WILLCOX Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees
DAN LOWERY ( 90 )
1911 - 2001
2006 COWBOY HALL OF FAME POSTHUMOUS
Dan Lowery has been described to me as a simple man. He was a man who loved a good horse, a good rope, a good hamburger from Mrs. Cornet's on Railroad Avenue, and he loved to see a good western movie. Dan Lowery was also a good cowboy and cowman.
Dan was born in 1911, in Titus County Texas, to a large farming family. Dan was one of eight kids. He attended school until the 6th grade when he left home to work on a cattle drive going across Texas. In the following years he worked on various ranches across the State of Texas, including the famous King Ranch. Every where he went he was "bustin' broncs." Eventually he went to work for the C's Ranch located in Midland, Texas, which was owned by Foy Proctor. While Dan was working for the C's, he met and married his wife, Dova Cogburn. It was in late 1939 that Foy Proctor sent him and Dova to Willcox to work on the Three Links Ranch. Foy Proctor had bought the ranch from Harry Saxon, and Dan was moved to Willcox to help take care of the 186 sections. Dan and Dova were sent to live in camp called Deep Well. When you ask... Just where is this place called Deep Well? You get the following directions. It's up the big Sacaton draw behind the Cross X.
When Dan and Dova first moved to the Links, they were out riding checking fences when they came across a small herd of javelinas. Dova had never seen a javelina so she asked Dan to rope one so she could get a closer look. Dan was packing a brand new rope, one that he had stretched and sacked to get the wax off. It was broke in just the way Dan liked. Dan took after the javelinas and roped a young boar and the boar promptly turned and charged Dan and his horse. Well on this day, Dan was riding a young bronc that took an immediate dislike to the sight of a charging javelina. Dan's horse broke in two and started bucking. The wreck was on. Dan let go of his rope to get things back under control and the pig took off. Dan never saw his rope or the pig again.
Dan's stay at Deep Well was interrupted by Uncle Sam. In 1942, at age 31, he was inducted into the Army. On his enlistment papers under occupation Dan put "cowpuncher." While he was in the service he was given the nickname of "Old Man Tex". He was mustered out in 1944 and returned to Arizona with Dova to live at the Steel place, and he was made the foreman of the Three Links. During this time Dan and Dova had two children, Kathleen and Mitchell.
In 1952, the Three Links was on round up during the same time as Rex Allen Days. Rex Allen and Slim Pickens were out to the Links and worked through part of the round up. They had a photographer around taking pictures of Rex and Slim to use for promoting their next movie. Kathleen said, 'We're not sure how Dad felt about the movie star cowboys, but it was quiet a thrill for a little girl." Kathleen told me that her Dad loved to go to the show to see a good western, and when she was real young he would take her to the theater in Willcox every Friday night to see a "root en’ toot en’ western”.
Dan Lowery was a good team roper. He loved to heel and in 1960 he won the Arizona Rodeo Association team roping championship. He won a trophy saddle and buckle. Dan roped competitively until he was 80 years old. Even after he retired from roping he would still stop by the Sheriffs Posse arena just to watch the ropings. Once you get the team roping bug it is hard to get it out of your system.
When you are the manager of a large outfit you are always on the look for good help. On one of Dan's rodeo trips to Columbus, New Mexico, he hired a local cowboy and brought him back to the Links to work. This new hand was to be one of the bronc riders. But, this new cowboy broke one of the rules of cowboy etiquette when he arrived. Cowboy etiquette says you should be quiet and humble. Your cowboy skills will show in due time and you need not try to show them. Well this one sure liked telling everyone else about how good he was.
The story goes like this... There was a little stocky bay horse named Billy that bucked this new bronc rider off on his noggin and he was bleeding profusely. The other cowboys took him to the bunkhouse and proceeded to doctor him with Dr. Ross Healing Powder. Now Dr. Ross Healing Powder is made for the horse, not the rider. But, they were using generous amounts of the powder to stop the bleeding. When the cowboy called Dan to explain what had just happened, it didn't come out just right. He said, "The little bay horse named Billy just bucked me off on my head, in the middle of the road and knocked a hole in it." Dan replied, "Just get a shovel and cover it up." You know this story has been has been told many, many times, but did you notice we never heard the name of the cowboy, but we knew the name of the horse.
When the ranch sold, Dan and Dova left the Three Links and moved closer to Willcox. He began to work for SSVEC, retiring from the company in 1976. He and Dova resided in Willcox until 1996 when they left to live with their children. Dova died in 1997 and Dan died at the age of 90 in 2001. They both are buried in Sierra Vista, AZ.
Presented by Eddie Browning