WILLCOX Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees
CLARANCE "C.E." POST (82)
2004 COWBOY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Mr. Post really did not care for him name, Clarence: Many knew him as C.E. Post. When I met with the family to get my information for this story, they gave me a short life history that Clarence had written himself. I would like to read you the first paragraph. As you listen, you can hear his sense of humor, and see the sparkle in the eye of a person who loved life.
It is titled: Life History of Clarence Evans Post My history, as well, as I remember it!
In a small farming town of Mt. Hope, Kansas, about midnight one dark night, February 14,1898, I came to the home of my Grandfather Evans where my mother happened to be at the time. I was just starting out in this old world my age was zero. I came to stay with my parents Howard Orvil Post and Tressie Mae Evans Post. I sure picked a very wonderful couple for my parents. I was their first. A few days after I arrived mother and I went to our own home. What happened after that, for quite a while, I don't hardly remember.
In 1902, his family moved to Arizona, and they lived about 8 miles out of Benson. His dad raised vegetables, and his mother would travel the 8 miles to Benson with a wagon and team to sell vegetables door to door. Clarence would go along to hold the team and drive up to the next house while his mother did the selling. He said, "Money was scarce and hard to get, but we always had plenty to eat."
The family moved around Cochise County, first living in Benson, then in Bisbee, and they moved once again to St. David. Life was tough enough in the early 1900's, but moving from place to place made it tougher. Clarence felt like he had to fight his way into every place they moved to. He got to be a pretty good rough and tumble fighter. He was always fighting to help the underdog.
Clarence and his family were certainly pioneers helping to settle Cochise County. He helped to build telephone lines from Benson to Bisbee. He helped lay the cable in Benson, Bisbee and Tombstone. (Remember they were using wagons and teams to do this work,) His carpentry skills helped to build the high schools in Benson and St. David.
In 1920, Clarence married his childhood sweetheart, Maud Billingsley. They traveled to Salt Lake City to be married in the Mormon Temple. Clarence's life history documented the trip.
They went in a Dodge car. My mother and Maud's mother went along. Ernest my youngest brother was just a baby. Mother took him along and he bawled most all the way there and back. It was a hell of a honeymoon trip.
Clarence did all kinds of work during his lifetime. As a 15-year-old, he drove a freight team hauling ore from the Johnson Mine to Cochise. On the return trip, he hauled supplies from Cochise back to those living at the mine. He gathered cattle out of the Superstition Mountains, he helped his dad haul wood in Patagonia, drove truck on a construction job, learned to do carpenter work, and was a butcher and served over 20 years as a deputy sheriff.
All the time that C.E. was serving as deputy sheriff, he was also busy buying land and cattle to start his own ranching operation. He was buying land on the north end of the Whetstone Mountains. In 1953, Clarence decided if he was to enjoy the ranch he had been trying to build for the past 25 years, he'd better quit working for wages and move to the ranch. From 1953 until he died in 1978, he and his wife, Maud, lived on their beautiful ranch that they both enjoyed very much. Clarence's son Jack said, "My Dad was a pretty good cowboy, but was a hell of a cowman. Dad's goal in life was to have his own ranch." Clarence didn't rope much; in fact he didn't start until he was 60. He won a belt buckle at the age of 78 roping with his brother, Bum, at the Prescott "Viejo's" roping.
C.E. was very out-going. He never met a stranger. He just enjoyed being around people. Clarence was a member of the Southwest Pioneer Cowboys Association. He served as the Association's secretary for 26 years. This is a group of ranchers and cowboys that gather once a year to meet and talk about their industry, their history, and tell a few stories. FH bet Clarence was pretty good at that.
One of the last things that Clarence wrote in his life story was:
We had seven children, Phillip, Ella, Violet,
Jack, Billie, Howard, and Jesse.
How Maud stood me all those years, I donít
Yours truly, Clarence E. Post