Cowboys and horses

Below are two short stories. The first story is about Louis Marshall, a Bartonsville native and famous cowboy. It’s an unsigned letter written to Mr. Buell, a columnist for the Hartford Courant. It is copied here as written.

The second story is about the 1937 Chester Horse Show and Field Day held at the Buttonwood Farm and Pinnacle. This information comes from a 1937 Bellows Falls Times newspaper clipping. Both sources are from Ted Spaulding.

The cowboy

  “Mr. Ted Buell i.e. Hartford Currant, Chester Vermont Sept. 7, 1932

  “Dear Mr. Buell

  “This is just a little news for the Saddle and column as you requested. As follows

Louie Marshall, Bartonsville cowboy. Photo provided by Ted Spaulding.

  “Mr. Louis Marshall who has been foreman of the Longhorn Ranch for the past two years at West Hartford, Conn. has just completed a ride on his famous horse ‘Blondy’ of 161 miles which was from West Hartford, Conn. to Chester, Vermont.

  “The first stop being at Mr. Jolippins at Southwick. Mr. Jolippin being a great lover of fine horses and having two fine mounts of his own, kindly extended his hospitality for a nights lodging.

  “The next stop being at North Hampton with Mr. Beaumont of Texas who has the riding academy at Smith College and Mr. Marshall wishes to say that Mr. Beaumont has the finest equipment for English riding that he knows of. Mr. Marshall received the best of entertainment while at Mr. Beaumonts.

  “The third stop was at Bernardston with Mr. E.J. McMurdy where the hospitality was of the same nature. The hospitality of Mr. McMurdy was particularly evident from the fact that he awaited the arrival of Mr. Marshall until nearly 11 P.M.

  “The fourth stop was at the Dickinson Estate, owned by Chas. B. Cushman, Esquire, who has a very fine line of stock – Show Stock and Ribbon Winners. Miama, Ebony Girl, Buddy D, Spriggs Choice, Betty and Jackie brought down ‘Blues’ so far this season. The hospitality of Mr. Cushman is unexcelled.

  “Mr. Cushman mounted on ‘Spriggs Choice’ and Miss Pierson on Ebony Girl accompanied Mr. Marshall 24 miles over the Green Mountain Trail to Westminster West.

  “The fifth stop at Westminster West at the estate of Judge Walker consisting of 3000 acres where every courtesy was extended for rider and horse and again we found some most excellent Saddle stock which was shipped from Kentucky two years ago. After this very pleasant experience, the trip was completed the following morning to Chester, Vermont where the horse is being kept at the stable of E.W. Spaulding.

  “Fifty four pictures were taken enroute, the outfit attracting much attention, as the cowboy is as rare in this section as the auto was 25 years ago. Lelia Thompson, owner of Hollywood Briton overtook Mr. Marshall at Granby on her way to Vermont, and wished him success on his long trip.”

Chester Horse Show attracts 4,500 people

“Chester– With approximately 4500 persons in attendance throughout the day and evening, the Chester American Legion Horse Show, which was held all day Monday, took on the appearance of a miniature World’s Fair, according to Paul Adams, who was in charge of the arrangements. The number of tickets sold indicated that 2500 were present during the day and 2000 at night.

  “The event started out to be purely a horse show but the great number of farm folk who were expected to attend decided the program committee to include other events that would be of interest. So a draft class of 11 pairs was entered and judged for ability to do farm work.

1937 Chester Field Day. Photo provided by Ron Patch.

  “The prizes for this class were divided as follows: teamster control won by Alfred Chickering of Westmoreland for form; W.H. Bowler of Chester, best pair under 3000 pounds and second in the free-for-all weight pull; first in free-for-all was Mr. Goodrich of Winchester, N.H.

  “Eleven pairs of oxen from several distant points added to the entertainment as did exhibits of auto trailers, electric wire fencing and a track meet under the supervision of Harold Potter. A cup was awarded in this event.

  “In the horse show there were 45 entries representing the riding clubs of Vermont. New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with 25 members of the Montpelier present to lend their assistance. The judges for the events were Mr. and Mrs. P.R. Burrows, Newmarket, N.H., Judge Dean Davis, Barre, VT., and Mr. Caswell of Indiana. Mr. Caswell had with him a registered Arabian stallion which he keeps at the Upwey Farms in South Woodstock. The animal drew a lot of praise for the many tricks he performed at the command of his master. He was equipped with complete Arabian regalia….

  “Other events…. A pony class for children, an open jumping class, egg and spoon race on horseback and trail rides….”

Those of my age or older will remember Louis Marshall and Mrs. Kelly’s Buttonwood Farm. Many locals worked there.


This week’s old saying. “Do your best….God will do the rest.”

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