January 25, 1925
Robert Clayton Burgess was born January 25, 1925 to Anna Becker Burgess and Harry Burgess. Bob has three brothers and four sisters: Edward, Bernard, Billy, Hazel Mattern, Pauline Burgess, Catherine Weeks, and Francis Dubs. Robert married Huldah Phillips Burgess. Bob has two children and three step-children: Kelly Max, Robin Brockman, Gloria Hinton, Sandy Carr, and Marvin Phillips.
Bob has a true love for the Sandhills, his horses and his cattle.
Bob was raised to be a cowboy by the same as his father. He was always a lover of horses and cattle that were worked on horseback.
By the age of seven or nine, he and his brothers were in the corral on their ponies roping the bucket calves. By the age of 14, he was roping at the local brandings. He learned to rope horses the right way and also became an expert at roping them by the front feet. He soon was wanted by the ranchers on trail drives, such as: Abbotts from Raymond Lake to the Modisett Ranch, about 60 miles, four or five different times; for Harry Minor from home ranch to the Ferguson, 50 miles, three or four different times; two trips with Clyde Hayward, 40 miles; from south of Cody to south of Ashby about 80 miles for Hank Dubs; from north of Hyannis to south of Alliance, 60 miles for Barney Applegarth. He has been from Lake McConaughy, into Dakota on other drives, which lacks about thirty miles of being from Colorado to South Dakota horseback. He also loved his work horses and never had anything else to feed the cattle with.
He worked for Felix and Ed Becker, Barney Applegart5h, Abbotts and was a foreman for Harry Minor on the home ranch for a period of time. Bob lived in Grand County almost all of his life.
Bob started his rodeo career in 1946. He joined the Nebraska State Rodeo Association in the period of 1955 to 1960 and was the third biggest money winner. In 1956, he didn’t join as he didn’t plan on rodeoing, but went to Mullen and won first and third and a buckle. He went on to eleven rodeos and placed at nine. In 1958, he finished third in the state standings. He also won Ogallala’s rodeo against ropers from Texas, New Mexico and Kansas. After that, he did well in team roping as a heeler, but could also head. He ended his rodeo career in 1975 at age fifty at the Hyannis Old Timers’ Rodeo when he won first in his age class.
Bob was always helping family or friends in time of need and like his father, his word was his bond.