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LoLo Munoz

Isador (Lolo) Munoz, photo from Life Magazine, April 18, 1949

Isador "LoLo" Munoz (1882[?]-1954 )

The mystery and history that surrounded LoLo Munoz when he was an early buckaroo, working for the Ellison Ranching Company (Pitchfork) is still evident whenever someone mentioned Buckaroos. LoLo Munoz is always mentioned as an example of one of Nevada’s colorful legends.

No one is sure when LoLo was born. Some articles say LoLo came to this country in 1877. Others say he was born in Monterey, California on April 14, 1882. Which ever is correct is of little consequence now. It is a documented fact that he worked for the Ellison Ranching Company until he was well past retirement age.

LoLo’s fame stretches past the Nevada borders. Life magazine ran a picture of him in April 1949. It featured LoLo sitting on the tongue of a wagon.

He was a small man weighing only about 130 pounds, with an enormous handlebar moustache, grayish medium hair, a weathered face and medium sideburns. He was a man who took pride in his possessions and in his appearance.

LoLo came to the country when the ranges and cattle were still fought over with a knife and a gun. LoLo was a top-notch roper, brander and a fancy dresser. LoLo smoked cigars, downed whiskey and went to town regularly.

About 1924 is the time LoLo went to work at the Spanish Ranch according to Connie Satterwaite. She remembers LoLo as quiet and friendly; a tough bachelor, who had been on his own since the age of 11. He told her family that his longevity was due to a shot of whiskey every day. He worked at the Spanish Ranch, White House and Squaw Valley (all belonging to Ellison). He worked on the range, did some haying, but preferred working with cattle. He worked until he was well over 80 years of age.

According to Jay Fowler, LoLo told him that he had worked for 22 years straight on an outfit near Gerlach, Nevada then was fired for roping the turkeys. "Ooh Gooley! Ooh Gooley! They fired me for roping them turkeys!"

Before he came to Nevada he worked on an outfit out of Stockton, California and after all the cattle work was done in the fall they would use 3/8 inch cotton rope “the old stiff kind” and they would chase and rope pigs in the sloughs and meadows a horseback, then drag them to a wagon, where they were loaded on to a wagon which then took them to the railroad that shipped them all over the country. LoLo told Jay Fowler to rope a pig around the neck you had to throw over his head and let him step through the loop with one front foot or it wouldn’t work.

Because LoLo was crippled in his right hand, Jay said, his reata was bigger on the loop end and then spliced smaller on the coil end so it was easier to dally and hold his coils while roping.

Jay said, LoLo was a real Vaquero, and had some of the fanciest gear in the country. He also thought LoLo was one of the earliest to use chinks in the Nevada country.

LoLo spent the last four years of his life in a home for the aged and passed away December 12, 1954 in Elko, Nevada.

Isador “LoLo” Munoz was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 1995.

Lolo Munoz and Paul Sweeney, Squaw Valley Ranch