Historical Details

Grave of the Unknown Cowboy

Courtesy of Family Sources, 10/20/2020


By Margaret Chard, and used with permission from her niece, Danese Reed

He left his home, somewhere in the east
Traveling out to the romantic west
To work on a ranch, a cowboy be
Riding and roping, one of the best
Maybe in turning a dogie wild
His horse stepped in a badger hole
Stumbling and falling down to earth
And over the cowboy did roll.

Perhaps when racing with a fellow pal
His horse tripped on a prairie dog mound
Rolling over and over and over again
'Till the cowboy lay crushed on the ground.

Could be in a quarrel with a gambler
His finger on the trigger was slow.
Or aces and eights were held in his hand
T'is a dead man's hand you know.

Now it's only a forgotten grave
Out where the cattle have lain
A few scattered rocks, so coyotes can't dig.
Leveled by the wind and the rain

Sometimes a board would mark the place.
On it would be burned a name
As Happy, Buck, Squirt, Sundown Kid
Or simply "Cowboy James".

No one knew of the family he left
Or knew of his real home.
No one could tell the folks back there
Of their boy, who chose to roam.
Today as we place a marker
And ask "The Boss of the rangeland" to Bless
All  those unmarked graves on the prairies
Of those "unknown Cowboys" of the West.

Images & Attachments




Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Chard, Margaret (06/22/1911 - 03/04/1997) View Record