The men kneeling in front, L-R: Esky Ingalls, Jack Erickson, Clayton Bradley, Albert Roen, Paul Erickson and Jack Welch.
Those seated on the corral fence, L-R: Joe Bianci, John Roen, Wilbur Bronner, Everett Brescia, Carl Erickson, Pete Stella, Roger Erickson, Jack Bradley and Iver Erickson.
In November of 1947 a community meeting was held with members of the Stanislaus County Centennials Planning Committee present to discuss the possibility of having the County's first Centennial Celebration here in La Grange.
Due to the fact that La Grange was the first County Seat and at the same time the County's most thriving city, it was decided to focus statewide attention on her on April 25, by staging a celebration everyone would remember for years to come.
Mr. Carl Washburn was elected General Chairman of the La Grange Centennial and he asked for suggestions from everyone in order to map out a program that would attract and entertain a large number of people. A rodeo was suggested and the idea, long tampered with, was approved as being a good way of bringing back some of the color to our once booming mining town.
Jack Welch was appointed to call a meeting of the cattlemen and cowboys of our vicinity to see what they thought they could provide. A most enthusiastic meeting was held and enough money advanced by the crowd to purchase materials for construction of rodeo grounds. A rodeo association was formed; officers were elected and committees appointed. Use of the old ball diamond as a rodeo site was offered by Jeff Doolittle and was accepted as a very attractive location.
Dick McGuire of the Tuolumne Gold dredging Company kindly provided equipment and the area was leveled so construction could begin. It had been decided to hold an annual rodeo and parade, so the best of corrals were built, large enough to stage a show that would make people return every spring. Construction of the whole arena has been done by association members and people of the community who approve our plans for an annual rodeo. Many prizes and trophies have been donated by merchants from nearby towns who wish us success.
We wish to express our thanks to everyone who has been so helpful.
Have a good time today -- and we'll see you again next spring.
~The La Grange Rodeo Association
Taken from the original rodeo program from 1948
LA GRANGE RODEO