Bill Pickett to be a rodeo star, actor, and the an initial African American cowboy. He winner acclaim for being the an initial to carry out bulldogging, a rodeo occasion that entails wrestling a steer to the ground and also became a crowd-pleaser at Wild West events.

You are watching: What was bill pickett nickname when he was performing

Early days

Bill to be born December 5th, 1870 in Williamson County, Texas. He to be the second of 13 youngsters born to former slaves, cutting board Jefferson Pickett and Mary Virginia Elizabeth Gilbert. He had actually African American and Cherokee ancestry. After 5th grade, he left school to end up being a full time ranch hand. Through observing how bulldogs stunned cows, he created his own style of command wrestling, coming to be the very first to perform the method called bulldogging.


In 1890, Pickett married Maggie Turner, a former slave, and daughter the a white southern plantation owner. The pair had ripe children.<6>

From entrepreneur to star

By 1888 his family moved to Taylor Texas, where he and his 4 brothers started their very own business, the Pickett brothers Bronco Brothers and also Rough Riders Association.

In 1900 he became a showman, sponsored by Lee Moore, a Texas rodeo entrepreneur.

His reputation as a crowd-pleasing show spread, and he to be sought after by Wild West shows.

At the 1904 Cheyenne Frontier Days, performing under the nickname The Bulldogger, that turned in a spectacular performance that was composed up in the Wyoming Tribune.

Pickett had a unique method described in theWyoming Tribune. Pickett would

"attack a fiery, wild-eyed and powerful steer, dash under the large breast the the good brute, turn and sink his solid ivory teeth right into the upper lip the the animal, and throwing his shoulder versus the neck that the steer, strain and twist until the animal, with its head drawn one method under the managing influence that those merciless teeth and its body forced another, until the brute, under the strain of gradually bending neck, quivered, trembled and also then sank come the ground."

Pickett"s performance additionally came to the fist ofHarper"s Weeklywhere it to be reported nationally. Pickett also came to the fist of the miller Bros. 101 wild west show who available Pickett a role. Harper"s reported:

"20,000 human being watched v wonder and also admiration, a mere man, unarmed and without a maker or appliance of any type of kind, attack a fiery, wild-eyed, and powerful steer and throw the by his teeth."


In 1907 using the nickname Dusky Demon, Pickett performed in the 101 Ranch Wild West display with other industry greats together as will certainly Rogers, Buffalo Bill, Tom Mix, and also the well-known cowgirl Lucille Mulhall.

With the 101…he likewise performed because that Queen Alexandra. He to be also permitted to travel on the show"s train in the passenger cars fairly than travelling in the cattle cars whereby blacks generally rode. once Pickett passed away in 1932, will Rogers interrupted his nationwide radio regime to offer a personal eulogy. Pickett was the an initial black to it is in inducted right into the Rodeo Cowboy room of Fame. http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/frontierdaysstart.html

Since Bill had actually African-AmericanandCherokee ancestry, he offered that when needed. Once the racist plans of reflects wouldn’t enable blacks to perform, invoice would determine himself as Comanche, perhaps since it was an ext convincing since there weren’t many Cherokee people in Texas.

Pickett performed until about 1916, working as a cowhand and also rancher thereafter. That later showed up in the quiet filmsThe Bull-Dogger(1921) andThe Crimson Skull(1922).

Last days

In 1932, after having actually retired from Wild West shows, bill Pickett was kicked in the head through a bronco and died after ~ a multi-day coma.

See more: Buy A Pig In A Poke " - The Saying A Pig In A Poke

Bill Pickett"s grave and also the White Eagle Monument are located on the ranch grounds of the miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show.



In They dice by Dawn (2013),the movie, invoice Pickett is shown byBokeem Woodbine.In in march 2015, the Taylor City the supervisory board announced the a street that leads come the rodeo arena will certainly be change the name to honor invoice Pickett. The Williamson ar Expo facility is now situated at 5350 bill Pickett Trail, Taylor, TX 76574Two publications have been written around Pickett"s life