Everett Colborn’s Career & Family

Area 3-Colborn’s Career & Family
Wall-2 Colborn’s Career
On this wall is a TV that plays the footage of a 1940 movie newsreel from 20 th Century Fox
called “Rodeo Goes to Town” that is edited to fit the story of Everett Colborn coming to Texas. I
turn it on and say this film starts out with the footage of practicing on bucking broncs at the
Lightning C arena. The film also shows the roundup on the ranch, driving the stock horseback
into Dublin, a little of the Dublin arena and loading the rodeo train. But the film is long, so I am
going to tell you Colborn’s story. Starting with the photos on the left are Colborn’s early years
starting in Idaho on his father’s ranch. Colborn had a small rodeo company where he was
partners with Doc Sorenson in Idaho. I show the poster of the Idaho State Fair and the
stationery of Colborn & Sorenson Rodeo and say Everett Colborn took stock from his rodeo to
the Madison Square Garden Rodeo and the owner, Colonel Johnson, hires him as arena
director. Colborn worked for Colonel Johnson for 4 or 5 years before Johnson was ready to sell.
One day he says to Colborn “If I had someone to sell this rodeo to I would.” Everett Colborn
with Harry Knight (a bronc rider from Canada) started looking for investors and found the
Clements brothers from Arizona. If the visitors know about the Cowboy Turtles Association’s
story, I tell them the reason Colonel Johnson sold his rodeo is because the Cowboy Turtles went
on strike and Johnson didn’t want to deal with them. Everett Colborn then found a ranch in
Texas and brought his family to Dublin in 1937. Then I tell them Everett Colborn’s youngest
daughter was about 6 years old when they first came to Texas and show them a late 30’s photo
of Carolyn, Everett Colborn, Harry Knight, one of Clements brothers and a young Roy Rogers in
Madison Square Garden basement photo in New York. Then I say when Gene Autry goes into
the army, Roy Rogers takes his place in movies and rodeo and that’s how Roy Rogers gets
famous. Just above is a family photo 3 or 4 years later with everyone standing with their horses
in their western clothes. A little farther down is a New York photo of Rosemary and Carolyn
grown up sitting on each side of Colborn. This photo was featured in a magazine or book. Up
above is an early family photo of the Colborn family on horses when they first came to Dublin.
A little farther right is a photo of Everett Colborn, Gene Autry and the mayor of Fort Worth on
horses. Just below is a photo of one of the Clements brothers with Everett Colborn on horses.
Below that is a photo of Carolyn with Ava Colborn being entertained by some of the officers at
Selema Al Air Force base just before the rodeo came to town.
Area 3-Wall 2-Table-Colborn’s work Chaps
On the table under Colborn Career photos is a copy of the magazine, Western Horseman where
an article is written on the World’s Championship Rodeo and New York Rodeo. Also on the
table is a copy of Texas Highways where a photo of Carolyn Colborn is on Western Horseman
cover. Beside the table on the right is Everett Colborn’s Lightning C work chaps. The chaps look
well used and has splatters on them that prove Colborn was a working manager.

Area 3-Wall 3-Rosemary Colborn
On the left side of this wall is the actual metal medallion with the Lightning C brand that hung
on the Lightning C ranch gate. On the right side is the medallion for his private ranch brand that
hung of the gate on his private ranch. In the center of this wall, Everett Colborn holding
Rosemary as a baby that was taken in Idaho. Over to the left is a family photo in the early 50’s
of Rosemary with her new husband, Harry Tompkins, Everett, and Carolyn on horses. I say “this
is the oldest daughter of Everett Colborn, Rosemary, where she ends up marrying 8 times world
champion Harry Tompkins. A photo of Carolyn and Rosemary as young children is on the wall at
the top of the photos and a photo of Rosemary sitting on a horse as a young girl is autographed
“to my Pal and Dad.” The rest are single photos of Rosemary.
Area 3 Wall 1-Carolyn Colborn
I say this is the Colborn’s youngest daughter, Carolyn. She became a celebrity because she was
seen around New York with Everett Colborn and Gene Autry. She once told me that she had
lunch with Elvis Presley to enhance his career because he wasn’t famous at that time. I ask what
was he like and she said, “Oh, he’s just a shy boy”. In the middle of the wall is a large colored
photo of Carolyn on “Western Horseman Magazine”. I say she was the first lady on The
Western Horseman Magazine and has been on other magazine covers. She also modeled
western wear and I show photos of her modeling a western suit, then turn to the corner to
show the western suit dressed on a mannequin that Carolyn is wearing. Up a little higher is a
photo of her when she was about 6 years old riding in the Boston parade with Roy Rogers and a
little below is a photo of her with her horse, Omar in a buggy with Everett Colborn standing by.
I say “we have a copy of a letter from Everett Colborn to Gene Autry asking for his horse,
Champion’s son for his daughter’s 16 th birthday. This is the picture of the horse she received
from Gene Autry. Then I say Gene Autry produced TV shows including the Gene Autry Show.
Gene Autry also produced Range Rider starring Jock Mahoney, here is a photo with Carolyn,
Jock Mahoney and his side kick Dick West. Here is another photo of Carolyn and Gail Davis who
starred in the Annie Oakly TV Show Gene Autry produced. Over to the left of the wall is a photo
of Carolyn and a young Martha Tompkins that’s about 3 or 4 years old with Everett Colborn’s
huge attaché made of 2 layers of leather that feature Everett Colborn on a horse with flower
trim around the case. Other photos are of Carolyn and Berva Dawn Taylor (daughter of
Colborn’s 1 st partner, Doc Sorenson. One photo is of Carolyn and Everett Colborn showing his
off silver saddle that he rode in the parades.
Area 3-Wall 1-Carolyn Colborn
Just below the photos on the left of Carolyn’s wall is Everett Colborn’s work saddle.