Robert L. Crisp
Bob was born on a farm near Blairsville Georgia in 1897. His mother passed away when Bob was about 8 years old. A few years later Bob’s father John P. Crisp decided to move his family, Bob, Bob’s brother Claude and sister Tony to Wyoming.
Sometime around 1913 Bob’s father filed a homestead along the Gros Ventre River in Jackson Hole. The homestead was located a few miles down stream from the town of Kelly. The old homestead is now part lands controlled by the National Elk Refuge.
Bob served in the Army near the end of World War I. He was a proud member of the Jackson Hole Masonic Lodge. Records so him raised on February 9th 1931. He was an active member of the Cowboys Turtle Association (CTA).
Bob lived and worked with his father during those early times in Jackson Hole and soon started doing day work and herding cattle for neighboring ranchers. One of the early herding jobs Bob had was for the AP Quarter Circle owned by the Pederson family. The ranch’s summer range was on public lands on the Upper Gros Ventre River. In those days during roundup the AP Quarter Circle would sort the beef, then trailed to market over Union Pass, down the Wind River about one hundred and twenty-five miles to the rail head in Hudson.
Another ranch Bob mentioned working on in the early 1920s was the old Burt Charter Place located in Spring Gulch. Burt was rumored to have ridden with the Hole in the Wall Gang. During a summer while there Bob mentioned on different occasions, members of the old gang including Robert Leroy Parker (Butch Cassidy) stopping over to visits with their old friend.
Bob later went to work for the JY Ranch. During the years there he worked with the guest operations and helped entertain and guide a number of dignitaries including President Hoover. This job allowed Bob to get involved with rodeo. Bob was a stylish saddle bronc rider. He traveled the country, riding as a member of the CTA which predated the now Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association. Equivalent to present day rodeo’s National Finals, The World Series of Rodeo and was held in New York at Madison Square Garden. Bob competed in the World Series. One year while attending the World Series, between rodeos Bob needed some pocket money. He signed on to be a sparing partner for the light weight world champion who was preparing for an upcoming title fight. During one of the sparing bouts he knocked the champion down. He was not asked to come back.
Bob was also traveled to Great Britain with shock contractors Elliot & McCarthy. He rode as a saddle bronc rider with Elliot & McCarthy and preformed in a rodeo put on for the Crown. He often joked that he once bucked off in front of the Queen. Bob was modest about his adventures. Once asked how he rode the rough ones? He replied, “Well, I can’t say, the rough ones always bucked me off”.
After leaving rodeo he continued riding herd and rough stock. Time was spent working on the Elk Ranch in Moran Wyoming. He also rode rough stock for the Green River Drift. In the 1940s Bob went to work for Jim Boyle at the Bar Y Ranch near Jackson. There he finished his career. He worked at the Bar Y feeding in the winter, calving in the spring. During the summer and fall Bob rode the range for the next 25 years for the Bacon Creek Cattle Association on the Gros Ventre River. The brands for the Bacon Creek Association included the Oliver’s 4 Lazy ‘s, Brown’s Rafter J, Boyle’s Bar Y and Mead’s X Diamond.
He truly was a real cowboy, with the cowboy real skill set, an honorable man, with incredible discipline, fiercely independent and a loyal friend.