Back When They Bucked with Logan Adams
Written by: Courtesy< Back to Articles
story by Merrill A. Ellis
Logan Adams grew up in a rural Texas community. Actually, he was born on his grandparent’s Carpenter Ranch which is nestled outside of the Texas Hill Country town of Medina. His other grandparent’s ranch on the Adams side of the family was just down the road. The Texas raised cowboy had a passion for riding, roping, and the western way of life. He attributes this to his numerous uncles who taught him these skills while tending to the ranches. Even though he learned these abilities at a very young age, he never participated in a rodeo during his youth.
He was always a competitive athlete. While in high school he enjoyed participating in every sport offered. He even was a Texas state qualifier in discus, an all district football player and captain of his football team.
“The entire community followed us to our football games. The joke was the last one out of Medina should turn out the lights,” Logan stated with a smile.
Football was his passion. After being recruited by the Sul Ross State University Lobo Football team he continued to excel in sports. One of his friends at SRSU was the famed, Dan Blocker, who enjoyed an illustrious career on the TV show, Bonanza.
After a year of football at Sul Ross, the football coach decided to take a job at Southwest Texas College in San Marcos. He asked Logan to be a part of that football team and he did. While at Southwest Texas College, he began to dabble in the sport of rodeo.
“The coach told me I had to quit football or quit rodeo due to eligibility reasons. So, I decided to pursue rodeo,” stated Logan.
In a matter of fact, while on his first date with his late wife, Mabel, he won the steer wrestling at a rodeo in San Marcos. He had met her through his first cousin, Betty Ann Carpenter. She and Mabel were suite mates at Baylor University.
“Yep, Betty Ann grabbed my winnings and took it upon herself to make sure we all had a good time that night,” Logan stated with a smirk.
The rodeo world has a unique way of luring young men and women into its sport. And it did just that to Logan.
Being raised in Bandera County he had numerous Rodeo Cowboy Association (RCA) World Champions to idolize and ask questions about their roping expertise.
The late Ray Wharton, 1956 RCA World Champion Calf Roper, was Logan’s selected mentor.
“He got me started by encouraging me to rope and really practice with determination. He thought I had some potential and he pushed me to go ahead,” stated Logan.
He continued, “He allowed me to practice on his horses which was a great benefit for a young roper.”
In 1956, Adams was issued a permit by the RCA. He decided that he was ready to compete against the “big boys” of the organization and he entered his first pro rodeo in Kerrville, Texas.
He stated, “One of the biggest moments of my roping career was winning the first RCA rodeo I went to in Kerrville. It was just down the road from my hometown and I had a lot of family and friends there to watch.”
It was not until 1960 after a successful ranching career that he decided to pursue his dream of rodeo.
“I quickly filled my permit at Independence, Missouri. I choose rodeos where I could participate and manage my ranching operation.”
Logan won or placed at almost every major RCA rodeo in the United States roping calves.
In the 60’s, he and his wife, Mabel were featured in the Fort Worth Star Telegram as a unique rodeo couple. Mabel, a city raised girl, was participating in the ranch rodeo barrel race and Logan was roping calves. The two were also showcased in the Houston Post during the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. This was Mabel’s hometown.
Logan was a skilled match roper. He won 10 out of 12 matches. In 1966, he was recruited by Elizabeth Hopson, to ride her stallion, Montes Joker in the Appaloosa Sweepstakes 10 head calf roping. He won the competition two years in a row.
In 1970, he purchased John Clay Cattle Company, a major livestock marketing firm in the United States. He has made a life long commitment to the cattle industry. Weekly he gave the market report to Perry Kallison’s farm and ranch radio show in San Antonio. Kallison was one of the founders of the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. Logan also maintained his childhood roots in Medina, Texas where he engaged in an active ranching lifestyle.
He has been involved with the Rodeo World in various capacities most of life. He has judged Miss Rodeo Texas, served on the Bell County PRCA Rodeo Committee, produced the Texas Circuit PRCA Steer Roping Finals and produced the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Southern Region Finals.
There have been many good calf roping horses purchased throughout the years from Logan that have helped other ropers excel. He always had a knack for taking a horse to the next level in the competitive calf roping arena.
“I quit roping off of a horse at the age of 80. I just decided it was time,” he stated. “This was very difficult time for me because it is something that I have enjoyed doing most of my life.”
Logan and his wife, Mabel were married 60 years before she passed away in June of 2016. As a former deacon of a First Baptist Church, he now spends his Sundays worshiping at 3C Cowboy Fellowship in Salado, Texas.
“I have always been a prayerful man. I know that with God we will get through the storms and he will give us strength,” explained Adams.
One of his greatest passions during his career has been teaching numerous cowboys and cowgirls to rope. This also carried through to his own three children, Merrill A. Ellis, John Logan and Jimmy, who each had roping careers of their own.
Some of those cowboys he helped included the following: Richard Thompson (deceased)-Texas High School Rodeo Association Champion and National High School Rodeo Champion, Johnny Kirk Edmondson-American Junior Rodeo Association Champion, College National Finals Champion. two times PRCA Texas Circuit Champion, Billy Albin, College National Finals Rodeo Champion, and Roy Angermiller-NIRA Southwest Region Steer Wrestling Champion, PRCA Texas Circuit Steer Roping Champion and Calf Roping Qualifier, and eight times NFR Steer Roping Qualifier.
Logan Adams is pleased to be a Gold Card holder in the PRCA. In 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. During his induction speech he stated, “All I ever wanted to be was a cowboy and I am proud to say I am.”
Merrill A. Ellis is the daughter of Logan Adams. She is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University where she earned a master’s degree in communications and education.She currently serves on the board of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni.