Rodeo Hall Of Fame Honors Oklahomans

Monday, October 18th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

One of the most illustrious cowboys in Hawaiian history is among the newest members of the Rodeo Hall of Fame. Eight rodeo greats were inducted yesterday in ceremonies at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. They include Ikua Purdy, a Hawaiian
paniolo, or cowboy. Twenty of Purdy's family and friends journeyed from Hawaii for the program in Oklahoma City. One of the highlights was the performance of a hula dance in authentic native costumes and leis
to a reading of Purdy's life story. Purdy was born in 1873 and learned to ride and rope on
grasslands and upland forests of Wai-mea and Mauna Kea. In the 1908 world roping championship in Cheyenne, Wyo., he roped a steer in a record 56 seconds. But he never returned to Wyoming to defend his title. Purdy worked as a paniolo until his death in 1945.
Meanwhile, a couple of Okahomans are among the newest inductees in the Rodeo Hall of Fame. Pauline Nesbitt of Nowata and Charley Shultz of Guthrie were honored posthumously during ceremonies Sunday at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Nesbitt began her career as a lady bronc rider in 1922 and switched to trick riding after watching Tad Lucas at a rodeo in San Antonio. She performed in rodeos at Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden. For 20 years, she toured with her husband, Jimmie Nesbitt, one of the top rodeo clowns in the business. Shultz started clowning at small rodeos and picnics. He joined his uncles on the Miller 101 Ranch beginning in 1926 and performed in their Wild West show. When he died at the age of 94, his family believed he was the oldest living performing rodeo clown.