Will's Ranch House
in California where
|Lucille Mulhall — Will Rogers
Traveled with her and her father in
his first Wild West Shows Ever
Wild West and Will's family survived hardships with grace and courage. Will's parents, both of
Cherokee descent, provided him with a stable, loving and interesting home. Clement Van Rogers
was a senator and judge who helped write Oklahoma's state constitution. He was also a
successful rancher and businessman. Will's mother, Mary America Schrimsher, descended from a
Cherokee Chief, was a gentle lady of her day. She was the perfect senator's wife: knowledgeable
about literature, music and etiquette; and known for her good humor, piety and devotion to
charitable works. She was also a rancher's wife and the mother of eight children. Of those eight,
only four survived and that was common because there was allot of illness during son what she
felt was important in the world. She stressed upon him the importance of community and that
there was a spark of divinity in each and every individual. Will adored his mother and took her
message to heart. For Will, however, the schooling of the day would be somewhat of a challenge.
"I was not a child prodigy, because a child prodigy is a child who knows as much when it is a
child as it does when it grows up."
The Rogers Ranch was a center for many of the important and notable people in the region. Will
had access to the important people in his community but he was comfortable with all people, no
matter their education, wealth or race. He also took naturally to the life of a rancher and outdoors
man. Before the age of five, a freed slave by the name of Uncle Dan Walker taught Will Rogers a
skill that would become a source of fascination for him, as well as a part of his public persona,
for the rest of his life - rope tricks. Will became so good with rope tricks that he was listed in the
Guinness Book of World Records.
In fact, Will was attended schooling in the community's little one-room where his sister was
attending. This was followed by Willie Halsell College and then Scarritt Collegiate Institute in
Missouri. Will spent more time roping than studying, however, and after only one semester at
Scarritt, he was expelled. He spent two years in Kemper Military Academy, Missouri, before
quitting school for good at the age of eighteen.
"When I roped her, that was the star
performance of my life"
Will married his long-time sweetheart, Betty
Blake. Betty was his best friend and an
astute adviser about what the public most
enjoyed. She suggested that he read
newspapers everyday and comment on the
daily topics during his roping act. Soon Will
was so informed that he could do three
daily shows worth of material! From then
on, Will Rogers was a household name. His
leading line, "Well, all I know is what I read
in the papers," became a heads-up that
humor was sure to follow.
Now Will was able to focus on what he truly loved -
performing. He joined vaudeville in 1905 at Madison
music. At those times, when his rope tricks would fail,
Will would begin a little patter in talking to himself. His
self-deprecating humor gradually became one of the
most popular features of his act.
Earthquake destroyed Managua, Nicaragua in 1931, Will
Rogers flew south to lend his name to fund-raising efforts;
after floods ripped through the lower Mississippi Valley in
1927, Will Rogers was on the spot to entertain and to
became a 'dust bowl' during the famous drought of the 1930’
s, Rogers stumped Oklahoma and Arkansas for the Red
Peter C. Rollins
Will's love of adventure never left him. The thrills of riding
led to the thrills of flying and it soon became normal for Will
to travel all over the world in any plane that happened to be
heading in the direction he wanted to go. Will "never piloted
an aircraft but was an enthusiastic, fearless air passenger
and champion of air travel during embryonic times." He was
even listed as number 46 in Aviation Week and Science
Technology's All-Time Top 100 Stars of Aerospace.
|Will as columnist
"Nothing you can't spell
will ever work."
Will & Rope
|Will's Statue in
"Keeping his eye on
It was natural that Will would begin writing his own news columns. Through the years he wrote
over an astonishing 4,000 of them, syndicated in 600 newspapers. Other overlapping careers
blossomed, too. Will wrote six books and went on to appear in seventeen films. Radio was
another natural medium for him. His down home wisdom appealed to the every day folks who
regularly tuned in to hear him.
"Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth."
commentator at the National Convention in 1948 and he continued in this function for many
years. To all requests for him to run for office, however, Will Rogers always gave a firm no.
Will was a devoted husband and family man. His three children spoke fondly of their father as
"Dad." He and Betty remained close partners for all the twenty-nine years they were married.
"I'm not a real movie star. I've still got the same wife I started out with twenty-eight years ago."
Even after being in several plane crashes (he broke several ribs in the third one), Will insisted that
airplane travel was safer than travel by automobile. He was one of its greatest promoters and
traveled around the world three times. "Often he flew in mail planes, paying by the pound and
cramming himself uncomfortably into the cockpit with the mail sacks. Rogers would become the
first passenger to make a round-trip transcontinental flight in a mail plane." (National Aviation Hall
Tragically, on August 15, 1935, at the age of only fifty-five, Will Rogers lost his life in a plane crash.
Pilot Wiley Post, a great scientific aviation pioneer and Will's close friend, made a brief landing at
Point Barrow, Alaska, to ask for directions. After receiving them, Wiley took off and the plane
veered and crashed. Both men were killed instantly and the nation lost two of its most treasured
It's difficult to compare Will Rogers to anyone we know today. His deep sympathy for humanity and
his gentle humor in pointing out man's follies cause many to compare him to Abraham Lincoln. And
Will did not merely stand aside and observe his fellow man - he lived his life to the fullest. He was a
decent and honorable man. He was a proud and respectful husband, to the degree that some
thought he was unusual! He was adventurous and eager to look ahead to the new world of air
travel and he actively took part in it and promoted it. He cared about his country and did his best to
point it in the direction of honor and good sense. (Some believe he did this by assuming his
Cherokee heritage of The Trickster in order to change hearts and minds!) He was a passionate
humanitarian, who dedicated himself to helping others at home and around the world in their times
of need. What more could be required of a hero? Will Rogers was an early citizen of the world, but
he never lost the simplicity of his roots in the red Oklahoma soil of his home.
|"I've never met a man I
Comedian. He is also a fourth generation lasso spinning artist. This trick roping
cowboy has been in entertainment business for over 25 years. He has been
performing cowboy rope tricks publicly every since the age of 9 years old. Tipton
has perfected his cowboy lasso spinning performance after decades of training.
He also has relative ties to the legendary Will Rogers by way of his Grandmother
McSpadden so its no wonder why trick Tipton Productions on how to book a
performance today. Performances booked nationwide and beyond year around.
Having relative ties to Will Rogers may of given Marty a little bit of an edge on learning to spin a rope,
but ultimately Marty had to work over decades of practice for thousands of hours before eventually
landing a role in the Broadway production the Will Rogers Follies.
Now Marty still entertains and perform live stage show and TV appearance all across America doing
most all of Will's rope tricks and a few added specialty tricks like ropes that have lights and others
made out of Kevlar are set on fire for special occasions. Marty is also an Bull Whip Expert as well as an
Expert Marksman with Gun and Knife. Marty grew in Oklahoma on a working cattle ranch like Will
Roger, and he loved using his rope to rope everything insight.
Marty's Kin to Will Rogers by way of his way of his grandmother McSpadden who was a cousin to Will.
Ms.McSpadden crossed the Osage county in a horse & buggy tin ealy 1900s to join Dale Tipton who
worked on the 101 Ranch Ponca City Oklahoma. Marty still has his ranch there as well.
Ms.McSpadden Marty's Grandmother
Ms. McSpadden always had a cookie and ice cream waiting for Marty after school and tell him stories
about growing up in the Real Wild West. His grandmother lived to be 103 and loved Marty's visits
during his grade school years. Marty's grandmother told stories of how she rode in a wagons across
the largest county in the state to meet her husband Dale Tipton a handsome cowboy who worked on
the 101 Ranch & Wild West Show performing and training horses. She also told him stories about
the Pawnee Bill Wild West Shows and her visits with Will Rogers. One of her favorite sorties was
about the unveiling of the Pioneer Woman in 1930. She said Will had everyone rolling with laughter
when he commented about the Pioneer Woman having a girdle on the prairie. After the unveiling of
the statue Will and Delia had a picnic together and she recalls him talking to her about the pickled
watermelon that was so popular. Delia received letters from Will over the years from places he had
visited around the world. One of the letters Marty recalls her reading was about the Mississippi floods.
Delia keep the letters at in her dresser tied in a blue ribbon Marty recalls.
Palisades CA Will
Rogers Polo Field
and Ranch where
spent most all of his
time. When famous
movie star guest
visited Will's house
he would sneak out
a secrete door in
the back of the
room where to the
county side under a
shade tree sleeping.