The arena served as the backdrop while three cowboys were honored at the Pleasanton Young Farmers Cowboy of the Year Open Rodeo last Friday night.
Colby Mangum was named Cowboy of the Year and two men were inducted into the South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame posthumously before the rodeo. The families and friends of Edward F. Korus – who passed away last year on August 28 – and Bryan Campbell, who passed away in 1973, were on hand to accept the honors in their loved ones’ names. Each year nomination letters are sent and former Cowboys of the Year gather at the Pleasanton Express to choose these worthy individuals.
If this sounds a bit like déjá vu, Mangum’s father, Randy, was named as 2014’s Cowboy of the Year, making him the first son to immediately follow his father in the 50 years of honorees.
PYF chair Randy Rice was pleased with the crowds at both rodeos and the dances featuring JB and the Moonshine Band, Sunny Sweeney and Cory Morrow. The IBCA BBQ Cookoff had 35 participants and there were 20 teams for the washer tournament. Those results will be included in next week’s edition.
The nomination letters for the men honored follow.
2015 Cowboy of the Year Colby Mangum
The life of a cowboy is not an easy road to travel
but it’s the only one my husband would choose. He is wise beyond his years and era. Classic traditions are preserved through his very being. Referring to him as a cowboy would be an honor. Deep roots are entangled in every aspect that makes a cowboy. It would be a privilege to nominate my husband to be considered to be this year’s Cowboy of the Year.
Colby Ryan Mangum was born in 1979 in San Antonio, Texas to a hard working cowman Randy Mangum and loving mother Sharon Mangum. Little did they realize at the time their new born son was born a cowboy. He began learning from birth the attributes of a real cowboy. Through his infant and toddler years he was exposed daily to the life of a cowboy. His father recalls Colby at age 6 having the ability to tell him which cows were missing from the herd when he would call them to be fed. Then at age 10 Colby was able to work the sorting gates at Union Stock Yards for his father and grandfather. Those of you may recall the sorting gates could go seven different ways. Pretty impressive for a 10 year old! His entire childhood he had that natural desire to strive to know all he could about horses, cattle and what it meant to put in a hard day of work without any complaint. With each passing day he learned something new and took it to heart. Colby’s grasp and exposure to cattle and horses only grew as he spent every moment working right beside his father and grandfather growing up. He started living the cowboy way from the get go .
After graduating from high school, Colby attended Tarleton State where he soon discovered taking core classes – because that’s what freshmen do – was not the path he should be on. Debating what his next move should be, he knew getting back to his love of horses and cattle was his destiny. His path led him to the TCU Ranch Management Program. Colby knew this is where he was supposed to be when he found out he would be given the opportunity to enhance his knowledge in livestock production, breeding programs, animal health, feeding, crop production, harvesting, grazing systems, livestock handling, natural resource conservation, forage production, climate/ geographical information, accounting principles, marketing, personnel management, general management principles and field work. It’s as if the angels were singing to him. This is what he was born for.
Upon completion from TCU Ranch Management Colby took a ranch position with the Nunley Brothers. After working a few years for them it was evident that he still desired more. In 2003 Colby moved our family, at the time our daughter was just turning one, back to Atascosa County. He knew coming home would be the start of a life he was looking for. Colby wanted to be his own boss. He wanted to use his God given talent and vast experience to make it on his own and provide for his family doing what he loved. He walks and breathes the lifestyle of a cowboy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The road getting started was not an easy one but you never heard him complain. In the beginning he built fence for locals, assisted his father and friends when they needed an extra hand with whatever the task may be and day worked to make ends meet. Twelve years later he is still his own boss and has a productive stocker cattle operation which expands yearly. He is happy to share his knowledge he has gained over his life time with anyone concerning horses or cattle, even if it’s a simple question. Through the years Colby continues to put in a hard day of work from sun up to sun down, it’s what he loves. The very virtues that make him a cowboy never waiver.
Our family is now a family of four. We have a daughter and son that think the world of their father. He passes on each day his way of life to them because it’s who he is and you should hear them say I just might want to follow in your footsteps. As his wife and their mother I could not have chosen a better husband or father. Old fashion values run deep and his children’s roots are just beginning to spread and take hold.
A former Cowboy of the Year had this to share about my husband recently – Ever since I met Colby and worked cattle with him there was no doubt that he had the natural knack for the trade. He possesses all the characteristics it takes to be a great cowboy. He understands the hard work involved, discipline and patience it takes to run a successful cattle business. Colby has the ability to spot cattle that will make a great asset to his herd and would be a great business investment. He has developed a structure of feeding, processing and selling cattle that brings the most profit to his business.
Thank you sincerely from my heart in your consideration of my husband for Cowboy of the Year. My husband is a very humble person so even as I write this I debate actually turning it in for consideration but it’s obvious he was born a Cowboy.
Sincerely, Pamela Mangum
South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee Edward F. Korus
Edward F. Korus
This nomination is being submitted on behalf of my father Edward Korus who passed away August 27, 2014.
Our father started his cowboy career around 1930, at the age of 9-10 when our late grandfather purchased a 1000 acre ranch on the western side of Atascosa County, near the town of Kyote. He began riding with his father, Frank, managing a herd of about 100 cows. The majority of the place was brushy, with lots of rattlesnakes and mesquite grass. His first saddle was a WWI version made of wood, and the family faced many challenges in the 1920’s and even more in the 1930’s when the great depression hit. They were able to survive these formidable years of low cattle prices, and paid off their first ranch during WWII.
My father was drafted in 1942, and when the war ended in 1945 he came back to the ranch. The war years were good for cattle prices and he, my uncle and grandfather purchased a second ranch in Atascosa County in 1946. My father moved out on that ranch in Poteet in 1947. For the next 25 years, he helped manage the two ranches and leased other property in growing his cattle herds. When both of his parents had passed away in the early 70’s, he retained a portion of the original ranch, in Kyote, and the ranch in Poteet. He remained on our ranch in Poteet over 66 years, and continued to offer sound advice and support in managing our cattle operation. He shared with us of his experiences in dealing with cattle, horses and other challenges faced in running a cow-calf operation.
He had the knowledge of cattle habits and ailments.
In the early years, 1940’s thru 1970’s, he had to constantly ride his horses in the brush to manage the cattle and the infestation of “screw worms”. The need to trail cows and calves in the brush to doctor them was a daily routine. It became crucial to catch or pen the cattle, given after a few days of screw worm infection, the animal would probably die. Doctoring “stubborn and wild” animals during this period developed an attitude that losing them was “not an option”. When the “screw worm” epidemic was overcome in the 70’s and 80’s, things became somewhat easier, much care was still needed to be given to the animals. He shared many stories of having to doctor cattle and visits from veterinarians. From growing cattle herds, delivering 1st calf heifers, calving problems in general, pink eye, etc., we find few scenarios our Dad had not experienced. He routinely suggested preventative approaches in managing cattle, such as routine vaccinations against blackleg and other diseases, culling cattle based on performance (not color), winter feeding practices, managing frame scores, nutrient requirements during rebreeding season, and how to manage animals based on their disposition. If it was beyond his capability, he quickly suggested we call the “vet”. With over 65 years in the cattle business, he was very-very “savvy” regarding best management approaches, and what makes the most financial sense.
He was an experienced cowboy, have knowledge and ability with a horse, have the ability in working with the trailing cattle herds of various sizes in the brush county; Our father rode horses for nearly 70 years. He would always coach us on how to handle our horses, how to take care of them, to feed and nourish them, and how to prevent colic or other ailments. He could always “pen” any animal, just given some time and the determination to chase them down through the brush. He owned a number of horses over the years, I believe eight to be exact. He always bragged on his best horse, Dolly, which he trained himself to cut, rope and chase down any Brahma cow or calf, regardless of the situation. He rode Dolly for nearly 20 years, always referring to her as the “best” horse. He claimed she had a touch of thoroughbred in her and she could run cattle so hard, that she could outrun a 500lb steer and cut them off. She could run cattle until they were completely exhausted and she would end up physically pushing them into the pen. Well into his 70’s, he was a sight to see, competently handled a horse with ease. He owned many horses, registered, unregistered, nags, quarter-horses, and otherwise. Some of our earliest memories were with our Dad, teaching us how to ride. We would hear my father saying, “You have to show them who is in control, they can sense if you’re afraid of them”. My father was a good horseman and loved working, caring and managing his horses. He constantly would say, “You need to get them into condition”. His best and favorite training approach for horses was literally “in the brush, or with the cows”. Many of his horses “retired” on the ranch and passed away here, as if they were valued friends that he would not let go of. When he spoke of them, it was as if, remembering the best times of his life.
He had good character and was dependable. My father always inspired us to do the “right thing”. Sometimes the right thing isn’t the easiest thing. My father worked hard, and seldom took time off, except for Sunday. He could always be counted on for helping out, when asked. My Dad always encouraged us not to follow the crowds doing the easy thing, but to be different, taking the narrow more difficult road in life. He would tell us, “it’s OK to be a square”, and not drink and cut up, and follow the crowds. My father was a great “moral compass”, watching him always helped us know which way was the right way to go. Even after going through tough times, he was hopeful and optimistic, in his approaches. In the last few years, he had been restricted to a wheel chair, and served as another great example. He lived his “dream job” being a cowboy for decades, and was “patient in his suffering”. If there was one quality that stood out was his patience. Patience with his cows, patient with training horses, patient with his kids, and patient in his later years as he waited for his time here on earth to be over. In the last couple of years he started losing his teeth and then his eyesight, but he still had the ability to laugh. Once we put a new loader on the tractor and I asked my Dad, if he would like to see it. He responded with, I don’t know if I could even see the tractor! My Dad’s integrity, patience, gentle nature and sense of humor were the cornerstones of his personality.
Other great examples of our Dad’s character was his attitude and commitment. An example of this was that giving up and failure was not an option. To remain committed to your word, in good times and especially hard times. To not turn away from responsibilities, regardless of the situation, was the “minimum expectation”. To believe in yourself, and the ability that God has given to you, is enough to get though the hard times in life, to always listen to your conscious, your gut feeling, when making the hard choices in life, to be proud of who you are, and the actions that you take, every day. To not be afraid when making the right and difficult decisions in life. To be able to sleep at night, knowing you did your very best, and the right thing. To believe in God, and to know that he is on our side, helping us (not around), but through every situation that we face. We believe this was one of the reasons why he lived so long. He slept well at night from the decisions he made during the day and during his life. He had a balanced prospective of what was important, and what was not. He gave us a “results not excuses” attitude, coupled with patience, honor, courage, commitment and integrity. He has been an excellent example of being honorable, to his parents, his friends and especially to the people that didn’t always agree with him. He has served as an excellent example for all of us to follow.
We would ask for your consideration, for my father, for the South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. Not because of his years of being a cowboy, even though they number about 50. Not because the number of years he rode a horse, even though they number nearly 70. Not because of the number of years he lived on the ranch, even though they number over 66 years. We ask for your consideration because of his character; patient and gentle, his commitment to his family, his friends, to the things that were entrusted to him, and his commitment to God. To his attitude and sense of humor, especially when things were tough, and because his character “remained strong”, Our dad was not a perfect man, but he was an excellent example of a “good and faithful” Cowboy.
Nominated by Dan Korus and Family
South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame Bryan Campbell
I would like to nominate Bryan Campbell for Cowboy Hall Of Fame. Bryan was a child that was born here in the USA and was an ancestor of the Campbell’s that settled in the town of Campbellton. Bryan and a sister operated about 8000 acres in the south end of Atascosa county near Fashing. Bryan had a brother named Tom Campbell who was nominated into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1971 the early years of the Cowboy Homecoming. The ranch that Bryan managed consisted of Hereford’s. Bryan believed that the Hereford breed was the ideal breed for this area of Texas. He loved and believed that the Hereford breed was the best breed he had come in contact with. The ranch consisted of several ranch houses, a main ranch house, and a set of pens that was designed for the use of the working horses. It contained feeding troughs, a storage for the keeping of the special mix of feed that the horses required if they were going to be worked every day. It also contained a supply and tack room. The inventory of horses was around forty horses. The pens were made of solid stacked wood.
There was another solid stacked wood pens where hogs were raised. The hogs were for the feeding of the ranch hands. It also consisted of a place to make pure salt pork and smoking of ham hock, along with the making of sausage including smoking.
Then there was the main cattle working pens which were also made of solid stacked wood. All the pens had the fences built six and a half feet high. The main cattle pens were also used for milking cows. The milk from the cows was used to produce homemade butter and cream.
The roundup of all the cattle only happened once a year. Cowboys would be employed from around the neighboring community to come and help during this round up and they would bring the cattle on a cattle drive from the back acres to the main cattle pens on the ranch. Once at the main cattle pens then the young calves would be dealt with and the ones that were going to market would be separated out. Vaccinating and branding would take place and the young calves would be processed. At the beginning of his early years he would also break and train his own horses.
At the head of these happenings was none other than Bryan Campbell. Bryan loved to be a cowboy. He had three horses that only he would ride. Bryan was in his late seventies before he was forced to not mount a horse again. The horses that Bryan rode knew where they needed to go by themselves and after many years of life these horses died and he no longer had the horses that would take him to these places. I still recall seeing Bryan hunched over the neck of his horse and still going out to meet the cowboys that were on the cattle drive. He no longer could get on it by himself but the cowboys would help and get him up on his horse. I do not know of any other cowboys as loyal and commitment with the love of being a cowboy as Bryan.
It was said many times that Bryan was raised in the barn and that he sucked on the cows udders in order to get milk to survive. Due to this it was believed that Bryan knew everything about a cow and calf. He knew what he needed to do in order to doctor them like a veterinarian. He also knew how to locate the cattle in the brush and bring them to the working site that had been setup in the open range.
He also had to deal with the tick and fly worm epidemic which came through these parts of the country.
It was believed that Bryan had cow sense because of the degree he took to care for the cows and calves on the ranch. His caring did not stop at the cows and calves but he also cared for the wildlife to that degree as well. The stock tanks always had plenty of fish in them. The ranch also had an abundant of wildlife at all times which were managed by Bryan. He would always make sure that the wildlife would be treated as equal as the cattle on the ranch.
The ranch itself was used to do documentaries and filming with Bryan and the ranch hands. These documentaries are in different libraries in special places.
The total knowledge and experience that Bryan had about the cattle industry was extremely large. Due to his upbringing from a very young child and the many years of managing the ranch that made Bryan become the best of the best of the cowboys of South Texas. Due to always being on the ranch he learned and taught himself everything about ranching. He could do everything he needed for the ranch to the best of his ability. Bryan spent his entire life on his ranch which he inherited down from the family. The way that Bryan managed and operated the ranch became a landmark in the South Texas community. Today all this land became willed to nephews and nieces and now consists of about two hundred and eighty acres each. This landmark still is an important one in the community as it is even recognized today for what Bryan did during all those years.
Even today as I pass by the ranch I can still see Bryan’s image of being a small person that always wore his cowboy boots with spurs, blue jeans, blue western shirts, and most of all his entire Stetson hat that was shaped and worn from all the use that a hat is made for as he rode his horses. This ranch was truly an image of what the old western days stood for. I would have to say that this ranch was one of the last ranch’s that was managed and operated as a ranch out of the old west that today you would only see in the old western movies.
If you knew Bryan personally you soon would find out that he did not like to be recognized. Bryan was a very reserved person. He managed and operated this ranch his entire life and deserves to be recognized and is very deserving of the Cowboy Hall of Fame award. I would like to add that his loyalty and commitment to the cowboy way of life was his love forever. A day for Bryan started before day light and for the most part ended after sundown with his day spent on the ranch doing what he most loved and that was being a Cowboy on top of a horse.
Nominated by Miguel D. Guevara and Freddy Poth.