May 8, 2010

Let’s Go To The Rodeo
The Circle X
By Fred A. Lawson

The Club, known as The Circle X Riders Inc., is the outgrowth of one man’s enthusiasm, namely Dana Rowe. Mr. Rowe had an early passion to ride, so he purchased a saddle mare. He could not ride her, but undaunted, he purchased additional horses. He soon met others who liked to ride. The group purchased horses, saddles and equipment and were quickly a dozen strong.

They rode in parades at The Ridgeville Centennial, Portland Fall Celebration, and Cosmos Ohio Fair, at the Cosmos Fair they were invited not to return, “Please!!” On a visit to Glen Karn, Ohio, their fame became notorious as Wildhorse Mincer put the town in darkness with his trusty six-gun by shooting one of the electric wires off the pole!

In Nov. of 1939 the group met  and organized a club and in February of 1940

 they received their charter as a non-profit corporation . At that time, the Circle X

 Riders numbered 103, including men and women That same year they bought

 a track of land consisting of about 45 acres that is the present day location of the Circle X Ranch… 818 West 250 North, Winchester, Indiana in Randolph County.

In the fall of 1941 they held their first rodeo. The rodeo is an original American sport, which came from the cattle industry. The photos in this article were taken from the program produced for that event. . The horse shown in this program as a bucking bronco named The Brown Bomber  was later tamed and spent many, many years creating happy hours for children. He is also pictured with the father of Monisa Wiesner, atop him as a rodeo clown, no longer the wild bucking Brown Bomber. . The horse, Jo-Jo, shown in this picture entitled Grandpa, Jo-Jo  is buried at the entrance to the Circle X.

The cowboys and cowgirl in these photos look like something from the Wild West!

         

The United States had not yet entered WW II, gas was 19 cents a gallon, milk was 34 cents a gallon, bread was 8 cents a loaf. It cost 3 cents for postage to mail a first-class letter. The minimum wage was 30 cents and hour and the average person made $1750 dollars a year. You could build a new home for $4000.00 and the price of a new car was $850. CBS and NBC had just opened television stations in New York City and you could purchase a television set for $400 to $600.

The Circle X Today

70 years later the Circle X is still going strong. Sadly, rodeos there are a thing of the past, but they still have horse shows, dog races, music events, not to mention camping, hiking trails and you can rent the grounds and building out at reasonable rates. Check out their website: www.winchestercirclex.com (worth a look).

Happy Trails!

       

Acknowledgments

Special Thanks to Larry McCoy for entrusting me with that 1941Circle X Program.

As always, Monisa Wisener, and

the Turner printing of the Randolph County, Indiana book, lovingly known by us as "The Big Red Book"