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Bob Askin Collection

 Collection — Folder: 1 (SC OS1)
Identifier: R-264

Scope and Contents

This collection contains ten rodeo photographs and thirteen rodeo postcards. The majority of the photographs are of Bob Askin in saddle bronc competitions. One photograph is of Will Rogers and Pat Ryan in New York. There are two Ralph R. Doubleday rodeo postcards in the collection and one Out West rodeo postcard.


  • circa 1920s


Conditions Governing Access

The Bob Askin Collection 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 Bob Askin Collection is 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

Robert “Bob” William Askin was born on May 9, 1900, in Rochester, New York. He spent his youth in South Dakota and Montana. According to some memoirs, his rodeo career began on July 4, 1915. With the 1925 Championship in Saddle Bronc Riding at the Pendleton Roundup, Askin rose as a rodeo star during the 1920s. He rode the toughest horses in the game such as Midnight and Five Minutes to Midnight and Hells Angels. Friends have commented that Bob Askin was his own man, modest and polite, while in competitions he was a known trendsetter, and he was a stylish rider poised and balanced no matter what contortion the horse went through. He pioneered a way of spurring front to back called “long stroking” or “cattle boarding” which became very popular in the northwest.

Askin was ill for some time with emphysema and died on October 8, 1973, in Miles City, Montana, where he is also buried.

In 1978, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum inducted Montana’s Bob Askin into the Rodeo Hall of Fame, where his memory was honored for being such an exceptional saddle bronc rider. Gail Woerner recounted in her article “Goin’ Down the Road” a story told by rodeo performer Monk Carden during an interview:

“Yakima had won the 1919 bronc riding on a horse called No Name. Bob Askins, an early-day bronc rider, said he knew he could ride the famous bucking horse, too. Yakima bet him $100 he couldn’t. Askins rode No Name and Yakima paid him $100.”

In his article “The Old Timers,” Ernest Tooke writes about some early stories featuring Bob Askin:

“Bob Askin went to a wild horse roundup near Powder River in the early 1920s. Bob didn’t take a horse, just his saddle and hackamore. Several wild horses were in a rope corral, so Bob picked out a 1,250-pound gelding that appeared to be 10 or 12 years old. The horse was roped and thrown down. Bob put his outfit on the horse, and when the other hands turned him loose, Bob was in the saddle. The horse was a terrible bucker, and Bob let him buck until he quit; then he got behind a bunch of wild horses and, in a short time, had the bronc working.

On another occasion, Bob and a cowboy were riding from Powder River to the Tooke ranch. They happened to ride near a herd of Tooke rodeo broncs. One bronc came out of the herd and trotted toward the two riders. He stopped about 30 yards away and stood there with his head up, blowing and snorting. That particular bucking horse had never been successfully ridden in a rodeo arena. Bob looked at the bronc awhile and then said, ‘If you’ll rope that horse, I’ll ride him to the ranch.’

The cowboy gave it some thought, but he finally decided not to as he didn’t think his saddle horse was strong enough to handle the bronc. ‘If I could have roped that bucking horse,’ the cowboy later said, ‘I know Bob would have ridden him to the ranch.'”

Sources Tooke, Ernest. “The Old Timers.” Western Ag Reporter. June 5, 2009. Woerner, Gail Hughbanks. “Goin’ Down the Road.” Rodeo Attitude News: Behind the Chutes and Elsewhere.


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This small collection of rodeo photographs and postcards prominently features Bob Askin, a well-known and respected saddle bronc rider of the 1920s, who was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1978.

Processing Information

The Bob Askin Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1980.

This is an oversized small collection.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States