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Loyce Ual Creed was born on March 4, 1903 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. His father, William Colby Creed moved from Kentucky to Texas where he met and married Mathilda ‘Mattie’ Persall. One of ten children, Loyce moved with his family west into Beaver County in the Oklahoma panhandle as they began to take up quarter sections of land. “They stayed there for many years before moving 48 miles south of Liberal, Kansas. They raised wheat, broom, maize and kafir corn.” He and his siblings walked, ran, trotted, rode a horse or hooked up a horse to a buggy to get to school four miles away.
According to Shorty, “It was ‘rough times’ and we had to make our own entertainment. We played baseball. We had big picnics and covered dish dinners, but our real entertainment was riding all kinds of wild horses. If we could catch him, we’d sure try to ride him. We’d be out in the wild country and if we could get a bunch of them hemmed up somewhere into a corral, then we’d have the day.” As a child, Shorty “loved riding—he just kept riding bulls, cows, mules or horses—anything he could ride.”
It wasn’t long before he started breaking horses for ranches. “If you could get $10 a head for them—for each horse—why, you thought you was a-making money.”
Shorty attended eighth grade, but didn’t finish. He took a job driving cattle from the panhandle into Canadian and Shamrock, Texas. “They paid $6 a day, a dollar for my horse and five for myself. We moved 1,000 head of steers about 80 to 90 miles. Then come back and get 1,000 to 1,200 head of cows and calves. The Canadian River caused lots of trouble with quicksand it would take several days to get them cattle across the river. Then we each stood guard three hours at night. That was the fall when I should have been in school, but instead I made $400 to $500.”
When Shorty was 15-years-old, his parents kept their land but moved into a big apartment house in Liberal, Kansas. Shorty stayed on the homestead to work at the nearby Hitch Ranch. “Mother cut out a good jersey heifer that was going to have a calf and left me a bunch of chickens.”
He went to a show near Lubbock Texas, “they were giving $2.50 to any outsider come in and ride a bucking horse.” The show stayed for a week and he rode every night. At the end of the week they talked him into staying with the show and he did for two years. He broke his leg twice in those two years, slowing him up for a while. He got $25 a week plus room and board.
“In the 1920’s Shorty threw in with traveling shows and other wild west productions—rode bucking horses and steers and bulldogged for the Miller Brothers’ 101 Wild West Show.”
(to be continued)