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Mexican Joe and Pawnee Bill Photographs

 Collection — Folder: 1 (SC 3-1)
Identifier: 1970-018

Scope and Contents

This small collection contains five photographs of Pawnee Bill and Mexican Joe. Two of the photographs of Pawnee Bill are attached to a Christmas card. One of the photographs of Mexican Joe has a poem written by C. G. Wilson.


  • Creation: circa 1930


Conditions Governing Access

The Mexican Joe and Pawnee Bill 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 Mexican Joe and Pawnee Bill 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

No biographical information about Mr. or Mrs. Hugh Sellers is available. This collection was given or left to the Museum without much information.

José Barrera José Barrera, or as was sometimes known as Mexican Joe, was born in Mier Tamps, Mexico in 1882. In 1897, Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show was the first to hire Barrera as a performer. Only fifteen years old at the time, Barrera was already an expert equestrian and roper. Because of his accomplished use of the lariat from horseback, Wild West Shows billed him as the greatest trick roper in the world. He toured throughout the United States and Europe with Pawnee Bill, Buffalo Bill Cody, and the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Show. He and other Mexican performers executed the spectacular “Bailable a Caballo” in which riders and horses danced in pairs to the music of a twelve piece Mexican band.

In 1905 José Barrera married Effie Cole. Effie became a star in her own right. Her specialties were hurdle jumping, piloting four horses in a chariot race, the High School Horse Act, and the Western Ballet. The couple had two children, one who died in infancy and a daughter, Mary. With their daughter, the Barreras lived and worked at the Pawnee Bill Ranch near Pawnee, Oklahoma, for decades. Barrera was the Pawnee Bill Ranch foreman, overseeing livestock and agricultural activities. He died of old age in Pawnee Oklahoma, on November 17, 1949.


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder (SC 3-1))

Language of Materials



This is a small collection of photographs portraying Jose Barrera ("Mexican Joe") and Pawnee Bill, one of which is hand-tinted and two of which are attached to a holiday card.

Processing Information

The Mexican Joe and Pawnee Bill Photographs was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1970 by Hugh Sellers.

Genre / Form


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