Lucille Mulhall died on this day in 1940 near Mulhall, Oklahoma, in a tragic car-truck collision.
Born in 1884, Lucille was the daughter of the legendary traveling showman Zack Mulhall. Growing up around horses and cattle, Lucille learned riding and steer-roping at an early age, and eventually became well-known as a great trick rider and roper, performing in her father's show as well as in the 101 Ranch Show and as a featured performer in New York.
Her delicate appearance often fooled her contemporaries. Theodore Roosevelt once bet her a white Stetson hat that she couldn't rope a coyote. He lost. Lucille's second husband, Texas oil man Tom Burnett, also lost when he bet Lucille she couldn't rope and tie a steer in 30 seconds. She did it in 28 seconds.
Will Rogers claimed that Lucille Mulhall was the first woman to be legitimately referred to as a "cowgirl."
Categories: Pop-Culture, Sport, Old-West, Trailblazing-Women