Merv Wilson - Working Cowboy
“His horse was his work, his business, his hobby and his pleasure.”
Mervin Wilson was born to Elmer and Mary Wilson in Ainsworth, Nebraska on March 27 1913. When he was young the family moved north of Dodge City. Breaking horses and mules while riding them to school was a way of life for Merv. He, along with his father, hauled horses and mules to Illinois and brought back corn when he was in his 20’s. When he was in his 30’s, Merv and his father purchased palomino horses from Colorado that had never been haltered, ridden or handled, and “green broke” them in 30 days. They brought cattle from a ranch in Gray and Hodgeman Counties to the railroad in Dodge City and rode with them on the train to Kansas City where they sold them. Merv married Velma Tuttle in 1933 and they had five children, Bonnie, Bill, Don, Dean and Leon. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Merv drove cattle on horseback 15 to 20 miles to Dodge City to sell at livestock auctions. As a young cattleman he rounded up, moved and doctored neighbors’ cattle. During his many years working in Dodge City feedlots, he is credited with saving the lives of many cattle because he was quick to spot and treat ill animals in the herd. He worked part-time at feedlot riding pens into his seventies. Merv rode in numerous parades and trail drives in the region. As a member of the Dodge City Marshal’s Posse, he rode in President Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural parade. In 1990 he was a marshal of the Dodge City Days parade. He was a charter member of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo and was President of the Boothill Saddle Club. He was inducted into the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2005. Merv died on October 1, 1994. For 75 of his 81 years Merv was on his horse almost daily. He was married to Velma, who passed on April 15, 2008, for 61 years.
Year inducted: 2010