For over 100 years the citizens of Nampa have banded together to form a strong community.
Even though the name has changed several times, the heart always remains the same.
When it came time for the Nampa Harvest Festival in 1915, property owners who had their clotheslines torn down and their gardens trampled objected to another bucking contest unless better facilities could be obtained in which to hold it. Because of this, the Harvest Festival Board booked the Irwin Brothers’ Cheyenne Frontier Days Wild West Show. It was held at the baseball park.
The show had Indians, buffalo, prairie schooners, etc. Maybe that is why the men in later years considered this the date of the first rodeo, because it was the first time an admission was charged.
Local riders took part in the cowboy contests and $10 each was awarded to Andrew Page, Cy Johnson, Glen Sebern and Robert ‘Bab’ Foster for their participation.
The gate receipts were almost doubled by the cost of putting on the show and an automobile had to be raffled off to help pay the bills.
They went back to a simple, locally-staged bucking contest in 1916, but there were only two entries, a man whose last name was Breshears and Max Philpot.
The Nampa Leader-Herald gave this account: “Philpot made a spectacular ride, but was thrown twice. However, the horse that threw him also made Breshears to pull leather. The other horse was ridden by both boys so the judges divided the purse between them.”
In April of 1917, the United States entered World War I and this interesting note was found in the newspaper concerning the Harvest Festival in September:
“Practically all of Company B attended the festival parade together. It was probably the last time the boys will have an opportunity to come home. On August 5, these men ceased to be National Guardsmen and became units of the regular Army to be a unit of the 41st division.”
The exhibits were smaller and prizes were paid in Thrift Stamps in 1918 as the war greatly affected the Harvest Festival. There was no mention in the newspaper of a bucking contest along with the festival that year.
In 1919, the festival secured the help of Fred Mock in putting on a fictional drama which many believed as the truth. It seems that Mock appeared as Chief Nampa during the festival. Dressed as an Indian, he rode in the parade, wrote letters in Chinook, made speeches in Chinook and then had them translated for the crowds into English. He sat before his teepee and entertained visitors. Many believed he was actually the famous Indian chief for which the city of Nampa was named.