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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
23513 Riding the Range With Floyd FC 11 O-09 60 Floyd Oyhus The Not So Sweet Smell of Success I caught a little skunk one day, In a coyote trap real stout; It was early in the summer, No way to get him out! I was too young to own a gun,
23514 The Christmas of the Phonograph Records FC 11 H-54 1 Linda M. Hasselstrom n/a Prose: Lamplight was pouring from the open door in a cloud of freezing mist over the back end of a loaded wagon, with three neighbors easing great boxes off, father limping back and forth
23515 RU Lazy 2? FC 11 N-15 97 A.G. Nelson Stupid Attack At times I've been fully amazed, At some of the things we do for fun; Each time trying something bigger, Hoping never ever to be out done.
23516 RU Lazy 2? FC 11 N-15 101 A.G. Nelson Beula Lue I feel the urge to give the account, Of a love that left me numb; For love is not only blind, But most often deaf and dumb!
23517 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 5 Tim O'Byrne N/A I had never thought much about cowboys or the West. I really wanted to be a carpenter or a surgeon but both of these careers meant back to the dreaded halls of knowledge.
23518 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 17 Tim O'Byrne N/A After a year or so, I figured that I had come to know about all there was to know about punching cows, so in my infinite wisdom I decided to take on a new, bigger challenge.
23519 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 21 Tim O'Byrne N/A It was the end of September and we were preparing to start our fall works. This is a busy and exciting time of gathering cattle, making re-rides looking for missing cows and working with the really big herds.
23520 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 32 Tim O'Byrne N/A The big cattle ranches of the West have one thing in common--rough country and lots of it. The cattle are turned out into areas that have the grass and water to support them
23521 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 42 Tim O'Byrne N/A The early 1980s were times of unlimited freedom for me and my cowboy compadres. If one were to look at the letters we wrote to one another and retrace the return addresses and postmarks,
23522 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 47 Tim O'Byrne N/A Wendell Stolzfus was just a gangly kid fresh out of high school when he left rural Alberta and headed west, colliding head-on with me and Stan in the Nicola Ranch cookhouse.
23523 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 57 Tim O'Byrne N/A The spring of 1983 found me and TD (Tickerdog) on the payroll of the spectacular Quilchena Cattle Company,
23524 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 66 Tim O'Byrne N/A The beginning of 1984 found me and Ticker back down in the Nicola Valley. I hired on for my second spring at Quilchena and was enjoying both the surroundings and the boys I had to work with.
23525 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 73 Tim O'Byrne N/A In the middle of summer 1985, me and a few cowboy pals were invited to an afternoon pool party at the home of an executive friend.
23526 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 79 Tim O'Byrne N/A Chris sure was a good little cowboy's wife. She always made me breakfast and never threw any boxes away. Why this whole husband-wife thing would have been perfect if it wasn't for her useless cat.
23527 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 86 Tim O'Byrne N/A The summer of 1987 was a good one for us, Chris and I were busy showing off our baby boy, Mark. He showed up in January of that year, and we were getting pretty used to having him around.
23528 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 93 Tim O'Byrne N/A The Baird family owned the feedlot and ran a pretty good show. I learned a lot about the proper way to feed cattle for a profit.
23529 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 98 Tim O'Byrne N/A Winter was in full swing now, and all the cattle were home and happy on the feed grounds. In our end of the universe, we move the big cowherds around to wherever the hay happens to be stacked.
23530 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 103 Tim O'Byrne N/A Every September for many years the cow country around Kamloops would come alive for a few weeks. The Panorama Cattle Sale is the highlight of the fall.
23531 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 112 Tim O'Byrne N/A Fall works had snuck up and surprised us again as usual. Before we realized what had happened we were well into November and busy preg-checking the cowherd.
23532 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 121 Tim O'Byrne N/A I wasn't the only one having all the fun with cowdogs round that time period. Some of my friends were entangled just as much as I was with their own canin partners.
23533 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 129 Tim O'Byrne N/A If anyone even mentioned the Gang Ranch to us young cowboys we'd get so excited we could scarcely breathe.
23534 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 139 Tim O'Byrne N/A Lots of things remain the same throughout history and I strongly suspect Murphy's Law was well in place long before Murphy was even born.
23535 Cowboys & Dog Tales FC 11 O-8 148 Tim O'Byrne N/A Fall works of 1991 went off with all the usual hullabaloo one would expect. What with various catastrophes, some major and some minor, it all came together in normal fashion.
23536 FC 11 M-60 1 Wallace McRae The World Pile "You need to write a poem about cowboy words," Jack Bradley said. I usually resolve any suggestions, or new ideas, by arguing against them until the whole subject is fully considered.
23537 Winter Wages FC 11 H-51 2 Barney Hill N/A Well cowboys don't really fear the water they just figger most people use moren they otter.