nav bar

'Bossie' Mulhall, Champion Steer Roper of the Southwest

The Newark Daily Advocate - 31 Dec 1903

If an eastern college girl should spend a year on a western cattle or horse ranch and avail herself of he opportunites she would have for acquiring knowledge she would learn quyite as much as in the best year of university life. The learning of the college might be classical; that of the ranch would be distinctly practical, and the twelve months spent thus would probably be the most healthful year of her life - free, noble and independent. In truth, not a few of the gifted and noted young women of today - artists, actresses, singers and others - took their rise and spent their early girlhood in the broad region where one's nearest neighbor is sometimes miles away and where it is wicked not to be well.

Athletic development now being fashionable among women, we need not be astonished at any exhibition of muscular strength and skill on the part of the feminine sex. We need not be surprised really, you know, when Miss Lucille Mulhall, a mere slip of a girl eighteen years old, wins the first prize of $1,000 over the most skilled cowboys in the southwest in a champion steer roping contest at South McAlester, I.T. Women could have done tyhe like all along.

It is of interest to know that the girl who won the prize, Miss Mulhall, affectionately called 'Bossie' by her intimates [no; Bossie was Lucille's sister Agnes], is a refined, well educated, accomplished young lady, who knows Latin and mathematics and can play the piano exquisitely as well as dance like a fairy. Besides this she is an expert rifle shot and is said to have killed a prairie wolf at very long range. It is plain that cowboy accomplishments do not interfere with social and educational ones; on the contrary.

Miss Mulhall's father, Zack Mulhall, owns and lives on a large ranch in Oklahoma, and there his two daughters, Lucile, or "Bossie," and Agnes [the real owner of the nickname "Bossie"], received the cowboy part of their education. It is pleasant to know their father encouraged their acquirement of practical ranch knowledge and skill, considering that no gymnastic training for his girls could be better than cowboy athletics. Therefore they learned to gallp like mad after a herd, to "cut out" and rope a wild steer and to throw and tie it as well.

At the agricultural fairs in the ranch region the cattle roping contests are a regular part of the entertainments. In the southwestern territories there is annually a great cowboy tournament, where the cattlemen show their courage, strength and skill in competitive exhibitions. A great number of the spriest, wildest steers the country affords are driven to the grounds and put inside the inclosure ready for the sport. The yearly contest draws cowboys and spectators not only from Indian and Oklahoma territories, but from Texas and from states to the north and west. It was in this tournament that Miss Mulhall won her laurels over the bravest, most skillful lariat throwers in the land.

The steers are selected by lot, so that the girl "Bossie" had no advantage at all over her masculine competitors. The conditions were that each contestant should rope, throw and tie three steers, one after the other, and the person who did this in the quickest time should be the winner. The most difficult part comes perhaps after the animal is "roped." The long, coiled, snakelike lariat has to be hurled at the steer in full gallop. It must either catch him square over the horns or else be neatly thrown around one of his flying heels. In either case, with the help of the trained cow pony, the creature is thrown and tangled in the rope. Then, quick as lightning, the rider must dismount, runto the struggling steer and tie him fast, so he cannot rise and run away.

All this Miss Mulhall accomplished three times and did it more quickly than any of the men contestants. It was a fair and square victory. One steer she roped, threw and tied in forty seconds, and that was her quickest time. It is not, however, quite equal to the champion record, which is a few seconds under heres.

At the contest Miss Mulhall rode astride on her favorite cow pony, which had been trained for the sport. She has always ridden astride, for no sidesalle would be safe in the rough riding which cvow people must do. It may be mentioned that quite recently some of the most popular young ladies of New York's exclusive set have given up the sidesaddle and appeared bravely riding astride.


nav bar

  Photos and Stories       Genealogy       Timeline  

  Index,     Butridge Genealogy,  

  Index,     Art Book,  

  Index,   Old Soldiers' Drums,   All Poetry,   Letters

  Index,     Art,     Writing,     High School,  

Home,   Family,   Favorite Pages,   Site Map

IME logo Copyright © 2014, Mary S. Van Deusen