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Samuel Thomas "Booger Red" Privett Papers

Identifier: RC2010-048

Scope and Contents

The Papers contain original photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, and two date books owned by Ella Privett Linton with occasional entries about her daily activities while working for a circus. There are also copy photographs and negatives taken by Charlsie Poe, and the resulting books: World Champion Cowboy: Booger Red by Charlsie Poe and Texas Cowboys: Memories of the Early Days edited by Jim and Judy Lanning.


  • Creation: 1895 - 2007


Conditions Governing Access

The Samuel Thomas "Booger Red" Privett Papers 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 Samuel Thomas "Booger Red" Privett Papers 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

Samuel Thomas “Booger Red” Privett was born in west central Texas sometime in the 1860s. His nickname came from his red hair and scars from a childhood accident. Booger grew up on ranches and became known for his skill with horses. The stories say he often challenged local residents of towns his wild west show performed in to bring their rowdiest bucking horse to the show, and if he was tossed off while riding it, he would give the owner a hundred dollars. Legend says he never had to pay up.

In December 1895, Booger married Mollie Webb. They decided to start their own traveling Wild West show, The Booger Red Wild West Wagon Show, in which both of them performed with Booger Red as the chief attraction. They had six living children: Roy (1896), Ella (1897), Thomas (1902), Luther (1906), Alta (1908) also known as “Lady,” and William (1915) also known as “Bill,” who travelled and performed with them. As the children grew older, they began branching off and joining different circuses. Ella and her husband Frank Linton worked as performers in Tom Mix’s circus for several years.

Booger died in Miami, Oklahoma, in 1924. Because of financial difficulties, he was buried without a headstone. In January of 2011, through the efforts of people around the state, a grave marker was dedicated.


0.83 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Family series contains original documents from Linton and concerns all members of Booger Red’s immediate family. It contains mostly photographs, grouped by sitter, but also a few letters and data books.

The Books and Research Materials series concerns items gathered by Jim and Judy Lanning and Charlsie Poe, when they were writing their books about Booger. These items include correspondence with other writers, copies of newspaper articles, and copies of original Privett family pictures.

The Miscellaneous series contains magazine articles unrelated to any specific member of the Privett family.

Processing Information

In November 2010, Jim Lanning donated the materials after Ella Privett Linton had given them to him. Much of the Papers had previously been loaned from the family to author Charlsie Poe to be used in the biography she wrote about Booger Red.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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