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FOLK COLLECTION 11: The Skaggs Foundation Cowboy Poetry Collection

Date of Items: 1890-present
Register Prepared by: Randy Williams and Susan Gross, April 2004
Register Updated by: Randy Williams, 23 December 2009
Excel database transfered to MYSQL and uploaded (replacing PHP data): Colin Jackson, Fall 2010
MYSQL database updated: Randy Williams, January 2012
Linear Feet:20

Historical Note & Provenance

Folk Coll 11 is Utah State University's cowboy poetry collection. The collection, originally created by a generation donation by the L. J. and Mary Skaggs Foundation, includes books gathered during a fieldwork project in the early 1980s to document cowboy poetry in the U.S. west (see Folk Coll 11f). From this important fieldwork project came the impetus for the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering held in January 1985 in Elko, Nevada. Since that time, each January, the Fife Folklore Archives staff take the collection and Access database (that details each book, poem, author, first line and key words), to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for offsite use. Through University purchases and generation donations from poets and collectors, this collection continues to grow.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 20 linear feet of books on cowboy poetry, including press and self published works. The collection can be accessed through USU Libraries online catalog.

As well, poem titles and keywords found in each book in the collection are included in the database below. To use, type in the search term. Tip: Try and use an uncommon word from the poem to ensure less "hits." For instance, if you enter "boots" you will get many hits; but if you enter "bones" you will most liley get fewer "hits" or poems and find the item you seek faster. To return to the search page, click "home" at the bottom of the page.


Poetry table.

First Previous Next Last
IDBook TitleComposerIndexPagesAuthorPoem TitleFirst LinesKeywords
22962 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 145 Lona Tankersley Burkhart No Regrets I've loved my life, as I've loved the land, when it was open, free and grand. No matter what others might say, I would not trade for yesterday,
22964 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 1 Frank Thornburgh A Frog's View Prose: Patricia and I were sitting at a window table in our favorite resteraunt located on a busy downtown intersection. We were both studying the people-zoo passing by outside.
22965 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 2 Frank Thornburgh Gatherin Strays Ambers said, "We've got two strays to catch. In the morning we'll start before light. I'll meet you at dad's with my horse
22966 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 4 Frank Thornburgh Cow Pies Prose: A few years back I went to Elko, Nevada cowboy poetry gathering. It is traditionally held late January or February when ranch life slows down a bit.
22967 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 6 Frank Thornburgh Howling at the Moon It was a full moon night all was snowy white. Sitting in the outhouse with open door for light. Breath floating on air as stars I did stare.
22968 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 7 Frank Thornburgh Shooting House Flies Prose: Our old farmhouse sat way back off the road down a long driveway. There was clear visibility a quarter mile both directions down the road.
22969 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 8 Frank Thornburgh Hemorrhoids Prose: While I was a police officer in 1961 working for the city of Garden Grove, my hemorrhoids became so bad I had to visit the doctor assigned by our department.
22970 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 10 Frank Thornburgh Bent Handcuffs Prose: Andy and I were dispatched to check out a person lying on the sidewalk acting crazy. We found a big young man, 20 years old, 250 lbs, 6'4" plus
22971 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 13 Frank Thornburgh Cockroach Prose: Because I was broke, I decided one day to eat in the army mess hall. After going through the chow line, I sat down and dug into a big pile of cooked fresh spinach.
22972 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 14 Frank Thornburgh Randy Prose: During the mid- 1980's, I worked in the department of public safety for a large private senior citizen community of several thousand residents.
22973 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 16 Frank Thornburgh This Hat This hat you see on my white hair Once had grace and form Weather, sweat and years Made it look well worn
22974 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 18 Frank Thornburgh Carbide Gas Prose: Calcium Carbide pellets were sold by rural hardware stores in the 1940's and 50's. The pellets looked like grey gravel about the size of pinto beans and came packaged in a silvery-painted one-pound can.
22975 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 21 Frank Thornburgh A View of the Outhouse Prose: Our outhouse as 25 yards behind the main house and slightly off to the side next to the fence of one of our fields.
22976 Frank's Sampler FC 11 T-15 24 Frank Thornburgh Cowboy Wisdom Never miss a chance to rest your horse If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
22977 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 1 Dolores Tozer Giving it Up The old man sat down in the easy chair Said, "Calvin these heifers gets in my hair" Who is there to tell me, what kind of bull
22978 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 3 Dolores Tozer Old Whitey Lots of cowboys have had their favorite horses. They said they could do everything except talk Spanish, but they understood it.
22979 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 5 Dolores Tozer The Market Trend The buyers kept telling me, year after year, I'll give you more money, if you'll put on some "ear", The feed lots prefer them, they gain weight real fast.
22980 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 6 Dolores Tozer Calvin Time I been calvin these two year old heifers, It's at the point where I can't even laugh, Except for one big rangy Brahma, I've pulled everyone of them's calf.
22981 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 8 Dolores Tozer Ranch Mail There's lots of ranch papers, Take whatever you choose, Be it the Ranch Stockman Or the Livestock News.
22982 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 10 Dolores Tozer A Dying Breed They say the Hereford is a dying breed, But a few old moss backs still got some seed They didn't give up without quite a race
22983 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 11 Dolores Tozer Pasteurella in the Pasture One of the biggest jokes and rip-off and how, Is the serum they sell you to vaccinate the cow, But in my books, the one that gets the biggest laugh is the vaccine they sell you to vaccinate the calf.
22984 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 13 Dolores Tozer Gold on the Hoof For the benefit of some that might not know, Sometimes a calf snitches a little tiddy from some other cow. They like to slip up from behind when an old cow is eating,
22985 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 16 Dolores Tozer Looking Back The real old time Cowpunchers, Are seldom ever seen, Guess, most have crossed the Great Divide, Because, they're few and far between.
22986 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 18 Dolores Tozer A Repeat Some old timers tell me they remember long ago, a year just like this one, no rain or much snow. How the springtime was cold, the old grass was short
22987 Cowboy Poetry: Real Ole Down Home Stuff FC 11 T-06 19 Dolores Tozer Action at the Auction It had been raining for a couple days, And I couldn't do much at the ranch, So I thought I'd run into town While I had a chance.