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Waltzy Elliot

Waltzy Elliot (1905-)

Samuel Waltzy Elliott, was born July 1, 1905, to Samuel Lafayette and Lena Alberson Elliot. Birth place: Miranda Station on the eastside of the Steens Mountain, in Southeast Oregon. He was raised in a ranching family and started working at an early age for the famed Miller and Lux Ranching Empire.

For young Waltzy Elliot, Buckarooing became a way of life almost from the time he could walk and talk. At age six, Cow boss, Clay Rambo, took him under his wing. With his little saddle, Clay put chinks on him and he rode with him as “A Little Man.”

As a youngster, age 12, he worked with Leslie Van Riper, breaking horses to saddle. They rode ten to twelve head every day.

Cowboying then earned you a dollar a day. When you worked on a ranch a cowboy earned $30.00 a month, a ranch bonc rider earned $60.00 a month.

In January 1920, Waltzy went “real Buckarooin” at the Alvord Ranch, feeding stock, etc. He reckons there were 600 to 900 head of cattle in every field, so all lent a hand feeding hay, at the same time, they’d work and grade the cattle. He participated in drives from the different Miller and Lux division, White Horse, Island, and Black Rock to the stockyards in Winnemucca, Nevada.

In 1928, he quit the Island division and came to Winnemucca. He says he was tired of riding cranky horses. His love of fine horses continued on into his later years. He was always ready and willing to help out if Pete Pedroli or Buster Dufurrena needed an extra hand.

In 1992, at age 87, he was asked to serve as one of the Grand Marshalls for the Labor Day Rodeo Parade, in Winnemucca, Nevada. His reply was he “would be honored, but he didn’t want them to bring him some old slow horse to ride, bring me one with some spunk!“ And they did.

Waltzy is the classic example of a true gentleman of the West. His kind and quiet spoken manner, dry wit and sly grin are typical of the old time Buckaroo. They worked hard, they played hard.

Waltzy Elliott is believed to be the last living cowhand to have worked both the Oregon and Nevada divisions of the vast Miller and Lux operations.

At age 91, (the writing of this biography) he was still going strong, very active in public service organizations and lives a full life with his family and friends around him. A complete oral history of Waltzy Elliott has been recorded for the Humboldt County Library Archives.

Waltzy Elliott was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 1996.