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Smokey Snyder Collection of Pendleton Round-Up Photographs

 Collection — Folder: 1 (SC OS1-4)
Identifier: R-257

Scope and Contents

This collection contains fourteen photographs of the Pendleton Round-Up collected by Smokey Snyder. It includes photographs of parades, Native Americans, and specialty acts. Newspaper by-lines are attached to the back of each photograph, and most photos were taken by staff photographer for The Oregonian, Frank Sterrett. Two photographs are missing


  • Creation: 1938 - 1953


Conditions Governing Access

The Smokey Snyder Collection of Pendleton Round-Up Photographs has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Smokey Snyder Collection of Pendleton Round-Up Photographs is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

Smokey Snyder

Albert Edward “Smokey” Snyder was born June 1, 1908, in Cripple Creek, Colorado. When he was a small boy, his family moved to Washington state and then to Alberta, Canada. He saw his first rodeo at Curlew, Washington, and soon after began his rodeo career at the age of fifteen at a rodeo in Hussar, Alberta, Canada.

Snyder competed in roughstock events – saddle bronc, bareback, and bull riding – but won most recognition in his bull riding competitions in the 1930s and 1940s. Snyder’s career brought him seven world championships. He won his first national title in bull riding in 1931 when he was just 23 years old. He then tied for crown in 1932, and won bareback bronc riding that same year. He went on to win bull riding championships in 1935, 1936, and 1937, including a bareback bronc riding title in 1936. Snyder competed and collected trophies for both bull and bareback bronc riding in the rodeo produced by Verne Elliott in London, England, in 1934. He also won the Canadian all-around cowboy title in 1934, and in that same year won the Bareback Riding Championship in Sidney, Australia, at the Easter Royal. It was in 1946 when his rodeo career as a rider ended when he broke his back while bull riding in Reno, Nevada. The name of the last bull he ever rode is not known.

Smokey was one of the leaders in organizing rodeo cowboys for their mutual benefit and protection, and helped raise the standards of rodeo when he was one of the founders of the Cowboys Turtle Association in 1936. He was elected to the Turtle’s board of directors several years.

He was employed by the Kern County Land and Cattle Company when he died in an automobile wreck on October 24, 1965, in Kern County, California. He was returning from a rodeo in Taft when the accident occurred.

Pendleton Round-Up

The Pendleton Round-Up is meant to be “a frontier exhibition of picturesque pastimes, Indian and military spectacles, cowboy racing and bronco busting for the championship of the Northwest.” Participation of Native American tribes in the area has been a strong attraction in the Round-Up arena, at Happy Canyon, in the Indian Village and in the Westward Ho! Parade. Women have been active at the Round-Up as well; Cowgirls in the early days of the Round-Up could be as tough as men. Midway through the Round-Up’s colorful history, a Eugene newspaper summed it up with a characterization that remains applicable today:

“In good times and bad, Pendleton has gone on with the Round-Up. People over on the Umatilla have always been willing to take a chance. Maybe that’s the real cowboy spirit. Maybe it’s a little bit tougher brand of civic spirit. Anyhow, in Pendleton, the show goes on.”


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder (SC OS1-4))

Language of Materials



Former rodeo bull riding champion of the 1930s and 1940s Smokey Snyder collected a number of photographs that were also printed alongside feature stories about the Pendleton Round-Up in The Oregonian. These photographs, with their newspaper clipping bylines taped or glued on the reverse side, feature events of the round-up from 1937-1953.

Processing Information

The Smokey Snyder Collection of Pendleton Round-Up Photographs was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1968.

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Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States