Real Cowboys Highlight Pioneer Bluffs’ National Day Of Cowboy Celebration

Put ’em up against baseball players, football stars, beauty queens, handsomest movie idols, still cowboys always win out most popular of all.

It’s fact likely due to romanticizing of the lifestyle in movies, on television, comic books and top selling novels.

That’s definitely not the way it is. Life of the real cowboy has always been tough, hard work. Despite modern equipment and conveniences, the cowboy profession today is still most demanding compared to all other occupations.

It’s not easy working with cattle on horseback in the widely variable often quite harsh elements of Mother Nature.

“Courage, optimism, and a strong work ethic are in the heart of a cowboy,” verified Lynn Smith at Pioneer Bluffs near Matfield Green. “Their work is demanding, indispensable, especially in the Flint Hills where there are more cattle than people.

“This is why we are honoring all cowboys on the National Day of the Cowboy at Pioneer Bluffs,” Smith declared.

Celebration at the former Rogler Ranch historic educational heritage center south of Cottonwood Falls is Saturday, July 27.

Activities free to all begin at 2 o’clock, and continue until early evening, welcomed Smith, Pioneer Bluffs executive director.

“This will be a fun, fascinating day for both visitors and ranch families,” Smith said. “Visitors can talk to working cowboys and watch branding and roping.”

Ranchers have been asked to bring their branding irons or a sketch of their brand.  Dennis Hague of the Sauble Ranch will lead the branding demonstration on 100-year-old wood creating a Flint Hills brands display.

Dave Leiker of Emporia will record the “Voices of the Tallgrass Prairie” video preserving ranch memories from the past. Those interested in sharing a story may schedule an interview time in advance or that day.

A “Heritage Roundup” highlights local ranch families discussing their heritage and ranching today. Wayne and Marcia Bailey will share the Bailey/Titus/Stout story, and Dr. Milton Claassen, Newton, plans to review Abraham Claassen’s history.

The Mercer family, founders of Matfield Green, will talk about the rural community’s beginning. Rich Porter, Porter Cattle Company, Reading, and family from the Sauble Ranch, Cedar Point, are also on the program.

Throughout the afternoon, Jerry Hedrick of Loch Lloyd, Missouri, will entertain with trick roping. Children can try their hand at roping and throwing cow pie discs.

Greg Hoots, author and historian, is to discuss cowboy history with photos, stories and video. Jeff Davidson will sing cowboy songs at 3 o’clock, and Ron Wilson plans to recite cowboy poetry at 4 o’clock

Cowboy movies will roll in the renovated barn at 5 o’clock. A wiener roast will be complete with cowboy beans and watermelon, as Davidson sings around the campfire.

Information can be found at and contacting Smith personally at 620-753-3484, or [email protected].

In this vintage photograph, Flint Hills cowboys are in the former Davis Ranch pasture now the Z Bar Ranch south of Strong City in Chase County.