Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Bill Barbour's Championship Buckle, 1939 Castaic Rodeo
Castaic, California

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Bill Barbour's silver championship buckle from the 1939 Castaic Rodeo.

According to photo contributor Glenn Hays, Barbour, alias Chief Little Horse, gave the buckle to Hays' father, Edward G. Hays, who owned Newhall-Saugus Glass Co. from 1964 to about 1990.

"They were friends back then (in the 1970s) — members of the American Legion, Optimist, Moose, Lions Club, etc.," Glenn Hays writes. "I remember him dressing up" in regalia, and he was "an expert with the bull whip. He would put out people's cigarettes while they were in their mouths."

Bill Barbour, aka Chief Little Horse, was born Haigood Foch Barbour (alternately Highood) on June 15, 1920, in Harnett, N.C., to Lawrence Duffy Barbour and Corena C. Hartsoe Barbour. He had two sisters, Linda Greson and Grace Beasley.

We're still compiling information about him, but it appears Bill Barbour served in the Army during World War II and then found work in Hollywood, possibly as an uncredited extra playing American Indian roles. A silver belt buckle indicates he was the champion of the 1939 Castaic Rodeo; he would have been no more than 19 at the time. At some point he settled at 30335 Sloan Canyon Road in Castaic, where a 1,403-square-foot, 1+1 home (possibly a homestead cabin) had been built in 1913.

Barbour married Carol J. Gundlach on June 28, 1963. He was involved in several fraternal organizations and participated in regional parades in full Indian regalia (including Newhall, Chatsworth and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade) through the early 1970s. He had a whip act and participated in other rodeos (including Bakersfield).

Barbour retired to Benton, Ark., and died in Little Rock on Aug. 28, 2004. He is buried in the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock, Pulaksi County, Ark.

HB3901a: 19200 dpi jpeg from digital image by Glenn Hays.

1939 Champion Buckle

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