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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Medora in Billings County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Cowboys

 
 
Cowboys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 22, 2015
1. Cowboys Marker
Inscription.
The American cowboy has become a mythical figure in the national consciousness. This would, no doubt, have surprised most of the common laborers who earned meager pay as cowboys. A number of them were indeed colorful characters. Some became outlaws and some became lawmen. Most, however, quietly worked and saved until they could start ranches of their own.

Cowboys came from every ethnic background. They ranged in age from mere boys to old men. Some were well-educated and some were illiterate. Their most commonly shared traits were an independent nature and a penchant for outdoor labor. They were, above all, individualists.

Many cowboys made the long ride to Medora, and some stayed to become upstanding citizens whose descendants still live in this area.

Medora’s most famous cowboy resident was Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt came from New York City in 1883 to hunt buffalo. He quickly invested in two area cattle ranches. He enjoyed working as a common cowboy, and often credited his time in the badlands with enabling him to pursue his national destiny.

Two prominent area ranchers, Bill McCarty and George Gardner, toured for a time as riders with Buffalo Bill Cody’s internationally famous Wild West Show.

Early-day mulatto cowboy Henry Williams was noted for his exceptional roping and horse-breaking abilities.
Cowboys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 22, 2015
2. Cowboys Marker
In July 1886, he roped a goose on the fly, a feat that was reported in newspapers and became a local legend.
(Marker Number 6.)
 
Location. 46° 54.881′ N, 103° 31.571′ W. Marker is in Medora, North Dakota, in Billings County. Marker is at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Main Street, on the right when traveling east on 3rd Avenue. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Medora ND 58645, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ralph “Doc” Hubbard (here, next to this marker); The Bad Lands Cow Boy (a few steps from this marker); Tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps (within shouting distance of this marker); Joe Ferris General Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Western Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); De Mores (within shouting distance of this marker); Medora Livery Stable (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Medora Business District (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Medora.
 
More about this marker. A photograph of some cowboys, possibly including Henry Williams, appears at the bottom of the marker. Other photos depict cowboys George Gardner, William Fordino and Bill McCarty; and another cowboy busting a bronco.
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Marker in Medora image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 22, 2015
3. Marker in Medora
Cowboys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 22, 2015
4. Cowboys Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 195 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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