Corey Smyth (1883-1948)
Born May 2, 1883, Corey was 14 years old when Pete French got killed in
1897. Pete liked Corey real well and had wanted to adopt him.
When getting people for the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, they wanted Corey
to go and ride the saddle broncs, but his Dad said he needed him on the
ranch and would not let him go.
Coreyís father had cattle and horses on their ranch. Every spring they
would gather the wild horses to brand, and castrate the colts. Corey would
ride a bronc and if his horse gave out, the other cowboys would catch
on of the wild horses for him to ride and they would drive him with the
other horses to the corral.
Corey was still young and working for his Dad when he went to the Juniper
Ranch on the east side of the Steens Mountains to ride with the Pacific
Land and Livestock buckaroos. Juan Redon was the boss there. He told Corey
he would loan him a horse. Corey said the horse was fat and you could
tell that he hadnít been ridden for quite some time. When he got on the
horse, it bucked real hard, but could not throw him. There was a fellow
by the name of George Rilley working with the Pacific Land and Livestock
cowboys. He had seen Corey ride and thought he was very good.
After Corey was married, he and his wife Minnie went to Drewsy, Oregon
to the 4th of July celebration. There was a horse there that was bet $100.00
that no one could ride. Corey thought "Gee, I could make $100.00."
George Rilley had a ranch over by Drewsey by then and he told the fellows
they would lose their money as a horse might as well try to buck his mane
off as Corey, so he didnít make the $100.00. HA!
Corey won the saddle bronc contest at the first rodeo they had in Burns,
Oregon. They would take the horse down and you would have to ride him
up and stay on until he stopped bucking.
Corey worked for his uncles, George and Presley Smyth in Diamond, Oregon.
He was there when George passed away in 1917. He stayed on and worked
for Presley and Georgeís son Fred. He was still working there when Sheriff
Goodman got killed at Folly Farm, Oregon. Corey was one of the posse men
that caught old Cody on the Steens Mountains at Daddy Wards homestead.
Corey worked for a time at the P Ranch in the 1930ís. When he first went
to work there, Ross Dollarhide was the boss. When Ross left the ranch,
Corey became the boss for most of the 1930ís.
Corey worked for Paul Stewart at the Mann Lake Ranch and when Paul sold
Mann Lake and bought the White Horse Ranch, Corey worked there in the
Corey was a real good hand with a horse. He broke several colts when he
worked for Joe, and he was a real good hand with a snaffle bit and spade
bit bridle. He was also good with a rawhide reata.
He was working for a time at the Island Ranch when he died June 10, 1948.
He was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in 2001.
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