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Recipients excel as 2015 Cowboy Keepers

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Each year, as the National Day of the Cowboy approaches, members of the Board of Directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization have the privilege of reviewing the many nominations submitted for its annual Cowboy Keeper Awards©. It is always an uplifting experience. The award is bestowed upon those who make a significant contribution to the preservation of cowboy culture and pioneer heritage. This year there were more nominations than ever, each one raising the bar for future nominees. Those selected to receive the award share, among other things, an impeccable character, a joyful work ethic, a broad range of talents and skills, a love for educating the public about cowboys, a sense of leadership, and a high degree of creativity. We are proud to name Sheila Carson, Waddie Mitchell, Ernie Sites, David Stoecklein, Bud Young, and husband wife team, Lyman & Alaire Tenney, as our 2015 Cowboy Keeper Award recipients.

Alaire & Lyman Tenney

pic1Lyman “C” Tenney, was born one of ten children on his family’s cattle ranch near Willcox, Arizona. His wife, Alaire, born in El Paso, Texas, was the daughter of Quarter Horse Association founder and AQHA Hall of Fame inductee, J.E. Browning. Together, Lyman and Alaire left a deep cowboy mark on the American Southwest and Australia.

pic2Lyman started cowboying as soon as he could climb on a horse and spent 60 years in the saddle. At 15 he left home to cowboy on his own. “I wanted to see all the ranches I could and work for ‘em all.” In Arizona, he worked ranches from Big Chino to Ashfork, all the ranches on the Verde to Clarkdale, Cottonwood to Flagstaff, Mingus Mountain to Orme Ranch, Camp Verde to Dewey, Prescott to Crown King, down the Hassayampa and up Yarnell to Wickenburg. He worked cattle from Skull Valley to Williamson Valley, Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima Counties, the Graham, Winchester and Galiuros Mountains, the slopes of the Rincons, Whetstones, Huachucas, and more.

He was a rodeo cowboy in the US and Australia, in saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding, and the timed events of steer roping, calf roping and team roping and a contestant the Prescott Rodeo for 22 years straight. During July 4th weekend, in 1941, he drove to Prescott to enter the rodeo. There he met 18 year-old cowgirl, Alaire Browning. The next summer, they decided to marry, and wed the day after he won the Dewey Saddle Bronc money.

Lyman went to work on the DK then the DuBois Ranch, until Alaire’s father bought the Bar HL south of Willcox. They worked the Bar HL from 1942 to 1951 when they bought the Muleshoe Ranch, selling it when drought forced them out. They moved to California, running 6,500 head of cattle in Imperial Valley. In 1963, Alaire, who was an expert cowhand, was badly injured when her horse tripped in a hole and rolled on her. She was unconscious for 77 hours. Recovery took far longer as she had to learn to walk again.

In 1966, Al Stansbury asked the Tenneys to run his ranch in Australia’s Northern Territory. Their accomplishments in Australia alone could fill volumes.

On the Woollogorang “Station,” in Australia, they managed the largest cattle operation they had ever run – 2,225 square miles, 1,650,000 acres, 10,000 head of cattle. It was 500 miles to the nearest grocery store and the closest rail point. Cattle drives to the railhead took 11 weeks. Lyman soon arranged to haul cattle by semi, shortening the drive to 18 days. One day, Lyman and son, Todd, gave a team roping demonstration at the Mount Isa Rodeo. It soon became a popular and widespread rodeo event. Lyman has since been called the “Father of Australian Team Roping,” because he introduced it to the continent.

Lyman and Alaire took part in an experimental program for Nelson Hunt, to domesticate water buffalo. Lyman helped form the CeeTeeGee Saddle Tree Company, making saddle trees for American-style roping saddles and hornless bronc riding saddles.

They staged the first roping school in Australia and helped establish the first rodeo club, started the Western Performance Horse Club and the Sierra Bonita Roping Club, trained Quarter horses and taught western riding.

In Aspley, they helped establish the Pine View Equestrian Center, became involved with the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association and helped establish the Australian National Riding Trail, said to be the longest continuous horse trail in the world.
They gave seminars and clinics teaching American style horsemanship and horse training, cutting and reining, as well as rodeo riding skills. Within a decade, they held over 100 schools in Australia and Tasmania.

They imported Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and Paints from the U.S. Lyman helped organize regional QHAs, and was a founding member of the Australian Quarter Mile Racing Association, a charter member of the National Cutting Horse Association of Australia, and organized and brought to fruition an NCHA Finals and Futurity. Alaire in turn, started the popular Ladies Cuttings in Australia. They formed the Western Australia Cutting Club.

They were a co-founders of the Paint Horse Association of Australia. Their Paint horse, Joeleo, was one of the founding sires and National Champion of the PHA of Australia; and the first horse inducted into the Australian PHA Hall of Fame.

pic3In 1971, Lyman produced the first American style rodeo in Brisbane. In 1973, at age 54, at the Roma Rodeo, he won 1st in calf roping and team roping and 2nd in steer roping, winning the All-Around Championship; the first time in Australian rodeo it was awarded to a contestant who only roped. In 1977, they formed the Albany Trail Riders Association. In 1979, Alaire was appointed head of the National Paint Horse Queen Committee, where she organized the Queen contest for the first PHAA National Show.

In 1980, they returned to Arizona. 1986 found them managing the 87 square mile DG Ranch outside Wickenburg. In 1994 they retired in Willcox, then moved back to Prescott. Lyman was inducted into the Arizona Living Pioneer Hall of Fame. Alaire, who ranched, roped cattle; team roped, and taught roping and riding right beside her husband, passed away in 2008. Lyman passed in 2009. Few, if any, men or women have cowboyed as extensively in the American Southwest as Lyman and Alaire Tenney, and no other husband and wife team has done more to proliferate the cowboy culture in Australia.


OBBG Round Up: By Barron

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Summer finally arrived in New England, and now it is hot and sticky. Never thought we were going to ever see warm weather again up here in New England, where it all started.

National Historic Register

Our Angels, Cousin John Hardy and Melinde Lutz have been on the ball regarding NHR of OBBG. On June 15, the Bradford Burying Ground was accepted by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. A copy of the official letter and certificate was sent to me on July 13, 2015 and received July 17, 2015. Many thanks are sent to John and Melinde their efforts for the OBBG. A job well done my friends. Time to celebrate your efforts now. John Hardy has suggested erecting a stone on the site. The proposed stone with a National Historic Register plaque can be placed near the current bronze plaque in the front of the cemetery. Perhaps we can get the Mayor to do a little ceremony and maybe get the City to apply more funds/assistance in maintaining the grounds. Great suggestion John!

OBBG Maintenance

The good news: the hanging limb previously reported in the TT spring edition, has been removed by the City Tree Warden. Yippee! More good news is that our Angel, Erik Peterson and the City have worked out a deal, so Erik and his boys are on the job. I took a drive over this morning and it looks great. The bad news is that another tree has fallen, apparently in the last few days, and this one has taken out two headstones. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, but it is pretty nasty. Erik is being pro-active as he has already called the City and the Tree Warden. Erik has indicated that he will try to repair the stones.

Remember the mailing effort to the City Council we executed? It was so successful. The POWER of TFA? In talking with Erik today, we thought it might be a good idea to email the City Mayor and the City Council about how pleased we, the TFA, and related OBBG families are, about the City’s efforts in maintaining our OBBG gem.
This will again be the power of the TFA keeping OBBG first and foremost in the City’s mind.

It is nice to see the City of Haverhill stepping up to care for their property, which is one of our nation’s GEMS. And, thank you so much Erik and Leslie for all you have done for OBBG and the TFA. Love you much.

E – mailbox

Hi Everyone,
Here is a photo of the tree branch that fell. It did break two stones and possibly more (we will know when the branch is removed.) The BBG looks great, Eric has been doing a great job. However we still have problems.

pic4There are a few dead trees that have to be removed before they fall. The forgotten corner is completely regrown back in. The section of the BBG near the swim club is over grown.

Because this is where the low spot is in the wall is, people have been using a different spot and now that part of the wall is falling apart. Many stones have already fallen out.

I have also seen that the wall is being invaded by weeds. I have been spraying the wall for the last few years with weed killer but have missed the last year (sorry) but that is all it takes. One missed year and they are really bad the next year. I pulled some of the weeds already but I will have to go and spray the wall before it gets worse. However, these weeds have already loosened the stones. I feel that the wall surrounding the BBG will have to be patched very soon (while it is still the top layer) or it will get much worse.

I try to do as much as I can so that Eric does not have to do it all but it is a never ending battle. I am

happy to see that the grass is growing much better in the back. I have been seeding that back area for a few years now and with Eric mowing regularly it looks great and the weeds are a bit less of a problem. We still need a group effort to cut back the brush that is always trying to reclaim the cleaned up area but if we can keep pushing it back and Eric can keep mowing we should have less and less of a problem each year. I have taken photos of each of these items (listed above) and if anyone wants me to send them in an email just let me know.



Fire Instructor, Ian Tenney, honored

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On October 1, 2014, the Connecticut Fire Department Instructors Association held their annual dinner in Southington, CT.

Among the honorees for 2014 was Lieutenant Ian Tenney of the Hartford, CT Fire Department. Tenney received the Richard Pratt Sylvia Instructor of the Year Award for his work as the Program Coordinator for the Connecticut Fire Academy’s Introduction To The Fire Service (ITTFS) Program.

ITTFS provides several services for high school students interested in the Fire Service, including regular and advanced six-day, residential “Recruit Firefighter School” training programs in the summer, a Junior Counselor Program where alumni can enter a competitive selection process to return and work as assistant instructors and the annual Fire Service College Fair, the only event of its type in existence that is dedicated entirely to programs that offer degrees in Fire, EMS and Emergency Management.

pic5Tenney had the opportunity to begin his Fire Service career at a young age with the Lancaster, NH Fire Department and also got to follow in his father’s footsteps as a member of the Lancaster Ambulance Corps. The responsibility and desire to give back after these experiences has been the major motivation for his work as a Fire Service Instructor and specifically within the ITTFS Programs. He is the 2011 recipient of the CFDIA’s Harry Kelly Award and a 2006 Special Achievement Award recipient. Tenney is the son of Maggie and the late Jeffrey Tenney of Lancaster.


Thank you for all of your great work on the Tenney Times – I always enjoy reading it and it’s obvious that you put a lot of work and feeling into it!
I’ve attached a story and photo for you – I put it together at the request of my Mom for the local paper in NH. Well, it was a request forwarded by Mom based on a rather direct ‘suggestion’ by my grandmother…

Dad, Jeffrey Tenney, was a charter member of the Lancaster, NH Ambulance Corps in 1972 and spent nearly 20 years in the organization, serving for some time as the Director. He cited some of his experiences with the 101st Airborne Div (326th Engineer BN) in Vietnam as being a big motivation to serve in EMS. We weren’t contemporaries, but the last ambulance that he worked out of (and I think actually designed and purchased) was the first one that I worked out of.

While it isn’t really talked about, service is a huge tradition in our family. Dad volunteered for Vietnam, my grandfather volunteered for WWII and my great-grandfather, after having received a waiver for WWI due to the need to support his family, actually made his way into the Navy or Navy Reserves for WWII – I recall some details regarding the fact that he was only a day or two away from the maximum upper age limit. Now that I mention it, I’m going to dig and see if I can find more details. Going back a few generations, here’s our lineage (beginning
in the greater Portland, ME area):

Percival Tenney -> Arthur Tenney -> Keith Tenney -> Jeffrey Tenney -> Ian Tenney.

Dad was born in Lancaster and with the exception of college and the Army, lived there his entire life. He liked to say that he had been born in the bowling alley. The Sportsman’s Restaurant (the lot is now home to the town skating rink) at Main & Bunker Hill Sts did indeed have bowling lanes. It had started life as the Lancaster Hospital, which at some point after 1947 (and I can attest that it was prior to 1977) moved to a new location and building a hundred yards or so from where Keith Tenney built his home after returning from WWII. Dad is buried in the Summer Street Cemetery, where Keith, Arthur and my great-grandmother Annie are also interred.

Thanks for enduring the history lesson and take care, -Ian


Mr. Tenney’s Park

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In 1899, Madison, Wisconsin lawyer Daniel K. Tenney bought some land near the city’s limits and gave it to the city’s horse-and-buggy set that had organized a group to build more scenic routes – the Pleasure Drive Association, with John M. Olin president.

pic6Tenney wanted to turn the land into a park, but the city had a history of refusing to finance space for anything as frivolous as leisure. So Tenney went to John M. Olin with his vision: The Association could have his land – 14 expansive acres where Lake Mendota meets the Yahara River – but only to create a park. And only if the park would be kept as a public trust to be handed over to the city when it was ready to take care of it.

pic7Association members jumped at the chance, switching focus from rural pleasure drives to in-city pleasure switching focus from rural pleasure drives to in-city “pleasure grounds,” and in the process turned the volunteer group into the most powerful force for beautification Madison has ever known. To raise funds for the Tenney project, Olin slashed Association dues and increased membership tenfold. He also ran what was probably the city’s first direct-mail campaign to raise awareness of the need for parks and outdoor recreation. And the money poured in from hard working families eager for a spot of beauty.

pic8Olin then came up with a wildly ambitious plan to dredge the Yahara River, build a lock, raise all eight of its bridges, and build a dappled 20-acre parkway to link Lake Mendota with Lake Monona.

He lobbied the city council and the statehouse relentlessly, and talked landowners into donating their river frontage. Amazingly, he got the whole project done in less than three years’ time. In Madison, A History of the Formative Years, Historian David Mollenhoff writes that Olin’s profession was law, “but parks, beauty & order were his passion.”