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The Jeoffroy Collection - Boys Ranch Rodeo

Joe Jeoffroy

Silent | 1950s

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  •  Scenes of Umbarger Ranch, owned by professional wrestler, Dory Funk, Sr. Dory Sr. was instrumental in helping Cal Farley establish the Boys Ranch. His two sons, Dory Jr. and Terry (seen in this film), also went on to become famous in the wrestling world. 
  •  Dory Sr. (L) and Dory Jr. (R) work to break a horse 
  •  Terry Funk holds a cow to be branded 
  •  Cal Farley's Boys Ranch 
  •  Chapel 
  •  Post Office 
  •  Boys Ranch School 
  •  Rodeo Begins 
  •  Bull Riding 
  •  Bronc Riding 
  •  Boot Hill Cemetery marker 
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  • About the video
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This home movie documents the Boys Ranch Rodeo, an annual event at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. The rodeo features calf and bull riding, bronco riding, and demonstrations of horsemanship by boys. The film also captures the grounds of Boys Ranch, including the chapel, school, and post office.
Cal Farley (25 December 1895 – 19 February 1967) was born in Iowa but spent much of his early life in Elmore, Minnesota. He was an avid athlete, excelling in baseball and wrestling. He played semi-professional baseball as a teenager until he enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve in World War I. During his service, Farley continued to compete in athletic events and fostered competition among his fellow soldiers. He organized football and baseball games and wrestling matches to boost morale, and even encouraged German children to join games after the end of hostilities.
Farley settled in Amarillo, Texas at the end of his service; he became a professional wrestler and continued to play baseball. At athletic events he often noticed a group of boys loitering who should have been in school. Farley did some investigating and found that the boys generally came from troubled homes. In an effort to help these boys, Farley and several other men in the community founded the Maverick Club, a year-round program designed to get children involved in athletics. The program also provided food, clothing, and medical assistance where possible. 
Farley founded Boys Ranch in 1939 to help boys who needed more help and attention than the Maverick Club could provide. Boys Ranch was founded on 120 acres donated by a local rancher, and is located about 36 miles northwest of Amarillo. Boys Ranch has its own post office, chapel, and school, and was designed to be a residential facility for troubled boys. While most of the boys adapted easily to life on the ranch, their existence was isolated. In 1944, in an attempt to encourage visitation to Boys Ranch and to bring attention to its work, Farley organized the first Boys Ranch Rodeo. The rodeo featured bull riding, branding, and demonstrations of horsemanship. It attracted parents and tourists from Amarillo. The rodeo continues today and had grown in popularity. It was the basis for Boys Ranch, a 1946 film produced by MGM.