Celebratin’ the Cowboy!! Yeee-haw and sign me up!

A big ol’ HOWDY to all stoppin’ by the campfire on the Western Roundup Giveaway Hop, whether you’ve been followin’ Cookie and me for a time, or you’re new to the trail! (Just so ya know Cookie is my trail cook, ramrod, trail guide, and all around pain in my backside)!

I hope after readin’ this blog y’all will make yourself to home and gander about the whole site and past gatherins’ round the campfire.

At the end of the hop, I’ll be tossin’ the names of those who left comments in the Stetson and givin’ away ONE e-book (Kindle or Nook) copy of any of the books featured ‘round the campfire to TWO lucky commenters! So make sure to comment, and Cookie will get yer name in the hat! This is for books mentioned during the hop and also those featured on past Wednesday Western Roundups!!

Now let’s get hoppin’!

What’s romantic about the cowboy?  Ya might ask (iffin’ you’ve been under a rock for a hundred or so years).  What’s not romantic about the cowboy? Cowboys have been icons of hard work, hard play, and hard lovin’ since they shot onto the American landscape in the 19th Century.

To kick off the blog hop celebratin’ the Cowboy and American West, I’m bringin’ ya a bit of the softer side of these gunslingin’, chap wearin’ heroes!

Below are just a samplin’ of songs, poems and letters showin’ the heart of the Cowboy, and just one of the many reasons we Western Romance writers fell in love with this particular breed of man!

If there’s one thing a cowboy knew it was loneliness on the trail, and the fear another might win his lady’s heart while he was gone for months on a cattle drive.  Some put their fears into lyrics, or wrote them in letters home.






At nights I think of her a heap,
These quiet nights when shadows creep
Down thro’ the sage, and ev’ry tree
Looks like a black hearse plume to me.
Oh, lonely land and lonely heart,
It surely seems when I ‘m apart
From her I hain’t the least excuse
Fer livin’, and I sees no use
In even daylight comin’, fer
It’s always nighttime without her.
@Robert V. Carr, 1912

Mittie and Fred

Fred Tucker and George Oathanile Bacus both vied for Mittie Richardson’s attention. In 1902, Mittie was sent east to Boston apparently to resolve the situation. In correspondence from family members, it appears that Mittie’s mother did not approve of either George or Fred. Mittie’s mother referred to George as “Backhouse.” In one letter, Mittie’s mother wrote, “I sat there and looked at Fred while he was eating dinner and I though of the old saying that love would go where it is sent if it went into a dogs – – – and I just thought if anybody fell in love with that thing they aught to have him why he can’t even talk I was pleasant to him but O dear.” Both Fred and George wrote Mittie while she was in Boston, each expressing their love. After Mittie’s return, in June 1903 things boiled over in the bunk house with Bacus shooting Fred (Fred survived but fled Wyoming). Bacus sent Mittie a letter of explanation (excuse George’s spelling and grammar):


George Bacus

Casper Wyo
June 14, 1903

Miss Mittie Richardson

My Loved One, I sit down to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am on deck yet. I will be back soon to see my littel love again and se what they do weath me for what I have don. I see now where I was foolish for leaven Elmer [LaPash, Mittie’s brother-in-law] toald me to give up and I am sorry I didnt. I took the horse exptoan [expecting] to go to town if I could of seen you before I left, I would not have left there. Now Darling, pleas donant let eny one out side of your folks see this letter I toald ProSiak that I was to blame for shooting and would not give up, but I gess I well now doant tell Fred I am coming back I donant want any more trubele weath anyone. Darling I would like to have a talk weath you. I was not to blame for what happened in the bunk house but had not [illegible] of shot atall but I was excited then and could not help it Well Dear this is cloast to your birth day and I will send you all I can from here that is thre of the pretest fours I can fiend I must close the tears will not lit me rite eny more best washes to you as ever your Love
G O Bacus

…These air sweet for get me nots [forget me nots] it is all I have and hoap they will be recped weath pleasher Hope to see you soon and Mittie when I am in Jale in Laramie Will you come and see me I would like to tell you all about every thing but can not rite it as I havent time no neather have I go paper this is all I have I will be back as soon as I can rais money anouff the countey would send for me but I doant want that I will come back weath out thair assistants if they will let me

P S I will be back to hay if thay will let me out in time

Mittie was not loyal to George or Fred and married another man altogether.

Of controversial origin and changing lyrics, a cowboy standard is a song known as the “Cowboy Love Song,” and reflects the sorrow of a cowboy whose sweetheart, unable to withstand the harsh conditions of the West, leaves him. We know this song as…

Red River Valley

From this valley they say you are going.
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile.
For they say you are taking the sunshine.
That has brightened our pathway awhile.

Come and sit by my side if you love me.
Do not hasten to bid me adieu.
But remember the Red River Valley
and the cowboy that loves you so true. (Chorus)

From this valley they say you are going.
I will miss your sweet face and your smile.
Just because you are weary and tired,
You are changing your range for awhile.

I’ve been waiting a long time my darling
For the sweet words you never say.
Now at last all my fond hopes have vanished.
For they say you are going away.

O there never could be such a longing
In the heart of a poor cowboy’s breast.
That now dwell in the heart you are breaking.
As I wait in my home in the west.

Do you think of the valley you’re leaving?
O how lonely and drear it will be!
Do you think of the kind heart you’re breaking.
And the pain you are causing to me?

As you go to your home by the ocean,
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley,
And the love we exchanged mid the flowers.


Many early drovers who came up the Texas Trail were Confederate veterans. During the war one of the most popular songs with southern soldiers was the sad and haunting Lorena about a lost love, and it remained a favorite among cowboys.

Words by the Reverend Henry DeL. Webster
Music by Joseph P. Webster

The years creep slowly by, Lorena,
The snow is on the grass again;
The sun’s low down the sky Lorena,
The frost gleams where the flowers have been;
But the heart throbs on as lovely now,
As when the summer days were nigh;
Oh, the sun can never dip so low,
Adown affection’s cloudless sky.

A hundred months have passed, Lorena,
Since last I held your hand in mine,
And felt that pulse beat fast, Lorena,
Though mine beat faster far than thine;
A hundred months — ’twas flow’ry May,
When up the hilly slopes we climbed,
To watch the dying of the day,
And hear the distant church bells chimed.

We loved each other then, Lorena,
More than we ever dared to tell,
And what we might have been, Lorena,
Had but our loving prospered well —
But then, ’tis past, the years are gone,
I’ll not call up their shadowy forms;
I’ll say to them, “Lost years, sleep on,
Sleep on, nor heed life’s pelting storms.”

The story of the past, Lorena,
Alas, I care not to repeat,
The hopes that could not last, Lorena,
They lived, but only lived to cheat;
I would not cause e’en one regret,
To rankle in your bosom now;
For “if we try, we may forget,”
Were words of thine long years ago.

Yes, these were words of thine, Lorena,
They burn within my memory yet;
They touch some tender chords, Lorena,
Which thrill and tremble with regret;
‘Twas not thy woman’s heart that spoke;
Thy heart was always true to me —
A duty, stern and pressing, broke
The tie which linked my soul to thee.

It matters little now, Lorena,
The past — is in eternal past,
Our heads will soon lie down, Lorena,
Life’s tide is ebbing out so fast;
There is a future — Oh, thank God —
Of life this is so small a part,
‘Tis dust to dust beneath the sod,
But there, up there, ’tis heart to heart.


For some, love came hard. As was the case of Wyoming sheep rancher John Love in his pursuit of Ethel Waxham. For four years John sent letters that followed Ethel from Colorado to Wisconsin back to Colorado, until finally in June 1910, Ethel became John’s wife.  For more of their story go to: http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/program/episodes/eight/psilikeyou.htm

John Love

Muskrat, Wyoming
September 12th, 1906
Dear Miss Waxham,
Of course it will cause many a sharp twinge and heartache to have to take “no” for an answer, but I will never blame you for it in the least, and I will never be sorry that I met you. I will be better for having known you. I know the folly of hoping that your “no” is not final, but in spite of that knowledge… I know that I will hope until the day that you are married. Only then I will know that the sentence is irrevocable. Yours Sincerely,
John G. Love



November 12th, 1906
Dear Miss Waxham,
I know that you have not been brought up to cook and labor. I have never been on the lookout for a slave and would not utter a word of censure if you never learned, or if you got ambitious and made a “batch” of biscuits that proved fatal to my favorite dog… I will do my level best to win you and… If I fail, I will still want your friendship just the same. Yours Sincerely,
John G. Love

April 3, 1909
Dear Mr. Love,
There are reasons galore why I should not write so often. I’m a beast to write at all. It makes you — (maybe?) — think that “no” is not “no,” but “perhaps,” or “yes,” or anything else… Good wishes for your busy season
from E.W.
P.S. I like you very much.

October 25th, 1909
Dear Miss Waxham,
There is no use in my fixing up the house anymore, papering, etc., until I know how it should be done, and I won’t know that until you see it and say how it ought to be fixed. If you never see it, I don’t want it fixed, for I won’t live here. We could live very comfortably in the wagon while our house was being fixed up to suit you, if you only would say yes.
John Love

Ethel Waxham

Dear Mr. Love,
Suppose that you lost everything that you have and a little more; and suppose that for the  best reason in the world I wanted you to ask me to say “yes.” What would you do?




For the lucky cowboys their true loves came without a fight and remained true to the end. These cowboys settled into lifetime partnerships, either building empires (both large and small) of their own, or seeking new adventures wherever the trail took them.

John and Eula Kendrick (John Kendrick was a Wyoming Cowboy, Governor, Senator with Eula his partner in ranching and politics)

Eula Kendrick

In 1889, following time at finishing schools in Boulder, Colorado, and Austin, Texas, seventeen-year-old Eula was reintroduced to one of her father’s former employees, a cowboy named John B. Kendrick. She remembered meeting him before: at age seven she had climbed into the lanky cowboy’s lap and announced that when she was old enough, she intended to marry him. In 1891, she did just that.

Following a church wedding in Greeley and a reception at the Wulfjen residence, the newlyweds left immediately for New York on the afternoon train. When their two-month wedding trip through the Eastern U. S. was over, Eula had to face the reality of her new home: a mud-chinked log cabin fifty miles from the nearest town.

It would be several months before Eula would get to live in that cabin, however. Upon their return from the East, Eula went back to her parents’ home while John went to Montana to finish construction. He felt that the rough bachelor digs he’d left behind were not good enough for his cultured bride. It was a lonely time for both John and Eula and letters flew back and forth between them. For a man accustomed to solitude, separation from a loved one was a new thing for John and he expressed his loneliness eloquently and often during this period:

John Kendrick

Do you miss your old man? Not one half so much as I miss “the girl I left behind me.”  Somehow the feeling of loneliness is inexplainable. Everything lacks interest: the scenes along the road, the different views of the snow peaks of the Big Horns, things that I used to enjoy so much.

By the end of April 1891, the cabin was still not finished. Fed up with living apart, Eula announced to her husband that she was going to Montana, even if she had to sleep on the floor and cook for herself. This response delighted John to no end:

You can never know how many false notions you have driven from my mind in your proposal to come out and do your own cooking, not that I want you to do it, but I did want so much for you to show the spirit of a true little wife and helpmate and the one thing needed to fill my cup of happiness you have supplied.

The OW Ranch in southeastern Montana was Eula’s home for the next eighteen years. Though isolated and far from friends, she had no time to be bored: she cooked, cleaned, ironed, sewed and did all the bookkeeping for the ever-growing Kendrick Cattle Company.

To read more about the Kendricks go to: http://www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com/blog/?p=5

Or http://www.trailend.org/


Frank Butler and Annie Oakley:

Frank Butler, an immigrant from Ireland, developed a shooting act, banking on the growing popularity of marksmanship displays in America in the 1870s. He and his partner would perform as one of up to 18 acts in a variety show, rattling off trick shots for about 20 minutes. Butler often issued a challenge to any local shooting champion. In November 1875, while he was performing in Cincinnati, someone took him up in it. There would be a match nearby, Butler was told, with a prize of $100. He accepted.

The last opponent Butler expected was a five-foot-tall 15-year old named Annie. “I was a beaten man the moment she appeared,” Frank later said, “for I was taken off guard.” His surprise continued when his young challenger scored 25 hits in 25 attempts — Butler missed his last target and with it lost the match. But he recovered quickly enough to give Annie and her family free tickets to his show, and soon he began courting her. Butler was 10 years older, had been married and already fathered two children. He never drank, smoked, or gambled, traits that appealed to Annie’s Quaker mother. The couple was married on August 23, 1876, although Butler would later claim June 20, 1882, as the date. Perhaps Butler was not yet divorced when he first met Annie, or maybe the later date was given because Annie had lopped six years off her actual age in the midst of her rivalry with the younger sharpshooter Lillian Smith. Either way, the marriage was a happy one, lasting for some 50 years.

Frank often included poetry in his letters to Annie.

“Her presence would remind you, Of an angel in the skies, And you bet I love this little girl, With the rain drops in her eyes.”

After they were married Frank Butler continued to tour with his marksman act while Annie returned home to complete her schooling. On May 9, 1881, Frank sent Annie this poem outlining his plans for their future.

Some fine day I’ll settle down
And stop this roving life;
With a cottage in the country
I will claim my little wife.
Then we will be happy and contented,
No quarrels shall arise
And I’ll never leave my little girl
With the rain drops in her eyes.

The famous couple never really did settle down in a cottage in the country, but spent the majority of their years together traveling the world in various wild west shows.






Whether riding the range, building a ranching empire, or trailing an outlaw the cowboy’s mind often wondered…

To Her

Cut loose a hundred rivers,
Roaring across my trail,
Swift as the lightning quivers,
Loud as a mountain gale.
I build me a boat of slivers;
I weave me a sail of fur,
And ducks may founder and die
But I
Cross that river to her!

Bunch the deserts together,
Hang three suns in the vault;
Scorch the lizards to leather,
Strangle the springs with salt.
I fly with a buzzard feather,
I dig me wells with a spur,
And snakes may famish and fry
But I
Cross that desert to her!

Murder my sleep with revel;
Make me ride through the bogs
Knee to knee with the devil,
Just ahead of the dogs.
I harrow the Bad Lands level,
I teach the tiger to purr,
For saints may wallow and lie
But I
Go clean-hearted to her!

@Badger Clark

Wylie and the Wild West put some music behind “To Her,” and it’s a beautiful song! Take a listen!


Since we’re at the beginnin’ of the trail, and talkin’ about strong cowboys with soft hearts, I thought it might be fittin’ to feature three of my favorite books by an author who’s turned many a soul to the joys of the Western!

He was etched by the desert’s howling winds, a big, broad-shouldered man who knew the ways of the Apache and the ways of staying alive. She was a woman alone raising a young son on a remote Arizona ranch. And between Hondo Lane and Angie Lowe was the warrior Vittoro, whose people were preparing to rise against the white men. Now the pioneer woman, the gunman, and the Apache warrior are caught in a drama of love, war, and honor.






As far as the eye could see was a vast, empty horizon. Evie Teale had finally accepted that her husband wouldn’t be coming home. Now she and the children were alone in an untamed country where the elements, Indians, and thieves made it far easier to die than to live.

Miles away, another solitary soul battled for survival. Conagher was a lean, dark-eyed drifter who wasn’t about to let a gang of rustlers push him around. While searching the isolated canyons for missing cattle, he found notes tied to tumbleweeds rolling with the wind. The bleak, spare words echoed Conagher’s own whispered prayers for companionship. Who was this mysterious woman on the other side of the wind? For  Conagher, staying alive long enough to find her wasn’t going to be easy.


He left the West at the age of seventeen, leaving behind a rootless past and a bloody trail of violence. In the East he became one of the wealthiest financiers in America—and one of the most feared and hated.

Now, suffering from incurable cancer, he has come back to New Mexico to die alone. But when an all-out range war erupts, Flint chooses to help Nancy Kerrigan, a local rancher. A cold-eyed speculator is setting up the land swindle of a lifetime, and Buckdun, a notorious assassin, is there to back his play.

Flint alone can help Nancy save her ranch…with his cash, his connections—and his gun. He still has his legendary will to fight. All he needs is time, and that’s fast running out….




“Cookie! Wipe that sappy grin off yer face!”  Ya start talkin’ ‘bout love and the man turns as mushy as his oatmeal!

While I get the stars out of Cookie’s eyes, go ahead and jaw a bit! Why do you love cowboys? What keeps ya buying Westerns or Western Romances? And if ya don’t, why not?  Are ya plum loco?

Leave a comment to get yer name in the hat for one of those e-books! And don’t forget this is just day one! Keep stoppin’ in and jawin’ and I’ll keep tossin’ yer name in the hat, the more I hear from ya the better yer chances are! Ya can’t get that guarantee at any faro table in town! (Next chance to comment is Saturday, July 22)






Chartier, JoAnn and Chris Enss.Love Untamed: Romances of the Old West. The Globe Pequot Press: Guilford, CT, 2002.


    • Howdy, Jacquie! Thanks so much for stopping by the campfire today bright and early! So glad you enjoyed this look at the romantic side of the cowboy!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  1. As always, I’m impressed with the amount of research you’ve done for the post. Just think of the men we would have had fawning over us if we lived in WY back in the day. If Mittie had her choice of men, our social calendars would have been booked solid! And I have to say, I like how George didn’t expect his then future wife to cook and labor. Sounds great to me 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Alison! I had fun with this post. I must admit, I thought the same thing about Mittie. Probably best we didn’t live back in the day, we’d have never known a moments peace. 🙂

      And I too, appreciated the sentiment about cooking and labor, especially the part about even if her biscuits proved fatal to his favorite dog. Ah, young love! 🙂

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Thank you, Ella! The letters really are sweet, and I found it interesting how they really laid their hearts on the line. And I loved those that added a bit of amateur poetry to the letters to their sweethearts.

      Glad you stopped by!
      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Thanks for stopping by, Erma! Glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope you’ll enjoy the other posts on the hop!

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Howdy, Christine! Thanks so much for stopping by the campfire! This was a fun post to research and write, and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of the stops on the hop, and good luck adding to your collection of “Wild West” books! 🙂 Hope you’ll stop by again!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  2. What a great post, loved it! I had forgotten the song Red River Valley,, haven’t heard it in years. What a way to bring in the cowboys. You just gotta love a cowboy!

    • Howdy, Quilt Lady! Thanks so much for coming by the campfire, and for your very kind comment! I’ve had “Red River Valley” stuck in my head for days now. I hadn’t heard it for years either and now I can’t stop. 🙂 I enjoyed bringing out the romantic side of the cowboy, they weren’t all chaps and spurs (not that there’s anything wrong with that). 🙂

      And Amen, you’ve just gotta love a cowboy!

      Good luck in the drawings and hope you enjoy the rest of the hop! Hope to see you back soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Tressa, Welcome to the campfire! So glad you enjoyed the post! If westerns are your favorite, you’re definitely mixing with the right crowd on this hop. 🙂 I think you’ll find a few cowboy lovers around here. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the hop! Good luck with the giveaways; hope to see you back at the campfire soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  3. I am so happy that you decided to be on this hop because I may never have found you!! I appreciate your blog and all the extra information you provide. I have always loved American history, especially the westward expansion period. I love watching old western movies and reading about people living in this part of the country, both historical and contemporary stories. This is the “place” I feel most at home which is funny as I was raised in Cajun french country. I will be back to visit your site often. Thanks again for being a part of this hop!! landrybreaux@yahoo.com

    • Wow, Landry! Thanks so much for your enthusiastic comment about my site! I’m thrilled you found the campfire and decided to drop by. When I’m not “hopping” I feature a post every Monday on the history of the Old West, emphasizing Wyoming since that’s where I’m from and that’s where the majority of my stories take place. 🙂 I hope you’ll make yourself at home and visit the campfire often!

      Good luck with the giveaways and I hope you enjoy the rest of the hop!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  4. Thanks for the giveaway! I haven’t been able to read any good westerns lately, and these choices sound great!

    • Danielle, Thank you for stopping by the campfire! Hope you can win some good westerns from the hop!

      Good luck with the giveaways!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Thanks so much, Melissa! Glad you could stop by the campfire!

      Good luck with the giveaways and hope you enjoy the rest of the hop!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  5. I love your western theme.
    Thank you for the giveaway, all the books sound great!
    I love reading and when I finish I pass them on to my mom to read.

    • Howdy, Michelle!! Thanks so much for stoppin’ by the campfire and for the kind compliments. Cookie and me try to keep things up around here! 😉 That’s great that you pass your books along to your mom, I do the same thing.

      Best of luck with the giveaways, hopefully you get some new reading for you and your mom! 🙂 Hope to see you again on the trail!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  6. You made me do math! 🙂

    Just wanted to stop by, say howdy, and wowzers! You did such a great job on this post Kirsten! Thanks for joining the hop and I love that readers love this campfire.

  7. wow this is different kind of blog post i like the way you did and then the way you explain every thing thanks a lot for it

    • Howdy, Desiree! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the post! I had fun finding everything and putting it together.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of the hop and good luck with the giveaways! Hope to see you on the trail soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Howdy, Laura! Your husband has great taste. 🙂 My dad started me on Louis L’amour, still some of best westerns I’ve ever read.

      Enjoy the hop, and good luck in the giveaways! Hope to see you on the trail soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

  8. Being from Ohio, where Annie Oakley is from, I loved learning more about her and Frank Butler’s relationship while reading your post. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Howdy, Kat! Thanks so much for stopping by! Frank and Annie’s love story is one of those true life romances that rivals anything in fiction. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the snippet of their story in the post.

      Good luck with the giveaways! Hope you enjoy the rest of the hop!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Howdy, Cheryl! So glad you enjoyed the blog! It was fun researching the letters, songs and poems.

      Good luck with the giveaway and hope to see you back here soon!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Howdy, Hildie! I’m glad you found the campfire, too! Thanks a bunch for the kind words about the site and post! Hope you’ll come back a visit!

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Howdy, Sylvia! Too true, there’s no things as too many westerns! That’s like saying there’s too many cowboys in the world, and that’s just wrong. 🙂

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      –Kirsten Lynn

    • Howdy, Ruth! Glad you enjoyed the post! You should definitely try a Louis L’Amour book, they’re still some of the best westerns out there!

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      –Kirsten Lynn

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