My father, William Lee’s, recollections of the origin of the McClain Roundup photo are these:
Dad recalls picnicking with the Marion McClain family more than once and riding a-horseback cross-country to the McClain Ranch from the Moffett Ranch (my home). This would have been only about 4 or 5 miles. Dad was born in 1940, so I imagine this would have been in the later 1940s or early 50s.
Marion gave Dad his first lariat, which Dad admits he never became very proficient at using. Mr. McClain also gave my grandmother, Louisita (Moffett) Lee, the above photo, which we inherited upon her death. I had always assumed that it was a Venters photo, since Homer Venters was closely associated with the Roundup and rodeo in general. However, it is plainly marked "Murray" with an encircled "M", possibly a copyright mark in the bottom right corner.
I have never seen such a panoramic view of the Roundup, but only close-up action shots, such as Mr. Venters was famous for taking.
According to my grandmother, "Zita" (Louisita), the large man in the foreground is her father and my great-grandfather, Thomas S. Moffett. Today, in 2006, I cannot confirm that. It is curious to note the distinct image of a woman on the far right chatting to a friend while holding a nipple bottle. She probably has a baby in her lap. Someone who is very familiar with cars of that era could probably date this photo to within a few years. (Help!) The large trees in the background are in the Medicine River Valley, so the photo is looking north to northeast.
At this writing, there is presently a large flat farm field in the place of the fenced-in area of the photo. I hope to find the ruins of the old bleachers and corrals and get an "after" or 2006 picture from roughly the same standpoint. It would make a nice contrast of 80 years. The large man (T.S. Moffett) appears to be standing upon a natural mound of a hill that I may be able to locate. If anyone has any similar pictures or even the exact same picture, I would like to hear from you.
Contributed by Nathan Lee, Coats, KS, July, 2006.
"Homer Venters: Vintage Rodeo Photographer", The Western Horseman, July 1972.
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. Photos by Homer Venters
Courtesy of his great-nephew, Mike Venters.
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.
Tom Moffett Dead, The Wilmore News, January 2, 1931. (Off-site link)
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