- Collection ID:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Community Life
- Physical Description:
Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Mostly newspaper publicity and rodeo programs. 67 full- and half-page sheets from mostly small-town papers, with predominantly local news. The programs for performances at fairs sometimes include agricultural information, what was being judged, and the cash prize amounts. Most of the programs contain advertisements for small-town services and products. A description of the sponsors indicate close community-business relationships. Some shows were near Indian reservations and Native Americans took part in the shows.
Most of the material consists of newspaper publicity and rodeo programs. There are 67 full and half page sheets from newspapers, mostly from small towns with local news predominating. The programs for performances at fairs sometimes include agricultural information, what was being judged, and the cash prize amounts. Most of the programs contain advertisements for small town services and products. A description of the sponsors indicate close community business relationships. Some of the shows were near Indian reservations and Native Americans took part in the shows.
Divided into 4 series: 1) Rodeo Programs; 2) Newspaper clippings and newspaper sheets; 3) Contracts; 4) Magazines. Arranged chronologically by type of material.
Chet and Juanita Howell were trick riders and ropers who played many of the rodeos and fairs throughout the country in the 1930s until the latter 1950s. They averaged thirty shows per year, with most of their performances being in the western and southwestern United States.
Chet was born in San Jose, California, where he learned to ride broncs and bulls and to do trick riding and roping. He doubled for Gene Autrey in "Oh Susanna" and worked in other movies. During the spring of 1935 he performed his act in Yokohama, Japan. Juanita Howell started with the King Brothers rodeo and Wild West in 1931. In 1933 she won a championship trophy as a steer rider. Juanita and Chet were married on horseback in August of 1936 in Centralia, Washington.
Chet was drafted in 1943 and served in the South Pacific. Juanita worked in Ogden, Utah, during World War II, in the quartermaster depot, first in the teletype office and then doing guard duty mounted on horseback. After World War II, Chet continued with the rodeo. In the 1950's, the Howells settled in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked in manufacturing for five years. His last job before he passed away in 1973 was with the post office. Juanita Howell, born in 1910, is still living in their retirement home.
Manuscript portion transferred from the Division of Community Life (Department of Social and Cultural History, now Division of Cultural and Community Life) to the Archives Center, March 20, 1987.
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Collection donated by Juanita Howell, December 14, 1985.
Collection processed by Barbara Kemp, 1987.
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Chet and Juanita Howell Rodeo Collection, 1934-1958, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Gift of Juanita Howell.
Related Archival Materials
Related artifacts in the Division of Cultural and Community Life and at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012