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Wild Women Of The West: Texas Guinan

Wild Women Of The West: Texas Guinan

Texas Guinan (Mary Louise Cecelia Guinan) was a popular cowgirl star from 1918-1923, who grew up on a ranch near Waco, Texas. Before graduating from high school, she received a scholarship from the Chicago Conservatory of Music. After she acquired a degree in music...

Wild Women Of The West: Enid Justin

Wild Women Of The West: Enid Justin

Thirty-two-year-old Enid Justin drove her Model T Ford into the small town of Jacksboro, Texas, in early 1926, determined to sell her quality, handmade cowboy boots to the mercantile owners there. As the head of the newly formed Nocona Boot Company, the tenacious...

Wild Women Of The West: Dr. Harriet Belcher“I am having the usual experience of beginners, the patients come in, but slowly, but all who have lately come tell me of being sent by someone who has given me a hearty recommendation.” Dr. Harriet Belcher - March 1881

Wild Women Of The West: Dr. Harriet Belcher

“I am having the usual experience of beginners, the patients come in, but slowly, but all who have lately come tell me of being sent by someone who has given me a hearty recommendation.” Dr. Harriet Belcher - March 1881

A team of bald face horses pulling a buckboard wagon galloped wildly along a dirt road heading toward the Santa Ynez Mountains, twenty miles outside of Santa Barbara. The driver, a pudgy man wearing a worried expression, urged the animals along. Dr. Harriet Belcher, a...

Wild Women Of The West: Patsy Montana

Wild Women Of The West: Patsy Montana

In 1939, a petite singer from Hot Springs, Arkansas, named Patsy Montana, made her screen debut in the Gene Autry Western Colorado Sunset.  Her role in the film was that of a waitress working at a diner near a popular ranch.  When the ranch hands came into...

Wild Women Of The West: Kitty Canutt

Wild Women Of The West: Kitty Canutt

Bronc busting champion Kitty Wilkes won her first title at the Wild West Celebration Rodeo in Miles City, Montana, in 1916.  The seventeen-year-old New York native’s straightforwardness and untamed physical daring gave fans the impression she was born and bred into...

Wild Women Of The West: Mercedes McCambridge

Wild Women Of The West: Mercedes McCambridge

Academy Award winning actress Mercedes McCambridge portrayed Joan Crawford’s vindictive nemesis in Republic Pictures’ psychological Western Johnny Guitar. She was also Rock Hudson’s strong-willed older sister in Giant.  A versatile, radio-trained character...

Wild Women Of The West: Claire Trevor

Claire Trevor made famous the role of Dallas the soiled dove in the film Stagecoach. With a voice once described as sounding like delicious trouble, she was one of the most sought-after supporting actresses during the 1930s and 40s.  She was born in New York City –...

Wild Women Of The West: Anita Bush

Wild Women Of The West: Anita Bush

Anita Bush was the first Black American actress to star in a Western. Born on September 1, 1883, she began her career in the field of entertainment as a dancer and was only sixteen years old when she was hired to appear in Vaudeville with a comedy act known as William...

Wild Women Of The West: Jane Russell

Wild Women Of The West: Jane Russell

Jane Russell was a dark-haired siren who made her sensational debut in the 1943 Western The Outlaw inspired producer Howard Hawks to challenge the power and strict morality of Hollywood’s production code. Her provocative performance in the film – and the studio...

Wild Women Of The West: Amanda Blake

Wild Women Of The West: Amanda Blake

For more than nineteen years, Amanda Blake’s character on Gunsmoke, Miss Kitty, gave strength and succor to the parched patrons who visited Dodge City’s Longbranch Saloon. Kitty Russell was extremely softhearted, beneath what could be a very businesslike exterior, and...

Wild Women Of The West: Gail Davis

Wild Women Of The West: Gail Davis

Bullseye! The Annie Oakley Show was on the air from 1954 to 1957, and Annie hit the entertainment bullseye every week with her hard riding, straight shooting, and suspense. Actress Gail Davis portrayed the Western legend. To some, Gail was only a minor flicker in the...

Wild Women Of The West: Kitty Canutt

Wild Women Of The West: Kitty Canutt

Bronc busting champion Kitty Wilkes won her first title at the Wild West Celebration Rodeo in Miles City, Montana, in 1916.  The seventeen-year-old New York native’s straightforwardness and untamed physical daring gave fans the impression she was born and bred into...

Wild Women Of The West: Berenice Dossey

Wild Women Of The West: Berenice Dossey

In early February 1941, more than twenty-five hundred people jammed into the stadium to watch the exciting events at the World’s Championship Rodeo in Phoenix, Arizona. They came to see wild cow riding, calf roping, steer roping, bronc riding, and trick rider Berenice...

Wild Women Of The West: Bonnie Gray

Wild Women Of The West: Bonnie Gray

From the early 1920s to the mid-1930s, trick and fancy rider Bonnie Gray and her company were recognized as some of the best rodeo performers in the country.  The famous, all-around cowgirl solidified her place in the profession as an expert in the “under the...

Wild Women Of The West: Texas Guinan

Wild Women Of The West: Texas Guinan

Texas Guinan (Mary Louise Cecelia Guinan) was a popular cowgirl star from 1918-1923, who grew up on a ranch near Waco, Texas. Before graduating from high school, she received a scholarship from the Chicago Conservatory of Music. After she acquired a degree in music...

Wild Women Of The West: Victoria Forde

Wild Women Of The West: Victoria Forde

When news that cowgirl and silent film actress Victoria Forde had left her husband, Western star Tom Mix, in August 1928, fans were crushed.  The husband-and-wife team had entertained audiences in several films together between 1914 and 1922. Both were skilled riders...

Wild Women Of The West: Olive Fuller Golden

Wild Women Of The West: Olive Fuller Golden

When the five-reel western drama A Knight of the Range premiered in early 1916, critics praised silent film cowboy and cowgirl actors Harry D. Carey and Olive Fuller Golden's performances.  Audiences were dazzled by the equestrian feats never-before seen in a motion...

Wild Women Of The West: Marie Walcamp

Wild Women Of The West: Marie Walcamp

Today’s film fans cannot conceive of a time when kids stomped and whistled and cheered when the names of their favorite cowgirl actresses flashed on the screen.  Children of all ages flocked to the Saturday matinee to see such silent film stars such as Eileen...

Wild Women Of The West: Ruth Roland

Wild Women Of The West: Ruth Roland

Reel cowgirl Ruth Roland portrayed Pearl Marvin in a dozen silent films in The Perils of Pauline series between 1915 and 1917. Fans were on the edge of their seats watching the spunky actress ride her way in and out of trouble while solving crimes.  They waited...

Wild Women Of The West: Dorothy Morrell

Wild Women Of The West: Dorothy Morrell

“I rode my first horse on a bet,” admitted World Champion cowgirl Dorothy Morrell in 1917. “That I am champion woman rider of the world today was due to an accident, or rather a dare.” At the age of twenty-four Dorothy attended a wild west exhibition in Fresno and was...

Wild Women Of The West: Mary Colter

Wild Women Of The West: Mary Colter

The sun blazed high in a brassy sky, and heat danced in undulating waves across the high plateau town of Winslow, Arizona.  In the far distance, a train with the name Santa Fe Railway embossed on its side hurried along steel rails toward the La Posada...

Wild Women Of The West: Miriam Leslie

Wild Women Of The West: Miriam Leslie

It was a gloomy, chilly evening in mid-April 1877, when Miriam Leslie, her husband Frank, a Skye Terrier named Follette, ten of the Leslie’s friends, and their families gathered at the New York Central railroad depot in New York City.  Porters serpentine around...

Wild Women Of The West: Sarah Kidder

Wild Women Of The West: Sarah Kidder

The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad operated as it usually did on April 10, 1901.  It ran as though nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.  The wood burning engine proceeded along its customary route without delay or interruption giving no indication...

Wild Women Of The West: Faye Blesing

Skillful and graceful trick rider Faye Blesing and her Palomino horse Flash raced by excited fans at the Butte’s Buckaroo and Homecoming Days Rodeo in Butte, Montana, on July 6, 1951. Faye smiled at the spectators while demonstrating one of her most popular stunts,...