Red Lyon & Lyon Brothers Rodeo Company

Red Lyon atop a new bronc. (Courtesy of Delnita Lyon Bray)

By Judy Wade 

From Madison Square Garden in New York City to the Tex Rickard Arena in Henrietta, Lyon Brothers Rodeo Company produced top-notch rodeos across the country in the 1930s and 1940s.

Ask any rodeo old-timer if they knew Kyle Powson Lyon, and they will probably give you a puzzled look and answer, “No.” But ask if they remember “Red” Lyon, and their faces will light up with memories of days gone by.

Red’s dad was from New York, and his mother came from England to Ontario. After they married, they moved to Colorado, where Red was born in Steamboat Springs, Aug. 9, 1886. His dad worked in the syrup fields, copper mines and did some farming. Later the family moved to Texas in a covered wagon. The family also included son Bill, a daughter Mildred and a daughter who died at age two and is buried in Montague.

They eventually moved to Byers, Texas, where the dad worked for Lone Star Gas, and the family lived at the pump station on Dobbs Creek Road.

Red and Bill began rodeoing on the weekends during the depression to make money. Entry fees were 25 cents per event. Red had even been a bronc rider in Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok’s Wild West Shows.

The brothers began buying cattle and horses when they had enough money and eventually had enough stock to form Lyon Brothers Rodeo Company.

Red had met Ruby Chumley at a rodeo in Bowie, and they were soon married. By the time the rodeo company was formed, they had two children, Delbert and Kyle, Jr. Bill also married and had three daughters, Lorraine, Betty and Mary Margaret.

To read more pick up a copy of the July 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

Bob Brown, Bill’s son-in-law, rides one of the Lyon Brothers’ broncs. (Courtesy of Delnita Lyon Bray)
Red on “Old Pal” with Ruby at his side. (Courtesy of Delnita Lyon Bray)