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Buckaroo Museum, Winnemucca Nevada

Edmund E. (Tex) Bouscal

Edmund E. (Tex) Bouscal (1915-1984)

Edmund E. (Tex) Bouscal was born September 15, 1915 in ‘Butchertown’ San Francisco, CA. He was the 5th of 9 sons born to French immigrant Justin P. Bouscal and Missouri born German Italian, Camille E. Valentini Bouscal. From an early age his obsession with all things ’cowboy’ prompted his mother to start calling him Tex. That nickname would stay with him for life, and was the only name by which most people knew him.

Tex attended Catholic School through the 8th grade and then he went to work to help his parents support their huge family. The Depression had arrived, and the 5 oldest sons worked at whatever jobs they could fine to get through the tough times. Tex’s first job was wrangling horses for a Lake County rancher. With that bit of experience the next step was to head for Nevada to learn ‘cowboying’ from the ground up.

1935 found Tex and two of his brothers, Lou and Fermin (Dyno), working as ranch hands in northern Nevada. They pooled their resources and purchased the rights to capture herds of horses, some with brands and others wild, which roamed the Nevada deserts. They would green break them, and then trail them over the Sierras to California where they would sell them to dude ranches. This found them riding with former confederates of Pancho Villa, one of whom was Albino Tais. They gathered some prize winning animals, including one mustang featured in the 1939 World’s Fair.

During Tex’s early years of buckarooing he rode with some of the best hands around including Dave Castro and Tais. It was from them he learned the arts of rawhide braiding and horsehair twisting. He made beautiful reatas, bosals and reins, as well as horsehair mecates and chinchas. He also learned the old Spanish Vaquero method of horsemanship and was and excellent horseman, cowman and roper.

It was while working for Able and Curtner in Paradise Valley in the mid 1930’s that Tex met his future wife. Petite, pretty Merle (Babe) Crawford was helping her mother Lillian Barber (who later married Tom Bodie, another Nevada buckaroo) with the cooking and chores at the Little Humboldt. After a brief courtship, Tex and Babe were married on April 16, 1937 in Lovelock. One evening Text had to ride to the Grayson and spend the night. Babe would be alone at the Little Humboldt and Tex, wanting to make sure she was good and scared, told her a crazy man had escaped from prison and was in the area, so she needed to be aware if anyone came sneaking around at night. Of course, Tex slipped back that night and crept into the house, only to be hit over the head with a cast iron frying pan! Not sure Babe even apologized for that one! While in Nevada their first son, Tim was born in March 1938, and not long after they moved back to California to help Tex’s folks.

In 1940 Hooper Jackson hired Tex to run his 4J Ranch at Calistoga. When WWII broke out Hooper got a deferment from the service for Tex as he needed him on the ranch. With the War there was a shortage of young, able bodied men available for the hard work on ranches. Daughter, Sandy was born in 1943 while the family was at the 4J.

In 1946 the Bouscal family headed back to Nevada, where Tex and Babe had purchased the Andorno Ranch at Orovada. It was either there, or the 4J Ranch at Calistoga where Tex began his tradition of building an arena on each ranch he called home. Second son, Dee was born while at Andorno in October 1950. After selling Andorno in 1951, Tex worked for Chief Ellison at Buffalo while building a house at Little Buffalo. He leased that until buying the Mud Springs ranch in Pershing County in 1955. The year 1957 found the family at Flat Creek Ranch in McDermitt where Tex gathered cattle for Bob Hadley who had moved to the Horseshoe at Beowawe. In 1958, Tex was on the move again. He always said he was part Gypsy, and his penchant for new country certainly bore that out. This time the Bouscal family left Nevada and headed for Harper, OR dragging a very reluctant Sandy, kicking and screaming the entire way! While in Harper, Tex managed the Jenkins ranches at Westfall and from there moved to Spencer and Hanson, ID and Garrison, UT managing ranches for Otis Cranford.

In 1965 Tex, Babe and Dee moved to Chino, CA to work for Rex Ellsworth. From there Rex sent them to his ranch in Tehachapi. Tex never strayed too far from the Stallion Springs Ranch for the rest of his life.

His love of adventure, as well as a means of keeping the wolf away from the door, led him to start capturing the wild cattle in the Tehachapi Mountains. Sam Fancher was one of his partners in that venture. One day they jumped two big, wild, horned steers, and each took after one. Tex caught his and tied it to a tree, and then went to see if Sam needed any help. When he finally found him, Sam was sitting on a rock with his hat in his hands. His horse was upside down, wedged between two boulders, with the rope tied hard and fast. At the end of the rope, dangling off a 20 foot drop, was the steer. Sam said, “I never should have roped such a big steer in such a bad place!” Tex also spent some time in Arizona helping Dave Erickson capture wild cattle. Those stories could go on forever.

Tex always said he wanted to die with his boots on, and at the young age of 68, on March 31, 1984, he did just that. It was at Elmer Young’s branding on Tweety Creek out of Tehachapi. He had just let a branded calf yup and rode out to rope another on when he suffered a fatal heart attack. Good horse, good friends, good times, doing what you love… no better way for a cowboy to leave this earth.

Tex was many things, a true friend, wonderful father and grandfather, great horseman, cowman, buckaroo and cowboy. He could, and did, build a house, a horse trailer, stock rack as well as many good sets of corrals and arenas. He was also an accomplished trick and fancy roper, a talent of Will Rogers, who he greatly admired. He taught all of his kids some trick roping, but only Tim practiced until he was good enough to perform at rodeos, or for any audience available! Tex was always quick to credit his successes in life to those who had helped him along the way. He could sing, draw and write.

Edmund E. (Tex) Bouscal was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in 2015.



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