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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
4877 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 76 Samuel Harkness James Bagby Jim spent fifty years in the hills prospecting. prospector, mining, poverty, welfare, coffin, mine, gold
4878 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 79 Samuel Harkness Stewart Martin The first intimation that "Curly" was crooked came from Tip Benton. thief, mine, mining, salting a mine, ore, gold, rustler, arm, blood poisoning, amputation, amputee, death, kill, shoot, shot
4879 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 81 Samuel Harkness Taps The dishcloth I hung up is already dry. wind, winter, cabin, stove, flatiron, warmth, snow
4880 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 82 Samuel Harkness Rebecca Chubb Aunt Beck had dyspepsia for twenty-seven years. alcohol, medicine, husband, wife, illness, stepdaughter, stepmother, actress, Hollywood, hag,
4881 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 85 Samuel Harkness Henry Clay Clark Henry Clark had a face like a coyote. beard, whiskers, fire, stove, spit
4882 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 87 Samuel Harkness Shadows Dark fat clouds travel the sky. mountains, nakedness, shadow, writing, poetry, nature, mist
4883 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 88 Samuel Harkness Isaac Watts Ford Well, Sir, I guess I'm the only man in Colorado. mine, mining stock, poet, poetry, writing, game warden, hunting, venison, deer, food, welfare
4884 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 90 Samuel Harkness John Wesley Miller Greasy Miller was tunnel foreman at the Sphinx. thrift, saving, bachelor, pension, gingersnaps, death, funeral, wreath, flowers
4885 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 92 Samuel Harkness To a Star You are the brightest star in the sky. Bethlehem, Christmas, Christ, Jesus, Judea, snow, life, birth, death, goodness
4886 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 93 Samuel Harkness Simeon Butts Simeon Butts was a drummer and called on Ike Ford monthly. salesman, selling, envy, service, orders, garage
4887 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 95 Samuel Harkness Andrew Butts Let every man follow his own hunch. civilization, people, character, hunch, luck, mine, mining, prospecting, Carrie Nation, drink, alcohol, gold
4888 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 97 Samuel Harkness Wood Box Halfway station to the stove. wood, fire, firewood, work
4889 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 98 Samuel Harkness Jacob Spicer There is complaint about this little world. teamster, wagon, mules, truck, progress, livery stable, team, hauling
4890 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 100 Samuel Harkness Timothy Cullens Tim Cullens was the gravedigger of Horse-Thief Gulch. grave digger, death, freeze, winter, soil, earth, dynamite
4891 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 101 Samuel Harkness To a Mountain Spring Do you like to kiss the fawn. nature, water
4892 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 102 Samuel Harkness John Trent, M.D. So you've been up in Horse-Thief Gulch, eh? amputation, doctor, operation, medicine, town, piano, surgeon, club foot, writing
4893 Horse-Thief Gulch FC 11 H-07 105 Samuel Harkness L' Envoi The stage of Horse-Thief Gulch is set. dreams, ghosts, past, history
4894 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 1 John Sterling Harris First Spring Ride The air still chills. horse, spring, sweat, thighs, riding, bareback
4895 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 4 John Sterling Harris Adaptation The cactus shields. desert, water
4896 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 7 John Sterling Harris Watering Turn The irrigation stream. water, dam, sustenance
4897 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 8 John Sterling Harris Rock Pile On the summit of a western mountain peak. cairn, rocks, stones, lichen, monument, marker
4898 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 11 John Sterling Harris Hawk The reaching redtail hawk. hunt, hunting, bird, nature, wildlife, rabbit
4899 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 13 John Sterling Harris Progress The old church is down. reuse, building materials, brick, beam, service station
4900 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 15 John Sterling Harris Polly Sleeps My Polly sleeps in her little bed. child, children, daughter, father, growing up, adult, adulthood, childhood, sleep, rest, peace, knowledge
4901 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 17 John Sterling Harris Hay Derrick You can see the derrick there. work, farming, haying, hay stack, death, accident, child, son