Richard Quay “Dick” Hornbuckle
At age 11, Richard Quay “Dick” Hornbuckle left home in Colorado and headed north to Wyoming. His ambition was to be a cowboy there. He went to Cheyenne and when he was 12 or 13 years old, he found work breaking remounts for the U.S. Cavalry. When near 15 years of age, the young man with $50 in his pocket, an old .45 with a broken trigger and a saddle, hopped a boxcar to Gillette, where he found a job freighting for Jake Jenne from Gillette to Sand Creek in northern Converse County.
This led him to begin his cowboy career in earnest. He broke horses and rode with roundup wagons for the next ten years, working for many ranches including Keeline, Reno, Taylor, Knighten, EB, CY, 88, Grieves at Casper and McGinnis at Lusk. He quickly became known as a good bronc rider. While working for the 88 Ranch he acquired a string of bucking horses that he took to Cheyenne Frontier Days and other rodeos.
Hornbuckle competed at the Wyoming State Fair winning the saddle bronc riding championship in 1911, 1914, 1915, and 1916. He won saddles and spurs, which are now displayed at the Wyoming Pioneer Museum in Douglas. He also contested at rodeos and events, including a show with Teddy Roosevelt at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was a friend of and appeared in shows with Tim McCoy and Will Rogers, and also with Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show. He later directed rodeos in Casper and other Wyoming towns.
After retiring from rodeo, Hornbuckle homesteaded near Sand Creek near what is now known as Hornbuckle Draw north of Douglas. He joined Billie Marchant on the Curt Sears Ranch starting a partnership known as the EB Ranch. He later married Leona Sears and they had a son, Richard Curtis. The boy died when he was just two years old and the couple later divorced. Hornbuckle then married Bessie Turner, a school teacher from Iowa who had visited her brothers’ homesteads in the area of the Hornbuckle Ranch. They had three more children, a son, Richard Thomas and twin daughters, Evelyn and Mary.
As he expanded the family, Hornbuckle also expanded his ranch holdings. He continued ranching on the Cheyenne River until the time of his death, January 6, 1959.