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Fox Hastings

Three photographs of Fox Hastings at McLain's Roundup near Sun City, Kansas.

Photos by Homer Venters, copyright Mike Venters 2005. All rights reserved.
Three photographs of Fox Hastings at McLain's Roundup near Sun City, Kansas.
Photos by Homer Venters, courtesy of his great-nephew, Mike Venters.
Photos © Mike Venters 2005. Used with his permission.

These photographs are protected by copyright and may not be copied or republished.

Fox Hastings, famous cowgirl, rides a bucking bronc, McLain Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.   Photo by Homer Venters, courtesy of his great-nephew, Mike Venters.
Fox Hastings, famous cowgirl, rides a bucking bronc, McLain Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Homer Venters, courtesy of his great-nephew, Mike Venters.
Photo © Mike Venters 2005. Used with his permission.


Fox Hastings, first woman bulldogger in professional rodeo, at McLain Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.   Photo by Homer Venters, courtesy of his great-nephew, Mike Venters.
Fox Hastings, first woman bulldogger in professional rodeo, at McLain Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Homer Venters, courtesy of his great-nephew, Mike Venters.
Photo © Mike Venters 2005. Used with his permission.


Fox Hastings at McLain's Roundup.  Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain, courtesy of Kim Fowles.
Fox Hastings at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.


Chronology of the Life of Fox Hastings

and some of her contemporaries

1891     Mike Hastings, who is a primary focus of the collection, was born Paul Raymond (Mike) Hastings in Cheyenne, Wyoming on October 23, 1891. At 11, he ran away from home and found work breaking wild horses. He entered his first rodeo in 1910 at Laramie, Wyoming. -- Estelle Gilbert Papers, Box 1, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

1898     Eloise Fox Wilson was born in Galt, California, to Wesley Galveston Fox, born in Galveston, Texas, and Susie Agusta (Sawyer) Fox, who was born in Galt, California. Informant: Bill Twain Clemens of Florence, Arizona. -- Death certificate for Eloise Fox Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona. Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4441, Registrar's No. 1619.

1899     21 November 1899 - Charlie C. Wilson, who would be the second husband of Eloise Fox Hastings, was born in Kansas to Mr. & Mrs. Willis Wilson. (Willis Wilson was born in Virginia.) -- Death certificate for Charlie C. Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona. Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4556, Registrar's No. 6_(?).

1912 - 1914     Fox Hastings ran away from home to marry Mike Hastings.

Age 14 - "Born Eloise Fox, she ran away from her California home at the age of 14 to begin her career riding bucking horses and trick riding. Joining Irwin Brother's Wild West Show she rode on one of the fastest running trick riding horses performing at that time." -- Fox Hastings, biography at www.cowgirls.com.

Age 16 - Mike Hastings was married to Eloise Fox Hastings, who ran away from convent school at 16 to join a Wild West show. After she met up with Hastings, he taught her to ride and rodeo, and in 1924 she became the first woman steer wrestler. Later they were divorced. -- Estelle Gilbert Papers

1916     In August 1916, Guy Weadick produced the New York Stampede at Sheepshead Bay Speedway in Brooklyn. It ran for 12 days. Bill Pickett's bulldogging was the main attraction. Other great rodeo performers such as Hoot Gibson, Leonard Stroud, Chester Byers, Mike Hastings, Cowgirls Lucille Mullhall, Fox Hastings, Florence La Due (Weadick's wife), and Frances Irwin were there. -- Black Cowboy Bill Pickett Gained Fame Throughout West, by Tom Bean.

1917     In 1917, when the late Duke of Windsor (then Prince of Wales) was a boy, he and the Royal Family attended a rodeo performance at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in which Hastings was participating. During a backstage visit, Mike Hastings put the young Prince on a horse and led him around the corrals. -- Estelle Gilbert Papers

1923     Fox Hastings was photographed at McLain's Roundup near Sun City, Kansas, by Homer Venters. McLain's Roundup was an annual event held by Marion Francis McLain, usually known as Frank McLain. It was often called McLain's Rodeo or the Sun City Rodeo.

1924     In 1924, when Mike Hastings was participating in the first international rodeo in London, the Prince of Wales presented Hastings with a thoroughbred horse in appreciation of the thrill he had had riding a real American cowboy horse (in 1917). -- Estelle Gilbert Papers

1924     The RODEO (movie) - Events and personalities at the British Empire Exhibition rodeo at Wembley Stadium. Rl. 1. Shot of Tex Austin (43-54); some of the cowgirls taking part in the World Championship contest (113-133); Mabel Strickland (136-143); Bonnie McCarrol (147-153); Donnie Glover (158-164); Fox Hastings (176-184); Helen Elliot (187-193); Ruth Wheat (195-201); Florence Hughes (204-210); Donna Glover (213-217); Bea Kirnan (220-225). The arena, cowgirls and cowboys riding in and around in a parade (292). The judges enter on horseback - Tom B. Hickman. G.M. Jones, Phil Yoder and Tex Austin (305-369). The cowgirls bronco riding - Florence Hughes (400-419); Ruth Wheat is thrown and carried off (426-462); Mabel Strickland riding in slow motion (467-483); Fox Hastings mounts and rides (489-530). Cowboys bareback bronco riding - first rider (536-551); Frank Studenick is thrown (555-579); the next rider shot from above is thrown (596); more riders (634); a rider in slow motion (638-659). Trick and fancy roping - first competitor (662-675); Chester Beyers using two ropes (681-694); Tommy Kirnan roping his wife and pony (701-722); he then does it standing on his head (727-737). Rl. 2. Calf roping - the calf is let out (749753); when it crosses the line the rider ropes it (759-795); more competitors roping calves (803-922). Cowboys bronco riding - various competitors (925-1087). Steer wrestling - competitors ride alongside the steer and jump on to it and throw it flat on its side (1115-1243). Wild horse race, the competitors saddle and mount the horses in the arena (1254-1309). (1310ft). -- The RODEO - NFA Catalogue

1924     Fox Hastings was one of the first and only female bulldoggers in rodeo history. Her fastest time was 17 seconds, a record she set in 1924. - -- Fox Hastings, biography at www.cowgirls.com.

1924     Her (Fox Hastings') cowgirl career began in 1924 with a bulldogging exhibition at the Houston Stock Show. Hastings went on to ride rough stock and was known to remark before she sprinted out of a chute: "If I can just get my fanny out of the saddle and my feet planted, thereís not a steer that can last against me." Foghorn Clancy, a flamboyant rodeo announcer and publicity man, made her the most photographed and interviewed cowgirl of the late twenties. But Clancy didnít do it all. Fox was very good at her event. She established a record time of seventeen seconds in 1924. She was a charismatic performer, who could smile at the camera while lying in the mud, still clinging to the neck of a freshly thrown steer. -- Cowgirl Art by Sharon K. Hunt.

1924     After marrying fellow rodeo star Mike Hastings, Eloise Fox dropped her first name, becoming Fox Hastings. She made her bulldogging debut at a 1924 rodeo in Houston, receiving help and encouragement from her husband, himself a highly successful bulldogger. -- Fox Hastings, biography at www.cowgirls.com.

1925     See photographs of Fox Hastings as took part in the 1925 Tucson, Arizona, Rodeo Parade and the Rodeo at Santa Catalina (Kramer) Field.

1925 - 1927     "A Mike and Fox Hastings scrapbook covering 1925-1927, photographs of early rodeo performers including a Mabel Strickland photograph inscribed to Fox Hastings, and a reminiscence of Fox Hastings by Reba Perry Blakely are also included." -- Estelle Gilbert Papers

1926     Frontier Days Ladies' Bronco Contest. Frontier Days Cowgirl entrants, approx. 1926. Left to Right: Bea Kirman, Fort Worth; Rose Smith, El Paso; Mabel Strickland, Walla Walla; Fox Hastings, Pendleton; Ruth Roach; Fort Worth; Florence Hughes, San Antonio. Photo by Ralph Doubleday. The original caption for the photo indicates that all were expected to compete for "King Kalakauna's spurs -- the prize of all broncdom at the Frontier Days celebration to open at Cheyenne, Wyo. on July 22nd." -- Frontier Days, Wyoming Tales and Trails: Lulu Bell Parr, Mabel Strickland, Fox Hastings, Ruth Roach, Brian Roach

1928     At the Ellensburg, Wash. rodeo in 1928 Reba Perry Blakely encountered some of the world Champion Cowgirls, such as Vera McGinnis, Vedal Tindel, Rene Shelton, Mabel Strickland, Tad Lucas and Fox Hastings. Working with these outstanding Cowgirls was a complete thrill for the young horsewoman. -- Cowboy Hall of Fame comes to Modoc County, Modoc Record, May 22, 1997.

1929     The approximate year that both Charlie C. Wilson and Eloise Fox Wilson began living in Arizona according to their death certificates. It is reasonable to assume that they married around this time. -- Death certificate for Eloise Fox Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona; Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4441, Registrar's No. 1619. Death certificate for Charlie C. Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona; Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4556, Registrar's No. 6_(?).

1940s     In the forties, Fox developed tuberculosis, an illness not uncommon among rodeo and livestock professionals of those times. Her second husband Chuck was by her side through several agonizing years of treatment, but the joy of learning that the disease was in remission was short-lived. On August 2, 1948 (sic), Chuck Wilson died of a heart attack. -- Cowgirl Art by Sharon K. Hunt. (According to his death certificate, Charles C. Wilson died on July 30, 1948.)

1945     Based on the length of residence in the Winslow area given in Charlie C. Wilson's death certificate, Charlie and Eloise Fox Wilson moved to Winslow, Arizona, in about May of 1945. -- Death certificate for Charlie C. Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona; Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4556, Registrar's No. 6_(?).

1948     Charlie C. "Chuck" Wilson died of a heart attack. ABSTRACT of Death Certificate: Place of Death: 709 W. Elm, Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona. Length of stay in community: 2 years, 7 months. Length of stay in Arizona: 19 years. Full name: Charlie C. Wilson. He was not a veteran. Sex: Male. Race: White. Wife: Eloise Fox. Birthdate: November 21, 1899. Age: 48 years, 8 months, 9 days. Birthplace: Kansas. Usual occupation: Manager of a cattle ranch. Father's name: Willis Wilson, born in Virginia. Mother's name and birthplace: unknown. Informant: G. (?) Sullivan of Winslow, Arizona. His remains were removed to Phoenix, Arizona. Funeral director: Scott & McMillan of Winslow, Arizona. Death Registrar: Mrs. Ed. J. Cahill, 7-31-1948. Date of death: July 30, 1948. Time of death: 9:30 p.m. Cause of death: Coronary occlusion. Signature: M.g. Wright (?) of Winslow, Arizona, 7-31-1948. -- Death certificate for Charlie C. Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona. Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4556, Registrar's No. 6_(?).

1948     8-14-1948 - Eloise (Fox) Hastings Wilson committed suicide. ABSTRACT of Death Certificate: Place of Death: Adams Hotel, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. Length of stay in community: 2 weeks; length of stay in Arizona: 19 years. Full name: Eloise Fox Wilson. She was not a veteran. Sex: Female. Race: White. Marital status: Widowed. Birthdate: 1898. Age: 50 years. Birthplace: Galt, California. Usual occupation: Housewife. Industry or business: Home. Father's name: Wesley Galveston Fox, born in Galveston, Texas. Mother's name: Susie Agusta Sawyer, born in Galt, California. Informant: Bill Twain Clemens of Florence, Arizona. Her remains were cremated at Greenwood, Phoenix, Arizona, on 8-16-1948. Funeral director: A.L. Moore and Sons, 333 W. Adams, Phoenix, Arizona. Death Registrar: Mrs. Cort (?) I. Hughes. Date of death: August 14, 1948. Time of death: about 3:00 a.m. Immediate cause of death: "Investigation by police and myself shows bullet wounds in abdomen and head and indicate that wounds were self-inflicted. According to note found with the body, it was apparently with suicidal intent." Cause of death: Suicide. Date of occurence: August 14, 1948. Signature: Illegible, Ex-Officio Coroner, East Phoenix Pret., 8-16-1848. -- Death certificate for Eloise Fox Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona. Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4441, Registrar's No. 1619.

1948     8-16-1948 - The remains of Eloise (Fox) Hastings Wilson were cremated at Greenwood, Phoenix, Arizona, on 8-16-1948. Funeral director: A.L. Moore and Sons, 333 W. Adams, Phoenix, Arizona. -- Death certificate for Eloise Fox Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona. Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4441, Registrar's No. 1619.

1965     Paul Raymond (Mike) Hastings, first husband of Eloise Fox, died. -- Estelle Gilbert Papers

1974     Mike Hastings was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame. -- Estelle Gilbert Papers

1976     Reminiscence of Fox Hastings written by fellow rodeo cowgirl Reba Perry Blakely. -- Estelle Gilbert Papers

1979     Reba Perry Blakely was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1979 as a Western Heritage Honoree. Their narration of her was, "Reba became an accomplished trick roper, rider and pony express contestant. She was a World Champion Woman's Relay Rider as well. Reba drew on her knowledge to become a recognized researcher and author of western and rodeo history. Her articles have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers while she has spent over 50 years documenting the coming of the pioneer and the horse to the west." -- Cowboy Hall of Fame comes to Modoc County, Modoc Record, May 22, 1997.

1987     Fox Hastings, 1882 (sic) - 1948, was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame and is recorded as being from Texas. Her inclusion is based on her being a Steer Wrestler and Saddle Bronc Rider and Rodeo Trick Rider -- Cowboy Hall of Fame.


Death certificate for Eloise Fox Wilson
Death certificate for Eloise Fox Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona

Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4441, Registrar's No. 1619.

ABSTRACT: Place of Death: Adams Hotel, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. Length of stay in community: 2 weeks; length of stay in Arizona: 19 years. Full name: Eloise Fox Wilson. She was not a veteran. Sex: Female. Race: White. Marital status: Widowed. Birthdate: 1898. Age: 50 years. Birthplace: Galt, California. Usual occupation: Housewife. Industry or business: Home. Father's name: Wesley Galveston Fox, born in Galveston, Texas. Mother's name: Susie Agusta Sawyer, born in Galt, California. Informant: Bill Twain Clemens of Florence, Arizona. Her remains were cremated at Greenwood, Phoenix, Arizona, on 8-16-1948. Funeral director: A.L. Moore and Sons, 333 W. Adams, Phoenix, Arizona. Death Registrar: Mrs. Cort (?) I. Hughes. Date of death: August 14, 1948. Time of death: about 3:00 a.m. Immediate cause of death: "Investigation by police and myself shows bullet wounds in abdomen and head and indicate that wounds were self-inflicted. According to note found with the body, it was apparently with suicidal intent." Cause of death: Suicide. Date of occurence: August 14, 1948. Signature: Illegible, Ex-Officio Coroner, East Phoenix Pret., 8-16-1848.


Death certificate for Charlie C. Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona.
Death certificate for Charlie C. Wilson of Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona

Arizona State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, State File No. 4556, Registrar's No. 6_(?).

ABSTRACT: Place of Death: 709 W. Elm, Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona. Length of stay in community: 2 years, 7 months. Length of stay in Arizona: 19 years. Full name: Charlie C. Wilson. He was not a veteran. Sex: Male. Race: White. Married. Wife: Eloise Fox. Birthdate: November 21, 1899. Age: 48 years, 8 months, 9 days. Birthplace: Kansas. Usual occupation: Manager of a cattle ranch. Father's name: Willis Wilson, born in Virginia. Mother's name and birthplace: unknown. Informant: G. (?) Sullivan of Winslow, Arizona. His remains were removed to Phoenix, Arizona. Funeral director: Scott & McMillan of Winslow, Arizona. Death Registrar: Mrs. Ed. J. Cahill, 7-31-1948. Date of death: July 30, 1948. Time of death: 9:30 p.m. Cause of death: Coronary occlusion. Signature: M.g. Wright (?) of Winslow, Arizona, 7-31-1948.


Also see:

"Homer Venters: Vintage Rodeo Photographer", The Western Horseman, July 1972.

Marion Francis McLain was the founder of the McLain Roundup rodeo in Sun City.

McLain's Round-Up, Sun City, Kansas, July 8-9-10:
Big Barber Co. Attraction Announces Entry of World Famous Performers.

Barber County Index, June 25, 1938.

McLain's Roundup: The Memories of Joe Massey   Photos by Homer Venters, captioned by Joe Massey, from the collection of Brenda McLain, courtesy of Kim Fowles.

McLain Roundup photos by Homer Venters
From the collection of Brenda McLain, courtesy of Kim Fowles.

McLain's Annual Roundup, Sun City, Kansas. Photograph by Murphy
Courtesy of Nathan Lee and William Lee.

Sometimes, though, the end of the McLain's Roundup rodeo wasn't the end of the excitement for local people, such as when Alva Trummel of Comanche County was kidnapped by Bonnie and Clyde while he was headed home from the "Sun City Rodeo":

Alva Trummel Kidnapped By Bandits, The Western Star, September 8, 1933.

The following off-site links will open in a new browser window:

Carl Studer Rodeo Scrapbook & Ephemera Center -- FF2/D01 Oversized Posters: McLain's 5th Annual Roundup: The Roundup ca. 1930.

Collection of Rodeo Program & Ephemera -- Box 008, Folder 035. Medicine Lodge, McLain's Sixth Annual Roundup, 1927 [5]

Willard H. Porter Rodeo Collection -- Kansas, Medicine Lodge, 6th Annual McLain's Round Up, 1927 [1]


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