WILLCOX Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees


Elvie James Lane was born November 19, 1901, near Ruidoso, New Mexico to Elmer Taylor Lane and Cordie Crawford Lane.

His father was a cowboy and a jockey. Elvie learned to ride early in life, and went on his first roundup at the age of four. He went with his father, working with cattle and horses all his young life, and developed a skill as a cowboy.

When he was 13, Elvie's father passed away from a lingering illness. It became Elvie's task to provide for his mother, brother Orson and sister Lena.

By this time Elvie had become a fair bronco rider, and went to work for the ranchers near where he lived. At age 15 he went to work for the Monk Cattle Co. A man by the name of Ace Banta worked there also. Ace was a very good bronco rider and helped Elvie. They became very close friends and Elvie learned much from him. Being an excellent rider and lightweight, when a horse race was matched, Elvie was in demand to jockey.

He was quick to learn the cattle business, and at age 17 went to work for the Hancock Ranch above Mud Springs as a bronco rider. He was later advanced to foreman over the cattle, then finally over the sheep also. He thought "this is the end'* when he was given the responsibility of the sheep, but he later enjoyed it.

Elvie and Horace Allen became good friends, and would match each other in a sheep-shearing contest. Horace would usually beat Elvie, as he was stronger and older. They became such good friends that Horace and his wife named their son after Elvie - Rex Elvie, known today as Rex Allen.

On June 7th 1923, Elvie and Mildred Morgan his sweetheart of four years were married by her uncle in Santa Ana, California. Although they returned once to Arizona, for the most part of the next five years he worked in the oil fields as derrick-man in order to save enough money to homestead in Arizona and raise cattle.

They moved back to Arizona and homesteaded on the San Pedro River at Cascabel. There they raised some cattle, and he also worked for the B L Y Ranch and for Bernardo Bidegain.

In 1934 the family moved to the Mule Shoe Ranch where Elvie worked as a rancher, then as foreman for Mrs. McMurray for the next 16 years. While at the Mule Shoe, Elvie and Mildred purchased 700 acres of land in the Stewart district. In 1950 they moved to Willcox on the property they had bought. They ran cattle on leased land for several years. Elvie and Butch Harris bought land at Cochise; later Butch sold his interest to Elvie. After Elvie passed away in 1977, Mildred later sold this Cochise property to Noel and Anna Curry.

Elvie worked for the Arizona Livestock Sanitary Board for over 20 years, retiring in 1973. Elvie was a dedicated man at whatever he was doing. He did things well or not at all. He owned good horses. One of the best, known as Fritzy, was said by many to be one of the best roping and cutting horses in the country. He helped many a young man learn to rope and ride. Some of these have since become champions in that profession.

In 1976 he was honored as a pioneer stockman and charter member of the Arizona Living Stockman Hall of Fame. In 1970 the Arizona Law Enforcement Officer Advisory Council presented him with a certificate of qualification as a peace officer. There were other honors bestowed upon him, but in all his life not once was even one of those certificates ever displayed in our home. They were quietly put away in a drawer among the papers of his everyday life.

Elvie and Mildred are survived by one daughter, Jean (Lane) Crawford, of Prescott, and one grandson, Korby M. Foster, of Mesa. Elvie Lane died in 1977.