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Santy Jaca

Santy Jaca (1907-1981)

Santy was born July 25, 1907 to Sylvester and Florentina Jaca at Oregon Canyon near McDermitt, Nevada. He grew up in McDermitt attending school through the 8th grade living at the Lucky Seven Ranch.

After completing his 8th grade education he worked with his father Sylvester and older brother Juan at the Lucky Seven. Santy married Julia Laucarica at Winnemucca, Nevada on March 17, 1934. He continued work at the Lucky Seven and other ranches in McDermitt and surrounding areas. Santy and Julia had two children Eddie and Rosemary.

He continued his work with cattle and ranching in McDermitt until the early 1950's at this time he moved to Crooked Creek Oregon where he lived until the early 1980's when he moved to Arock, Oregon where he was still doing what he enjoyed working with cattle doing whatever needed done.

Santy enjoyed being with his friends at brandings, rodeos and whatever surrounded the cowboy way of life.

Santy lived the everyday life of a cowboy until his death in an accident in 1981, at the age of 74.

Santy Jaca was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September 2002


It must have been the spring of 1962 or ‘63 when we were branding at Harper Reservoir, about 16 miles north of McDermitt. It was something of a community rodear. Avellina and Darlene Etchart and Delores Shields were holding the cattle for us. Frank and John Martin Echave and Ralph Hurtado were the ground crew. Santy and I and possiblely John Echave were catching the calves. It wasn't long till John Martin's horse got out of the hobbles and headed for the Owyhee Desert. Avie and Santy and I took off in pursuit. We caught up to him where that drift fence on top of the Black Rocks stopped him. Avie was to Santy's left and I stopped to close to him on the right, Santy had already made a hole in his rope and it was hanging down his right side, when that horse bounced back off that fence like a bullet I was right in Santy's way, and he lost a precious moment or two looking down to see that his rope did not catch on my foot in the stirrup. When he lifted that loop and threw behind his head I expect it was as hard as he could throw it, that horse must have laid his ears down to get into the tip end of Santy's loop, all in the same movement he was jerking his slack and going to the horn to take the 'delia vuelte'! When things came tight he had that gelding right around the throatlatch!

There is a Russell watercolor showing a man on a hackamore horse making some kind of a back-hand throw at a horse going the other direction. Under it Russell has written, "That a hand that could do this off a stiff necked bronc was not classed with "pumpkin rollers"!

I told Santy that anyone who could catch that horse like he did was not classed with "pumpkin rollers"!

In the spring of 1963 Santy and I were moving the cattle out of the Jackie Buttes and Bowden place area back toward Jackson Creek. I was riding a horse I called "Tonto". Tonto was not what I could class as "lady broke". I had dismounted and Santy was waiting for me to get back on. When I stepped toward him he had the rollers in his nostrils going pretty loud, when Santy spoke up, and said "I sure wish I owned that horse", and I told him "I wish you did too"! Then he added "Just long enough to put a .38 bullet between his eyes"!

While I never saw this I was told that he could point out a calf he was going to catch then turn his head away and make the catch.