1 (edited by wlbaye 2009-06-23 15:03:22)

Topic: North Dakota Cowboy

Hello Everyone,

  Just thought I would share a story with you on my Great Grandfather. He has been selected to be Inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.
  He passed on when my father was only twelve, but he told him lots of stories and most of the stories are just hearsay. My father is now gone also but My father told me that how he got to Brownsville Texas was with his father and sister on a ship with a load of horses from Spain and that would explain why he did not have a citizenship.
   This weekend my wife and I are going to the ceremony at Medora N.Dak.  this is the story from the website.

    In the Pre-1940 Ranching Division, the 2009 inductee is:

Perfecto Fernandez, aka Georgie Baye, of Fort Berthold Reservation and Morton County was born in Brownsville, Texas, in 1861. His first cattle drive was to Wyoming in 1875 and, he then moved on to Dakota Territory. He helped Pierre Wibaux drive longhorns from Texas to Montana and worked as a horse wrangler. Fernandez was riding for the Little Missouri Livestock Association and took part in the massive roundup with Teddy Roosevelt in 1884. In 1885, he moved to the White Earth Valley and was the horse foreman and bronc buster five miles north of Hall’s Trading Post. Fernandez made saddles, as well as rawhide braided ropes, reins and bridles and horsehair saddle pads, during the long winter months. The Marquis de Mores gave Perfecto and Hall matching Colt 45-caliber revolvers, and the two were frequent guests at the Chateau de Mores. Fernandez made his way to Mandan when President Theodore Roosevelt came to N.D. in 1903. He hopped on the train and went on to Medora with the President. Roosevelt orchestrated Fernandez’ citizenship and gave him the name Georgie Baye.

Fernandez continued a horse operation with Ed Hall, breeding draft horses. En route to the Red River Valley to sell matched teams to harvest operations, they were able to perfectly train the pairs on the trail and could command prices anywhere from $800 to $1,200 per team. Fernandez settled on Bennie Peer Creek in McKenzie County to raise sheep and horses. In the late 1890s, he married Margaret Smith in Sanger, N.D., and they had three sons. He died in 1935, and his final resting place is near the Cross Ranch, near Sanger.


My father told me he played guitar and harmonica very well and used some kind of Spanish style finger plucking, I don't know what that means but I am going to research it some more and ask some questions at the ceremony In Medora N.D  this weekend.

Later, Wayne P

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

That's really cool...You come from good stock!!!

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Re: North Dakota Cowboy


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Re: North Dakota Cowboy


  Thats a great story, It's great to learn from where our Parents and Grandparents came from and what they did, all the stories, knowledge, the things they have seen, done and experianced, in what was certainly a different time than ours, thanks for sharing!


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Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Very cool story Wayne. I did a little search and it seems the Spanish were the original cowboys. From wiki:

The English word cowboy has an origin from several earlier terms that referred to both age and to cattle or cattle-tending work.

The word "cowboy" appeared in the English language by 1725.[3] It appears to be a direct English translation of vaquero, a Spanish word for an individual who managed cattle while mounted on horseback. It was derived from vaca, meaning "cow."[4] This Spanish word has a long history, developed from the Latin word vacca. Another English word for a cowboy, buckaroo, is an Anglicization of vaquero.[5] At least one linguist has speculated that the word "buckaroo" derives from the Arabic word bakara or bakhara, also meaning "heifer" or "young cow", and may have entered Spanish during the centuries of Islamic rule.[6]

The Spanish originated what we now consider the cowboy tradition, beginning with the hacienda system of medieval Spain. This style of cattle ranching spread throughout much of the Iberian peninsula and later, was imported to the Americas. Both regions possessed a dry climate with sparse grass, and thus large herds of cattle required vast amounts of land in order to obtain sufficient forage. The need to cover distances greater than a person on foot could manage gave rise to the development of the horseback-mounted vaquero.

Congrats to Great Grampa Georgie Baye!

Rule No. 1 - If it sounds good - it is good!

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

wlbaye  .. what a geat peice of family history

               Gotta be a song in this ... "Ballard of Georgie Baye"

Re: North Dakota Cowboy


Tops I think in the old days we called fellars like you bookworms, don't know about now days with all this fancy machinery. You sure can dig up some info.

Hello Flatpicker,

     I have been workin on "Desperado's Waiting For A Train" by Guy Clark  and I'm gonna do a video with the pics I have of
'"Perfecto" . I have a nice pic of him playing guitar in a rockin chair when he was gettin old.
     He was raising my father when he died so , my dad had alot of stories, just wish he was around to share some.

Later, Wayne P

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Hi Wayne ... What a great choice of song to go with your pics ..will look forward to
                   watching the video  .... Going to be a real interesting weekend for you
                   and your family ... please lets us know what happend.

                      cheers Mark ...   Only cowboys we have over here are builders !! lol

Re: North Dakota Cowboy


Perfecto is my great-great grandfather. I tried emailing you a while back. My Great Grandfather was his son George Baye. It would be great to get into contact with you to share any info as i am researching this side of the family. You can contact me at donniezorn@gmail.com

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

great story.  It is always neat to find more of ones history.

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I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Great story Wayne.  I stopped and spent a day in Medora a couple years ago.  Had to be some tough hombres to make a living there back when your great grandfather was around.  It'll probably be pretty cold up there this weekend I'm guessing. 

My youngest daughter and I spent some time searching my family history this year.  I could only trace back to my great-grandfather on my dad's side.  He was born in 1828 and died in 1865 in the Civil war, leaving my great-grandmother with 5 kids and pregnant with my grandfather.  The search did inspire me to write several songs about the history and area of eastern KY where three generations of my family lived.  I'm looking forward to seeing your video when it's done. Be sure to post it for us.


I want to read my own water, choose my own path, write my own songs

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Intersting family history,thans for sharing it with us,I live about one hundred miles from Sanger.

my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Hi Wayne! He was my Great Great Grandfather. He was my fathers great grandfather. Does that make you my fathers cousin?

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Thanks for sharing ...

-[ Musician, writer, guitarist, poor singer ]-
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Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Jshaw it is real cool to read your post and how you and Wlbaye are related through your interesting family history.

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

sorry to burst your bubble guys but the original post is dated 2009. Wlbaye last visited in january 2016 so i don't know if he's looked at your replies especially the latest ones. it would be interesting to know if you related to him made contact?

Ask not what Chordie can do for you, but what you can do for Chordie.

Re: North Dakota Cowboy


don't you know American cowboys are slow - they are on horseback !  smile

It would truly be a great story if they found our they are related however.

quite interesting read at least

Glad it was shared


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Make your life count, and the world will be a better place because you tried.

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Re: North Dakota Cowboy

it is a great story I enjoyed reading it. me being the lazy person that I am, I am not going to type out the story I would tell but ask you to google the "poisoned wedding" a story from Texas history in the 1830's my great ,great grand father was the preacher in  this event. something the internet doesn't tell you about him he started the first Baptist  church in Texas.

out of tune out of key and out of touch

19 (edited by Peatle Jville 2017-11-17 22:55:59)

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Mojo's great ,great grand father Elder William Brittain was the preacher in  this event.
Elder William Brittain, a Baptist preacher and cotton buyer, arrived in 1837 to found, in his home,  the first Baptist church in Texas, along with a cemetery. A school followed in 1838
A tragic, unthinkable incident in the spring of 1847, frequently associated with the Regulator-Moderator War, remains after 157 years one of East Texas’ worst mass murders.

In the isolated settlement of East Hamilton in Shelby Country, many of those who ate a cake while attending a wedding supper came down with a sudden illness and over a period of days as many as forty individuals may have died.

The wedding supper, a common event in small communities of the l840s, was to honour a young couple following their marriage ceremony.

In May of 1847, the Texas Telegraph and Register of Houston, reported: “We learn from San Augustine...that seventy or eighty persons who attended a wedding...on the evening of the 22nd (of April), were taken ill immediately...and eight or ten died, evidently from the effects of poison.”

On May 23, 1847, a letter written in Bayou Sara, Louisiana to a friend contained the particulars of the incident. The culprit was allegedly a man known as Wilkinson, “a man of bad character and a notorious hog thief,” Wilkinson was apparently accused of stealing the hogs of Spot Sanders, whose daughter was to marry a man named Morris.

The 1847 letter said that “old Wilkinson and his wife, and Morris’ wife, were arrested and examined before Squire Sanders, who committed them to prison.” Wilkinson was brought before a magistrate and released. “He was afraid to leave the house during the day, as there were persons determined on killing him,” said the l847 letter.

During the night Wilkinson supposedly escaped on a horse brought to him by Morris. Eight men rode off in pursuit of him with intentions to kill him on sight. In an account printed in the Telegraph and Register in May, 1847, Wilkinson was captured and hung.

“It is said that he confessed and had given the arsenic to the cook purposely to be mixed in the cake, and that he cautioned the bride and other members of the family not to eat the cake,” said the newspaper.
Elder William Brittain, who  officiated at the wedding, entered the names of several members of his own family on the deaths page in his family Bible.

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

History is amazing - so many untold stories !

Mojo - there has gotta be a great song in there man !

I love stuff like this

Good research Peatle! smile

Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but what your mind can imagine.
Make your life count, and the world will be a better place because you tried.

"Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except only the the best." - Henry Van Dyke

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

That is an amazing story, wow mojo and ditto to what Tig said, must be a song in that family history smile  Thanks Peatle for finding the info smile

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Re: North Dakota Cowboy

dang Peatle that's some good detective work, thanks for posting  what I was to lazy to do . I have thought about writing a song about it just never really came up with anything that I thought was any good. maybe I will give it another go.
none of the cattle drives passed through east Texas but who knows maybe ole Perfecto and some of my ancestor may have crossed paths back in the day before he headed north.
a few more historical connections Williams brother was general George Brittain the father of Harlan county ( as in the song you will never leave Harlan alive, I don't remember the name of the song) and their father Nathaniel died in the revolutionary war in 1777.
interesting stuff if you like history

out of tune out of key and out of touch

23 (edited by Peatle Jville 2017-11-19 01:51:05)

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Mojo you have an interesting family history to base your songs on. I like the lyrics to the first verse iin that  song You Will Never Leave Harlan Alive .

In the deep, dark hills of eastern Kentucky
That's the place where I trace my bloodline
And it's there I read on a hillside gravestone
"You will never leave Harlan alive"

Mojo's great ,great grand uncle often referred to as the "Father of Harlan County," General  George Brittain was born about 1768 in Wythe County, Virginia. By 1800, he had moved from Virginia to the part of Kentucky that was to become Harlan County.
He reputedly built a race track and kept a fine string of race horses. Brittain served as a colonel in the War of 1812 and was active in early civic affairs in what was then Knox County. He served that County in the Kentucky State Legislature from 1813 to 1814 and was instrumental in the establishment of Harlan County in 1819. He was also active in the local Home Guard, or Militia as it was often referred to, and that is probably where he acquired the title of General George Brittain.
Brittain continued his civic activities after the formation of the County and acted as the first County and circuit court clerk. Most of the official County records of the 1820's were written or recorded by him and his signature is on the 1820 census and tax records.
Harlan County was named after Major Silas Harlan, a Virginian who came to Kentucky in 1774 and took part in many battles fought with the Indians. The Major was killed in the Battle of Blue Licks fought near Maysville, Kentucky.

Re: North Dakota Cowboy

Peatle, I need to hire you as my personnel historian

out of tune out of key and out of touch