Harry Tompkins

Room 2 Area 1 Wall 1-Harry Tompkins 

Room 2-Area 1-Wall 1 Bottom-Harry Tompkins 

Room 2 is a room with 30 ft ceilings. As you enter on the right side of the door is a TV screen. I say “this is 8 times World Champion, Harry Tompkins. He came to Texas in the early 50’s to marry Rosemary Colborn. As I turn the TV on, I say “when this film comes on, it shows the dude ranch he worked at in New York, riding a bull and Harry talking of his skills as a bull and bronc rider. I let it play for a few minutes and shut it off. I point to the photo above the TV and say, Harry Tompkins worked at a dude ranch in New York, the ranch sent him to the Madsion Square Garden Rodeo and he won and then he decided he would rather ride bulls and broncs than work at a dude ranch. Below the TV are photos of Harry modeling wranglers, I say he was the first male model for Wranglers and in the early day’s Wranglers would put photos of their world champion models in the pockets of the jeans when they sold. Then I turn to Harry’s Gallery (a room with a glass window across the width of the room) and say these are some of Harry’s trophies and boots with a list of championships he won. This pair of his boots were donated by Justin Boots.  I say here are photos of his 3 children, that makes them Everett Colborn’s grandchildren. Here is resolution from the State of Texas given for him when he died in 2018. On the wall inside the gallery is a bigger than life cut out photo of Harry Tompkins modeling a pair of wranglers when he was a wrangler model.  Across the back of the gallery are various photos of him riding bulls and broncs. Then I turn to the saddle on the right of the gallery window, and say this is his 1958 all-around saddle from Reno, Nevada made by the Garza brothers (famous for their saddle making and silversmith). Just beside the saddle is large photo of Harry shaking Les Garza’s hand when the saddle was won. Sitting on this saddle is an Erath County magazine opened to an 8-page story of Harry Tompkins telling of his rodeo life. I show some of these photos taken inside this museum and say Harry was one of our original board of directors of this museum when we started 20 years ago. Some of the things you see he brought in himself. Then I turn to the left and say this is his 1961 all around saddle from San Franciso and a little farther down is a 1951 bareback bronc trophy saddle.  

Room 2-Area 1 Wall 2 

A 9X10 foot photo of Harry Tompkins riding a bull is on this wall. In front of that wall is a saddle. I say this photo was in Texas Highways because we use this saddle for people to sit on and wear a cowboy hat so they can ride with Harry Tompkins. I tell the kids this is your big surprise I was telling you about. I give them a cowboy hat and show them which hand to hold in the air and stick their feet out so they can pretend they are riding a bull like Harry Tompkins. Someone is always there with a camera so they can take home a souvenir.  Then I say Everett Colborn bet Harry Tompkins $100 that he couldn’t ride this bull, Yellow Jacket and guess who won. Then I turn to the second half of the glass enclosed gallery and say this is Harry’s daughter and Everett Colborn’s granddaughter, Martha. She was the only family member that stayed in rodeo. She trains and races barrel racing horses. She is famous in her own right as a trainer, author and barrel racing champion. She still lives here on a ranch between Dublin and Stephenville. In the gallery you can see some of her trophies, a book, and her pair of little Lightning C boots.