A Sioux County rancher is among this year’s inductees into the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The late Bob Jordan will join 10 others in the 2019 class, which represents the 14th annual induction. The group will be formally inducted June 8 at the 4-H Building at the Cherry County Fairgrounds in Valentine.
Robert D. Jordan was the oldest child of Allen and Mary Jordan, born in Crawford in 1929. He spent most of his life on the family ranch in northern Sioux County, according to the biography submitted to the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. His childhood including riding colts three miles to school in Harrison, a bargain he made with his mom to convince him to finish high school.
Jordan married Deene Preble in 1951, and the couple renovated the bunkhouse on the family ranch and started their family. In addition to raising six children, Jordan continued to ranch and rodeo.
Rodeo was in his blood early, as he often lied to spend Sundays after church testing his skills at the Hoover Stock Contracting Company west of Harrison, the biography says. If he couldn’t find a ride to a rodeo, he simply saddled his horse and made his way there that way. Jordan won the All-Around title at the Crawford PRCA rodeo in the early 1960s and was granted a life membership to the PRCA with Gold Card number 601.
Jordan broke his neck bulldogging in Crawford in 1963, necessitating a body cast. According to his biography, his mother suggested he make deal with his father: he would stop riding rough stock if Allen would quit drinking. The bargain added years to both of their lives, the bio says, but Jordan didn’t completely leave rodeo behind. He remained in the arena as a judge, including time as a rough stock judge during several National High School rodeos.
Jordan also began building a Quarter Horse business with broodmare Miss Pollyanna. Her first colt won the 1962 CHAN Silver Cup for yearling colts. Miss Pollyanna was replaced by her daughter Jordan Polly Do after her death, serving as the dam for three of Jordan’s stallions: Strings Do, Sandy Jack Jordan and Real Pacific.
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“Showing geldings wasn’t something that Bob believed in because that didn’t promote his program as well as showing mares did. He wanted his mares to have show records, too, so he perfected his technique of drafting colts from his show mares onto foster moms,” his biography reads. “Tiny Bay Hancock made all five of her trips to the AQHA World Show packing a colt as she earned her Superior in the calf roping. It was at the World Show where Bob first saw Frosty Feature and knew he found the outcross horse he had been looking for.”
He worked with various partners over the years to have an annual horse sale, with the first four taking place at the Chadron Sale Barn before the sales were moved to Lusk, Wyo., and eventually to Fort Robinson. The horse sales were later moved to Rapid City, S.D., for access to an airport, with the final dispersal sale taking place in Gering after Jordan’s death in 2007.
“There was one thing that remained consistent, regardless where the sale was held--if someone needed to return a horse, Bob would always buy it back at the purchase price. Bob’s horses scattered from coast to coast and border to border. Paul Tierney was putting on a roping clinic in Madison Square Garden when he noticed a big gray horse standing in the corner of the pen. It was of course one that came from the Jordan program. Bob’s vision was to put quality horses in the hands of other PRCA members and he realized that dream more than once,” the biography reads.
At home on the ranch, Jordan and his mother worked to transition the cow herd from Hereford cattle to Angus after Allen’s death in 1974.
He was also instrumental in starting a phone cooperative with neighbors in the area since Ma Bell wasn’t interested in bringing phone service to the remote region at the time. Jordan convinced the telephone operator to ring his home at 2 a.m. to check cows in the spring, meaning everyone on the party line got the same wake-up call.
The other Hall of Fame inductees this year are: Cliff Andre and Kenneth Churchill, both of Cherry County, Linda Applegarth Cleveland, Paul Cleveland, Dr. Gary Sears, John Rothwell and Bernard Spencer, all of Grant County, Elno Kyne of Logan County, Gary Pearman of Hooker County and Jim Sevier of Thomas County.
Tickets for the induction ceremony are on sale now and are available by contacting Rod Palmer at 402-387-2212 or Tiffany Barthel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will begin at 4 p.m. Central Time with a social hour, followed by a benefit auction at 5 p.m., a banquet at 6 p.m. and the induction at 7 p.m.