Roberts Family

(Frank) Oh, we’re back, hello. Hey, you know here several weeks ago, we talked about going first Sunday down to… (Deb) Cassoday. (Frank) Cassoday, that’s it, yes. Now I can remember. Well, you go through a little town called Strong City. It’s Strong City and Cassoday are about oh, 30-40 miles away, but you go through Strong City on the way. (Deb) In the lovely Flint Hills of Kansas. (Frank) Right, so anyway, Strong City has some history with a famous family. So, we’re gonna talk about that a little bit this morning too. (Deb) Yea, some horses, and some famous folks, and a little rodeo. (Frank) Yea. (Deb) Stay tuned. (Deb) In Kansas, the Roberts Family is synonymous with rodeo. That rodeo tradition began in the Roberts pasture near Strong City. That’s where Emmett, his son Ken, and his son-in-law Eddie Boysen put on what they called the first Chase County Rodeo in 1938. It was dubbed the Flint Hills Rodeo the next year and is still going strong, the oldest consecutive rodeo in the state. Emmett became a legend in his own time. Promoting rodeo by being a contestant and, contractor, producer, and director of the Flint Hills Rodeo board for 37 years. He was the father of three outstanding champions: Marge, Gerald, and Ken. The Roberts other children, Cliff, Gloria and Howard worked in the background. Marge became the women’s bronc riding champ in 1940. Ken was the world champion bull rider in 1943, 44, and 45. Gerald was the first Kansas cowboy to become All Around Champion cowboy of the world in 1942 and again in 1948. He is the only cowboy in the world to win a championship as a member of the Turtle Association and again as a member of the RCA. Gerald recalled that his dad used to buy young colts by the carload. Ken, Marge and I used to break them while riding to school. I guess that is how we really learned to ride. The awards and Halls of Fame accumulated by the Roberts Family could fill a corral. To honor this rodeo family who founded the rodeo in Strong City, a six by twenty foot mural was erected and dedicated on the Flint Hills Rodeo grounds in June of 1994.

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