McLain Roundup Remembered by Joe Massey, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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From the collection of Brenda McLain, courtesy of Kim Fowles.

McLain's Roundup: The Memories of Joe Massey


Introduction by Kim Fowles

Joe Massey was the son of Ray & Gail Massey and a grandson of J.P. Massey & Artha Massey. He was a 1st cousin to Nate Massey & David Massey. Joe is no longer living. The following information was written by him on the back of one of the McLain Rodeo photos.

This photo, and others written on by Joe Massey, are in the collection of Brenda McLain; they were taken by Homer Venters.

Joe Massey was a WWII veteran and served in China; he may have been injured in service. I have a couple of excerpts from his letters and a photo of him in uniform.

The images on this page are composites of both the front and the back of the photos which Joe Massey captioned.


Email from David Massey to Kim Fowles regarding Joe Massey:

Lee (Massey) Ives, Joe's sister, would have the best recall of Joe's various postings but as I recall Joe was mobilized early in 1942. I believe he had an ROTC commission as well as being a Veternarian. Fort Riley was a calvary post then and it seems like he reported there for a short time and was posted to the China-Burma-India theater. At that time the only way to supply China, at first, was by mule train and by air from India. The Burma road was eventually improved so that it was accessible by truck part of the year but mules were still the primary source of freighting during the monsoon season. I don't remember how many of these critters Joe was responsible for keeping healthy, but certainly a bunch. I can't remember of Joe ever getting a leave after he left Fort Riley and am thinking he went directly overseas in late 1942 or early 1943 and returned in the fall or winter of 1945-46. He spent several weeks in the hospital at Hot Springs, Ark. prior to his discharge recovering from tropical illnesses, parasites, poor nutrition and everything that goes with fighting a war in that part of the world. Joe settled in California after his discharge and I never got to see him much. That was my loss as Joe was the ultimate story teller.


McLain's Roundup

In 1923 Marion McLain organized the 1st McLain’s Annual Roundup. This show became an attraction for the people of Kansas, Oklahoma and East. Colo. During the 3 day show a carnevil (sic) was present. A dance floor with a live band in the evening. In the 20s and 30s people placed tents on the hillsides. The water was in the Medicine River which was within 300 yds.

The Rodeo had a large arena 25 ac (acres), a ˝ mile race track inside the fence, 3 races a day, one relay race usually 3 or 4 entries, one chuck wagon race. The cows and calves were picked from a 600 cow herd on the Dickerson Rc. The cows (Hereford) were for milk cow milking. The calves 250 lbs were (uniform) all branded with number on loin 1 to 30. The calf ropers drew for a number. $700 added. Each dollar the size of a wagon wheel in today’s money. No ins. 40 ft. score $20 entry fee. The calves knew where the cows were by the catch ___. The cows were used for wild cow milking. The judge always checked the coke bottles for chalk water. Cow milking "was an event." You needed a real mugger. Up until 1934 steer riding was most money $3. In 1934 we brought in Brahma bulls. Jess Howard, a black man, stock contractor from Oklahoma. These bulls were big. They were ______ with entry fees. Fence was only 6 ft. One bull jumped over. We later raised the fence. In 1932 we bought 100 herd of Colo horses trailed them to Sun City. They were bucked out by Buster Brown. _______ We kept 14 of these horses for bronc stock. One rodeo day in 1933 not one man rode. They all buck off. These were sold in 36 or 7 and on the train were suffocated someone closed the vents. There are so many events. The McLain 18th Annual Roundup was held in Sun City Kans in 1938. Aug. For this area the rodeo took the place of Disney Land today.

Joe Massey
Clovis Calif
1994


McLain's Roundup. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Bob Crosby at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Bob Crosby at McLain's Roundup. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Bob Crosby at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.

Bob Crosby (1897-1947), inducted: 1966, New Mexico. 1925 & 1927-1928 World All-Around Champion; Steer Roper; Permanent Holder of the Roosevelt Trophy. -- Cowboy Hall of Fame.


Mr. Ward at McLain's Roundup. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Mr. Ward at McLain's Roundup, about 1925, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Chiwawa at McLain's Roundup. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Chiwawa, a "cattalo" (buffalo/cattle cross breed),
at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

McLain Ranch. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
McLain Ranch, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Louis Counterman at McLain's Roundup, 1936. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Louis Counterman at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, 1936.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Dan Offitt at McLain's Roundup, 1925. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Dan Offitt, an "Old Time Bulldogger", at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, 1925.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Buster Brown at McLain's Roundup. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Buster Brown at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Bob Crosby with his 4-year old partner, Barger Hunter, at McLain's Roundup. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Bob Crosby with his 4-year old partner, Barger Hunter,
at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, 1936.

Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Dick Truitt at McLain's Roundup, August 1930. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Dick Truitt at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, August 1930.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.

Dick Truitt (1904-1978), inducted: 1983, Oklahoma. 1939 World Steer Roping Champion. -- Cowboy Hall of Fame.


Grace White at McLain's Roundup, about 1929. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Top photo: Grace White at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, about 1929.
Bottom photo: Cars at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, about 1926.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Top photo: Earl West, about 1925. Bottom photo: Bud Hampton. McLain's Roundup. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Top photo: Earl West at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, about 1925.
Bottom photo: Bud Hampton at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 

Top photo: Ted Big Goose at McLain's Roundup, about 1928.  Bottom photo: Cars at McLain's Roundup in the 1930's. Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Top photo: Ted Big Goose at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, about 1928.
Bottom photo: Cars at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, in the 1930s.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
For another photo of Ted Big Goose, see: McLain Roundup photos by Homer Venters
 

Top photo, L-R: Mark, Marion and Max McLain at McLain's Roundup. Bottom photo: Lou Counterman at McLain's Roundup.  Photos by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain. Caption by Joe Massey.
Top Photo, L-R: Mark McLain, Marion F. McLain & Max McLain at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Bottom Photo: Lou Counterman at McLain's Roundup, Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.
Caption by Joe Massey.
Photo by Homer Venters, from the collection of Brenda McLain.
 


Also see:

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.

Obituary: Marion Francis McLain, Founder of McLain's Roundup.
The Barber County Index, August 24, 1972.

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

McLain's Roundup. A gallery of photos by Homer Venters
Courtesy of his great-nephew, Mike Venters.

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.

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]


This information and these images are from the collection of Brenda McLain. Thanks to Kim Fowles for finding, transcribing and contributing the above information to this web site!

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