Cowboy Quotes

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Cowboy Quotes

1920s cowboy on horse singing and playing guitar - Cowboy Quotes

Singing Cowboy c. 1920’s
Photo: U.S. PD


By and about Cowboys
Cowboy Wisdom


By and about Cowboys

Not all of ’em were the silent type…


Roughly in alphabetical order:

“Here is the last of Jack Zimick”
Just before shooting himself in the head after having lost $2,000; the Gorman and & Co. cowboy’s payroll in a poker game.
Smith Saloon & Rooming House – Kinsley, KS (Fall 1878)
quoted by Deadwood Dick who was present
The Life and Adventures of Nat Love Better Known in the Cattle Country as Deadwood Dick (1907)

“…approached greatness more nearly than any other cowman of history.”
J. Frank Dobie* – Historian/Essayist  in reference to pioneer cattleman Charles Goodnight.**
*Wk. 38, 09/18/1964 – J. Frank Dobie
**Wk. 50, 12/12/1929 – Charles Goodnight

“I shoot too God damn much, I know.”
Tom Horn (01/12/1902)
in an interview with Marshal Joe Lefors
Wk. 21, 07/18/1901 – Joe Lefors arrests Tom Horn
Wk. 47, 11/20/1903 – Tom Horn

“He becomes deeply and famously drunk!”
Alfred Henry Lewis (1902)
describing a cowboy’s activity after the herd is sold

“This is the first time in the annals of history where unarmed prisoners, shackled together, ever repelled a mob. Such cool courage that preferred to fight against such great odds and die, if at all, in glorious battle rather than die ignominiously by a frenzied mob, deserves to be commemorated in song and story.”
Federal Judge Andrew Phelps McCormick (1891)
In reference to the Marlow Brothers
Timelines Index – Timelines M-Z Index – Marlow Brothers Timeline
Photo Gallery Index – Memorials Monuments and SculptureMarlow Brothers

“Cowboys are cash with me.”
Fredrick S. Remington – Artist (1895)

“Ma, do cowboys eat grass?
No dear. They’re part human.”
Charles M. Russell
Wk. 43, 10/24/1926 – Charles M. Russell

” Texas cattle are about the nearest to wild animals of any now driven to market. We have seen buffalo that were more civilized.”
St. Louis Intelligencer (10/30/1854)

“the baddest cowboy of them all”
in reference to Hoodoo Brown (Hyman G. Neill)
Harold Thatcher, curator of the Rough Rider Museum in Las Vegas, NV.
Wk. 12, 03/20/1847 – born: George W. “Hoodoo” Brown

“All cattle and horse thieves pay attention: Anyone caught riding an Olive horse or driving an Olive cow will be shot on sight.”
Notice published around the Olive Ranch in Texas, c. 1870’s

“That big black boy with his gun would sure tell them punkin’ rollers where to head in at. He’d roll up his eyes like a duck in a thunderstorm and grit his teeth – Lord, he could play a tune with his teeth. Most of the settlers were poor Northern folks that never seen any colored people and was scared of them anyway. When they saw Kelly they would come down quick enough from $25 to $5 as the price for watering the herd.”
A Olive Ranch drover, c. 1870’s
In reference to “Nigger Jim” Kelly.
Wk. 06, 02/07/1912 – “Nigger Jim” Kelly

“as fine a cowman who ever forked leather.”
Edgar Beecher Bronson – author
in reference to Charley Nebo
Wk. 17, 04/28/1926


Cowboy Wisdom

“Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.”

“There ain’t a horse that can’t be rode. There ain’t a man that can’t be throwed.”

“The best way to hold cattle in the winter is to do your sleepin’ in the summer.”

“A good cowman knows how to lie to the tax collector and the cattle buyer.”

“The food on some ranches might be a tad weak tastin’ but the coffee’s strong enough to bring up the average.”

“Water your horse and drink upstream from the herd.”
Well, yes… but…
The Originals Index – Hazards & Resources – DiseaseGiardiasis

“Treat mule headed men the same way you’d treat a mule you’re fixin’ to corral.
Don’t try to drive ’em in. Just leave the gate open a crack and let ’em bust in.”

“It’s easier to catch a horse than to break him.”

“You got to control yourself before you can control your horse.”

“The wildest broncos are those you rode somewhere else.”

“Skill throws more weight than strength.”

“It’s better to know the country than to be the best cowboy.”

“Some cowboys have to much tumbleweed in their blood to settle down.”

“Saddle your horse before you sass the boss.”

“Secrets are easy to hear but hard to keep.”

If a cowboy gets bucked off a rabbit shy horse, he get even.
He makes the horse walk back to the ranch all by himself.

“Bless the meat an’ damn the skin,
Throw back your ears an’ all pitch in!”
Cowboy table grace


see also:
Quotes Index – Rules to Live By


Slaughters Cowboys - TX - Cowboy Quotes

Texas John Slaughter’s Cowboys
c 1880’s

OWDR-barbed-wire-divider2End: Cowboy Quotes

{001} C 03/18; E 12/17; F 05/12; P12/17

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