that title until 1913, retiring undefeated.
Carroll competed in rodeos around the Southwest, beating such outstanding competitors as Bob Mims and Jim Barron. His companions and friends included legendary actor Tom Mix and rodeo showmen Zack Mulhall and the Miller Brothers.
J. Ellison Carroll retired from rodeo to raise cattle on his ranch in Reagan County, Texas. He died in 1942 at his home in Big Lake.