Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Stories: Wever Brothers – Trick Riders and Ropers

Excerpted from the 1891-1991 Sutherland Centennial Book:

Two talented young men who grew up in the Sutherland community were, at one time, well known throughout the United States for their amazing feats in Trick Riding and Roping.

Francis and Floyd Wever, who both still lived in Sutherland at the time of the writing of the history book in 1991, learned their tricks as young men while at home. Before the days of all types of entertainment, young people made their own. There was radio of sorts, but operated by batteries, thus the use of them was generally monitored carefully so when something really exciting was to be broadcast, the batteries would be in good shape and wouldn’t run down halfway through the broadcast. Television was unheard of. Francis and Floyd chose to entertain themselves by doing tricks on their horses.

Lou Cogger, a rancher who lived north of Sutherland and also furnished stock for the North Platte (Buffalo Bill) Rodeo, as well as rodeos throughout the United States, saw Francis and Floyd one day while they were “just fooling around”. He was quite impressed by; their efforts, so he told them that if they got good enough he would give them a job performing at rodeos. This sounded very intriguing to the young men, so they began practicing with greater enthusiasm.

Francis was twenty-two years old and Floyd was seven when they gave their first performance at the North Platte Rodeo in 1934 on the 4th of July. They were very well received with their outstanding acts in trick and fancy roping and riding, and considered very high class and unusual entertainment for rodeo fans.

During their careers with the rodeo circuit they were fortunate to compete with the best riders and ropers in the world and meet many famous people. Francis and Floyd were members of the Cowboy Turtles Association which was the forerunner of the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association).

To name of the few rodeos where they performed: the Bart County Rodeo at Oakland, NE in 1934 and 1936; the Mid South Fair in Memphis, TN in 1936; In 1939 there were performances at the Rupert Rodeo, Rupert, ID; Dubois Annual Rodeo at Dubois, WY; Robbers Roost Roundup at Price, UT; and the World’s Championship Rodeo at the Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL; In 1940 they performed at the Roundup at Price, UT and the Hardin Rodeo at Hardin, MT. 1941 took them to the Days of ’76 Rodeo at Deadwood, SD; the Ski-Hi Stampede at Monte Vista, CO.

They performed only one time at the Sutherland Rodeo, in 1942, only because of the demands for them to go elsewhere. They gave their final performance in Ogallala in 1942. It was decided to quit because World War II had begun, gas was rationed, and the fans couldn’t et around as well, let alone the performers.

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