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Linda Moore, 2012 Stampede Rodeo grand marshal, holds a 1958 photo of herself in the royalty court. TRISH YERGES photo
The Stampeders recently announced Linda (Trump) Moore as their honored grand marshal to preside over the Elgin Stampede Rodeo on July 12-15.
“It is my honor and privilege to be the 2012 grand marshal,” said Moore. “I will represent the Elgin Stampede Rodeo as best as I know how.”
That will come naturally to Moore, who has been associated with the Stampeders for the past 65 years.
She was 5 years old when her parents, Pete and Betty Trump, joined the Elgin Stampeders Riding Club in 1947. The organization was just in its second year, and there was no Stampede hall yet. In fact, rodeos were held across the highway at Moore Field for the first four years (1946-1949), sponsored by the Elgin Chamber of Commerce.
“The Chamber and the Stampeders were like one in the early years, and all the business people were involved,” said Moore. “In those days, about a third Elgin’s residents were associated with the rodeo.”
The Bill Moore baseball field was the best site for a rodeo at the time because it had groomed grounds with good lighting for evening events and large grandstands.
“I remember going to the second rodeo at Moore Field,” said Moore. “Later, in 1949, two sections of the Moore grandstands were moved across the highway to the (present) Stampede grounds.”
Due to construction on the grounds, there was no rodeo in 1950. It was the only year in the past 66 years that the rodeo took a pause.
1958 STAMPEDE ROYALTY COURT: The Royalty Court included (from left) Princess Linda Trump Moore, Queen Arlene Weatherspoon Showers and Princess Judy Berryman. The photo was taken at the “kick-off” banquet at the Stampede Hall.
But, by July 1951, the Stampeders were ready to solo as hosts of the Fifth Stampede Rodeo on their own grounds, but without a hall.
Construction on the hall was still in progress during the 1952 Stampede Rodeo, but that didn’t stop the Stampeders from having a dance.
“I remember my father and Larry Follett still pounding nails into the sub-floor when the music was starting for the dance,” said Moore. “They just put up the studs and had open air dancing. Casey Keefer was the president that year and rodeo co-chairman was Stub Krause. Joy Wade was the Stampede queen.”
The 1952 Stampede Rodeo program advertised it as a “Rip-Roaring 2-Day Professional Show.” It featured two big parades and a carnival set up in the parking area just in front of the Stampede hall.
Haworth Playland Shows put on the carnival, featuring rides and concessions. The carnivals were a regular feature of the Stampede Rodeo through the 1950s until the Stampeders needed that space for additional parking.
While the hall continued under construction from 1952-1954, Moore was one of the babysitters for the children of the volunteer workers. It seemed very natural for her to spend one weekend after another at the grounds.
“The Stampede grounds was my playground and my roots. The hall is where my mom and dad taught me how to dance,” she said.
During her childhood years, Moore, 12, rode in the drill team until she was asked to leave because she was too old. She also joined the Junior Rodeo and rode in the 1954 parade as queen. After she was queen, the Junior Rodeo went to using the titles “duke and duchess” instead of queen. The Junior Rodeo folded after three years when Moore was 14 years old.
But memories of those Junior Rodeo days are still vivid in her mind and heart.
Moore said she rode her quarter horse named Flicka in company with other young riders to the Minam Stockman’s cabin — a kids’ horse ranch on the Minam River. There they camped over for two to four nights before riding back to Elgin.
“We young girls also used to serve at the smorgasbord at the Stampede hall, and we kept the dishes full at the tables,” said Moore. “Later we served at the crab feed and did that for many years.”
In 1956 and 1957, Moore rode a white horse provided for her by Harley Tucker the stock contractor. “We all wore chaps and carried flags for the grand entry of the rodeo.”
Then, in 1958, 17-year-old Moore was a princess on the Stampede Rodeo Court with Queen Arleen Weatherspoon, 18; Princess Judy Berryman, 18, and Hazel Moore as Queen Mother.
The court was introduced at the “kick-off banquet,” where they wore their western outfits, but they also appeared together publically at the coronation ball dressed in elegant, floor length gowns.
Not long after that a young man named Wally Moore spotted her and courted her on the Stampede dance floor. They eventually married and together the Moore family made the Elgin Stampeders their extended family and their lifestyle.
Over the many years, Moore has served the organization in numerous ways. For over 25 years she was on the kitchen crew that made potato salads for the crab feed. She co-chaired the crab feed for a couple of years. She was also Queen chairman for four years, helping the court to get to all their scheduled events. She was also program chairman for many years.
“Everything done here is done by volunteers, so you have to work,” said Moore. “The pay-off is the satisfaction you get when you put on the rodeo, entertaining people and when you do the best you can whether you’re pouring a beer or painting a fence.”
As grand marshal of the 2012 Stampede Rodeo, Moore will be introduced to the public just before the Friday night Mark Nichols Memorial Bull Riding event.
She plans to ride a quarter horse in the parade and have the time of her life representing the Elgin Stampede.
She invites everyone to “Come join us and participate in all of it.”