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Oscar "Leppy" Arnold
Oscar "Leppy" Arnold

Oscar "Leppy" Arnold (1874-1961)

Thomas and Mary Elizabeth Arnold left Panola County, Mississippi in 1987, working their way West. They stopped in Liberty, South Carolina where they worked a plantation, then on to Texas and Colorado. Leppy, as he was nicknamed, was born on the trip West on November 3, 1874. He had five brothers and three sisters. They arrived in Beulah, Oregon in 1879 and raised their children there. Leppy started working as a Buckaroo for the Miller and Lux Ranches and spent eighteen years at the Goodman Ranches in Juntura, Oregon.

On September 9, 1905 he married Ida Metcalf. They had one daughter.

Leppy moved to Nevada in the middle 1940’s and worked a short time for the Quarter Circle A Ranch owned at that time by the Laws of Texas. He then rode for the Stewarts 96 Ranch in Paradise Valley, Nevada. He rode on the wagon in the spring, and stayed with the cattle during the summer. Les Stewart recalls Leppy staying on until the weather turned cold then he headed for California. He returned in the spring to Buckaroo. He followed this routine until the mid 1950’s when he retired to live in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Leppy was an excellent horseman, and an all around good hand. His gear was a D.E. Walker saddle with a weatherly tree and narrow fork. He used a snaffle bit on the young horses and spade bit, chaps, rawhide reata, which he always made. He wore a small hat, Levis, and a chambray shirt with black vest. Drex Williams of Juntura, noticed he always had a sack of Bull Durham tobacco in his pocket. He was a small wiry man and in the early days of the Oregon roundups, when a horse became too rank for the regular Buckaroos, the word was, “Give him to Leppy.” He could handle and ride any of them.

They ran a lot of wild horses on the Goodman Ranch and just before they would get to the corral, Leppy would step off his horse and cinch up his saddle, mount up and take his rope down and when the wild studs broke out from the herd, Leppy was the first one to get his rope on one. He roped a lot of wild horses according to Drex Williams.

He took great interest in young riders and would help train them if he liked them. But if they were smart alecks or know-it-all types, he would have nothing to do with them, and offer no help or advice.

Leppy Arnold passed away May 12, 1961 in Reno, Nevada and is buried in Sacramento, California.

Oscar (Leppy) Arnold was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 1994.