Cherokee-Choctaw Cowgirl, Texas Rose Bascom
“Texas” Rose Bascom was recently honored as the first female inductee of the Mississippi Rodeo Hall of Fame. Called the “Queen of the Mississippi Cowgirls,” Texas Rose Bascom (Cherokee–Choctaw) was a Hollywood actress and rodeo celebrity.
Inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Utah Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2013, the late Texas Rose Bascom was honored with an induction into the Mississippi Rodeo Hall of Fame in her hometown of Columbia, Mississippi on April 14th, 2017.
Mississippi State Commissioner of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was MC at the induction ceremony said, “Rose Bascom was a world-class rodeo star and entertainer with a career spanning five decades. She is unequaled in Mississippi history.”
In 1937, Texas Rose met and married Weldon Bascom, a rodeo cowboy of Narragansett Indian descent. The newlyweds moved to the Hickman Ranch near Arm, Lawrence County, Mississippi.
Weldon and his older brother Earl Bascom, along with Jake Lybbert and Waldo Ross, were rodeo champions and had produced Mississippi’s first rodeo and the world’s first rodeo to be held outdoors at night under electric lights in 1935. These cowboys have since been called the “fathers of Mississippi rodeo.”
After Texas Rose married Bascom, she became involved the world of rodeo, focusing on trick riding and fancy trick roping. She became known as the “World’s Greatest Female Trick Roper” and could twirl a rope in her right hand, a second rope in her left hand, slip off her boot and pick up and twirl a third rope with her bare toes or her teeth.
Her performances (outdoors, at night) were presented under black lights with glowing fluorescent ropes, boots and tasseled outfits. The press declared her act to be the most “spectacular performance ever seen” and “the most beautiful stage performance in the world.”
She performed on the rodeo circuit and toured the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe, and performed in the rodeo arena, as well as several years as the headliner with the Wild Bill Elliott Rodeo Company. In 1939, she and her husband moved to Southern California.
Her first Hollywood movie was the 1946 musical The Time, the Place and the Girl, which was nominated for an Oscar. Smoky River Serenade was her second movie, a western filmed in 1947. In 1954, she played herself in the 1954 Hollywood western, The Lawless Rider.
She performed and entertained many times over many years to benefit charities, and performed at every children’s hospital in the United States. She performed with Hollywood entertainers Bob Hope and Johnny Grant during the Korean War, performing at Christmas time for the American troops and service men in Hong Kong, Tokyo, the Philippine Islands and Alaska.
After retiring from show business, Texas Rose and her husband moved to the Rush Lake Ranch in Southern Utah. She passed away in St. George on September 23, 1993 at the age of 71.