Legendary CFD Timed Event Chute Boss passed away – Dan Taylor 1923-2010
Ryan Summerlin August 1, 2011
Dan Taylor was born on Sept. 2, 1923, the only son of third generation Texas ranchers, Babb and Kathleen Taylor. In 1952, Dan married Berva Dawn Sorensen they had three lovely daughters, three granddaughters, one grandson and four great grandchildren.
Dan Taylor’s accomplishments are far too numerous to list them all. From the time he graduated from high school in 1941, Dan Taylor was destined to be a rodeo cowboy. When Dan joined the Cowboy Turtles Association in 1941 and was issued Card No. 64, he was the youngest professional roper in the world. Dan Taylor’s first year as a Cheyenne Frontier Days contestant was in 1944 and five years later he started working at ‘Chute 9.’
The Turtles evolved into the Rodeo Cowboys Association and from 1952-1955 Dan served as the Calf Roping Director. The Chute Boss of a rodeo is the individual that holds it all together. He is the organizer, the choreographer, of all the events and details that must go off without a hitch. It is a very responsible position and in 1961 Dan Taylor became the Timed Event Chute Boss of the famous ‘Chute 9’ at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and he continued in that position for a total of 49 rodeos. Dan first competed at CFD when he was just 20 and he went on to either compete or work in an astounding 64 rodeos until he retired in 2009.
Dan Taylor also served as Chute Boss for the NFR for 11 years and the National Finals Steer Roping for 15 years. Dan also served as President of the PRCA during 1986-1987.
The honors list for Dan Taylor is equally long and included being inducted into the Dublin Rodeo Museum, Dublin, Texas; Texas Rodeo Cowboys Hall of Fame; and Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, Oklahoma City, Okla.
In 1967 Cheyenne Frontier Days made Taylor an honorary Heel and in 1986 Dan was awarded a Special CFD Belt Buckle for 25 years as Timed Events Chute Boss. At the 100th Anniversary in 1996, Frontier Days honored Dan for over 50 years of service. Ten years later Dan Taylor was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame.
I did not know Dan Taylor for very long, but I will never forget the man with the smiling face that leaned down from his bench at ‘Chute 9’ in 2004 and said to someone that he did not know, “Hey, young fella, come on up here and you can get a better view for your pictures.” Dan Taylor was a class act.
There was not a bigger supporter or promoter of CFD than Dan Taylor. He truly loved Cheyenne Frontier Days. After Dan passed on Nov. 3, 2010, Berva Dawn wrote in one of her letters that Dan lived for Frontier Days. He was always home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but he lived from one year to the next to return to Cheyenne.
I would like to thank Dan’s good friend Tom Hines for kindly letting me use his research on the biographical data of Dan Taylor’s life. Tom summed up Dan Taylor by saying that Dan was “A Cowboy’s Cowboy” and will be missed by many.