Nocona welcomes Cowboys and Cowgirls of all ages to the Annual Chisholm Trail Round-up Parade & Rodeo Held Every Year the Second Weekend in June !!
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HISTORY OF THE CHISHOLM TRAIL ROUND-UP
At 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening May 6, 1952, a group of sixteen men met in the Chamber of Commerce office in the Nocona Hotel, with the determination that they were going to have a Rodeo. The only question to be answered was “How?” Many men in Nocona had discussed the necessity for a Rodeo Arena in Nocona but none had ever come up with a solution as to how it should be financed. At this meeting on May 6th, these things were discussed and numerous ideas were suggested and with the exchange of ideas the following plan was agreed on and accepted as workable.
Committee’s were to canvas the town and determine if ten people would agree to loan the association $250 with the understanding that it was to be paid back if and when the Rodeo made money. It was also decided that it was to solicit individual memberships at $5 each and that each member would receive a card, which would entitle him to participate in match roping or other events of a local nature, which would be staged in the Rodeo Arena.
A committee was also appointed to canvas the local merchants for larger donations and that each merchant who made a donation would receive a card indicating that he was a member of the rodeo Association and had made a donation. The sixteen men felt that the merchants would be glad to help, as it would increase traffic in town.
After some discussion it was decided that the new organization would be called the Nocona Rodeo Association and that a contest would be held inviting the public to send in names for the Rodeo that would be held. Every member present joined that association, thus giving the newborn organization the capital to start on.
It was decided that anyone loaning the Association $250 would become a member of the board of directors when the permanent organization was finalized. When incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas, there were seventeen members of the board. There were others who loaned $250 but couldn’t be a member of the board under the existing laws.
The next meeting was set for a week later and was held in the Rotary Hall. More plans were discussed. The temporary officers were elected: they were Chris Uselton, President; Bertie Rich, Vice-President; and Billy Joe Billings, Secretary-treasurer. During the first week $5 memberships started rolling in and before the second meeting there were 82 members. The second meeting was more or less a discussion of different type pens, the need for materials and where used pipe could be secured, etc.
After several meetings it was determined that in order to get the organization in high gear that an executive manager would have to be appointed with the authorization to purchase materials, pay out cash, hire labor and get the rodeo pens started. Chris Uselton was given that appointment. Buck Keck was appointed as his assistant. Ralph Abbott was appointed chairman of the finance committee and was told to canvas the merchants. The temporary officers functioned for about three weeks when through the efforts of everyone there were seventeen members of the Board of Directors. They held their first meeting at the Nocona Boot Company and the permanent officers were elected; Miss Enid Justin, President; Bertie Rich, Vice-President; James McCall, Second Vice-President; and Mrs. Bertie Rich, Secretary-Treasurer. Chris Uselton and Buck Keck were elected executive and assistant executive managers, Tony Fenoglio, Lee Vaughn and Chris Neeld, parade Marshals.
The City of Nocona agreed to let the Association have 70 acres out of their parkland. The site was selected and the work was started. The Nocona Rodeo Arena Amphitheater became a reality because everyone cooperated to make it possible. Oil companies donated pipe, trucking companies donated the use of their trucks for hauling, the power company helped with lighting, companies with bulldozers donated their machinery and services, men went out and helped with construction, some merchants donated paint, everyone who could, helped. Today the Chisholm Trail Round-Up, which was named by Lois Ward in a contest, will forever stand as a memorial to the people of Nocona. It will be a constant reminder that they can do anything they want to do if they want to do it bad enough and cooperate with each other.