The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 372
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
crowd remained to jostle itself, to cheer, jeer, laugh and sing
until the last day of the celebration. Then wearied ranch folk and
their more prepossessing town brethren climbed aboard creaking
buckboards, dusty buggies, and faithful horses and scattered to
resume the tasks which made up so large a part of western life.
Thus bloomed and faded into the past a pioneering attempt to
carve for the old west a niche wherein its traditions and its spirit
might exist against an effacing progress. But conceived as it
was principally in easy joviality and a desire for passing en-
tertainment, the measure failed to imbue with desire to preserve
it a strong enough majority. With the scattering of the few who
had inaugurated the occasion the spirit weakened and celebra-
tions returned to the ranch round-ups which had preceded it.
The first celebration and contest was primarily to settle a ques-
tion of superiority of roping between Ellison Carroll and Albert
Phillips, a Negro related to the Mose Anderson family. There
were numerous other ropers as well as these two. The Laurel
Leaf cowboys matched the two, and J. Ellison won the match
by easy odds. A collection was taken up for the prizes, and
numerous side bets were made. J. C. Studer, a comparatively
young man, and one of the spectators, made the statement that
"men could be seen frequently in the crowd with hands full of
money, and this was more money than I had ever seen up to
The 4th became a day of celebration and entertainment in
years following, the principal forms being music, speeches and
horse acing. Tournament races also were quite popular at that
time. For the benefit of the younger generation and those that
have never seen them, they may be explained as being held on
a straight-away track, with poles erected a given number of
yards apart, each of which had a bar extended out with a clip
that held a ring. The rider equipped with a spear would run
at full speed down the course, and those picking up the most
rings in the shortest time were considered the winners.
It was not until the nationally rising tide of colorful fads and
chamber-of-commerce-sponsored expositions had carved a firm
financial footing for themselves that the western rodeo began to
exist as an established community project. Canadian's thirteen-
year-old Anvil Park rodeo is a product of this evolution.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/416/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.