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Donald Nesbitt Collection

 Collection — Folder: 1 (SC OS1-3)
Identifier: R-219

Scope and Contents

The collection contains one rodeo postcard that has been cut into the shape of a heart, in addition to five 14×10 photographic proofs of Donald Nesbitt.


  • Creation: circa 1930s

Conditions Governing Access

The Donald Nesbitt 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 Donald Nesbitt Collection 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

Nesbitt was born on May 15, 1907, and raised on his father’s ranch situated in Old Everetts, South Dakota. His parents were William H. Nesbitt and Lucy A. Howell Nesbitt. He came into possession of the first peace pipe smoked between the Sioux and the whites, which was given to his father by Mad Bear.

Even at the age of ten he and his brother were breaking wild horses for their father. Don naturally went a step further into the saddle bronc riding competitions.

He was a well-known contestant at the Frontier Days in Cheyenne, the Pendleton Round-Up, the Calgary Stampede in Canada, rodeos in Chicago and New York, and the big 33 day London, England show. He participated in the five major rodeo events: bulldogging, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, bareback bronc riding, and bull riding. In 1932, he won the World Champion All-Around Cowboy honor.

He rode Midnight and 5 Minutes to Midnight, two of the greatest rodeo broncs that lived. Nesbitt wrote the eulogies for these horses which were soon after interred in the gardens at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

In the 1930s Nesbitt began working for the rodeo producer McCarty and Elliott Company. After fifteen years of bronc riding, Nesbitt retired in 1936 to judge most of the McCarty and Elliott Company produced rodeo shows. Don Nesbitt died in 1988. He was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1955.


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder (SC OS1-3))

Language of Materials



This small collection features several portrait proofs of Donald Nesbitt by Distinctive Portraiture of Denver, Colorado. Nesbitt was a well-known rodeo contestant in five of the major rodeo events and was one of the first rodeo honorees to be inducted in the Rodeo Hall of Fame, in 1955.

Processing Information

The Donald Nesbitt Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1980.

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