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Brown nominated for Cowgirl Hall of Fame
by Matt Naber
Sep 04, 2013 | 79 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Charlie Brown was nominated for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame earlier this summer. Brown is a skilled trick roper and the first female to graduate with an agriculture degree in Texas.
Charlie Brown was nominated for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame earlier this summer. Brown is a skilled trick roper and the first female to graduate with an agriculture degree in Texas.
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A loop of fire spins over Charlie Brown’s head as the first female in Texas to earn an agricultural degree performs trick roping for an audience in Europe. Her lifetime of cutting cattle and cutting her own piece of western history landed her on the nomination list for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in early August.

Brown, a resident of George West, graduated from Texas A&I with a degree in animal husbandry in 1947. She was the only girl in her class.

“I was shy when I started, but I wasn’t when I left,” Brown said.

This came in handy because her trick roping skills drew large audiences, not just in George West, but in England, Ireland and France as well. At one time, she could spin three ropes at once, one in each hand and one in her mouth. Her signature finish was a fireman’s loop, a rope set on fire and twirled overhead.

She performed since she was 17 years old until just a few years ago.

“I’ve had lots of fun in life, I’ll tell you,” Brown said.

Brown was born in Clareville, about eight miles outside of Beeville, and spent her childhood moving from one ranch to another during the Great Depression. Her father was a ranch foreman, and as ranch owners lost their property, the entire family would have to pack up and move again to another ranch.

“We didn’t feel poor because everybody else was poor too,” Brown said.

Brown also said she was always helping out and grew up cutting cattle with her place always in the chute.

Her first time on horseback was when she was two weeks old, and she has been riding since she was two years old.

Brown married former George West Independent School District Superintendent Sugars Turner Brown Jr. right after they graduated from college, and they later had three children. He started as an agriculture teacher and worked his way up over the years, and Brown soon found herself teaching as well and remained in the education field for 21 years.

“We were short a teacher, and guess who got caught...but I loved it, and I love the work,” Brown said.

While working at the schools, the Browns raised between 150-200 head of crossbred cattle at a time from their ranch, which now stands on the outskirts of town as Houston street expanded over the years. Brown said their home was built from lumber that was once used for the Oakville courthouse.

Now retired, Brown’s children nominated her for the award, and she said she wasn’t even aware it was happening. There is currently a book detailing her life and achievements in the National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth; she said she visited the museum with her daughter and found herself among the rest.

Although Brown isn’t officially inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame yet, just being considered for induction is a lengthy and selective process. Now that she is on the list of nominees, her name will remain on that list and get considered for induction to the hall of fame each year.

“It hasn’t helped me a bit, but I’m there,” Brown said.

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