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2016 Hall of Fame Inductee
Isador "Lolo" Munoz

Born near Monterey, CA, in 1868, Lolo was the last of the true old time Spanish Vaqueros.  He set out on his own when he was eleven, working on some of the largest ranches in California and Nevada.  Lolo had no formal education, however in talking with him or working with him, not being able to read or write would not come to mind.  In the late 1800s he experienced something few other cowboys ever had, he helped trail turkeys, as you would cattle, from Surprise Valley, CA, to market in Reno, NV, a distance of 160 miles.
Lolo went to work for the Ellison Ranching Company, who had five large ranches, in 1924, and worked for the Company for the rest of his life, (over 30 years), well into his 80s.  His wages varied from $420.00 per year to $125.00 per month, including room and board which consisted, for the most part, of a buckaroo-tepee-tent and a bedroll.  Lolo took great pride in his appearance and gear as all of those old time vaqueros did.  His appearance sitting on a wagon tongue in a featured article by LIFE MAGAZINE in 1949 is an attest to his pride in his appearance and his gear.  He was a small man, with an enormous handlebar moustache, grayish medium hair, a weathered face and medium sideburns.  He had ridden in from the field and had unsaddled his horse before the folks from LIFE MAGAZINE showed up for the photo shot.  The picture was for real, he did not dress up for the occasion.  Lolo rode every day in his best.

Lolo Munoz rode an old time Visalia saddle made by D. E. Walker of the Visalia Saddle Company in San Francisco, CA, and carried a 50ft rawhide riata.  His bridle was silver mounted with a silver mounted Santa Barbara spade bit which included rawhide reins.  He was a top hand and roper; one of the best at heeling calves out on the open range on a rough brush strewn rodear ground.   His fingers were kind of gnarled and crooked but they just fit perfectly on his bridle reins and riata.   At near 85 years old Lolo was still saddling his own horse, riding with the rest and drawing wages.  In the spring and fall when moving cattle, those days were long and usually seven days a week. 

There are statements made by some that knew Lolo that they had never witnessed him show anger or use foul language.  That he was polite and didn’t say much, a scholar, in his own way, and a gentleman he was.  Isador “Lolo” Munoz was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in Winnemucca, NV in 1995 and inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, TX July 23, 2016.  Lolo had a good life and it served him well into his 80s. He had survived a major part of western history; the killing of Custer, 1876, at the Little Big Horn in Montana; the slaughter at Wounded Knee, 1890, in South Dakota; completion of the Trans Continental at Promontory Point, 1869, in Utah; the surrender of Chief Joseph to General O. Howard, 1877, in Montana; Oklahoma Land Rush in 1886; sinking of the Titanic, 1912; WWI, WWII; and the Korean War.   Lolo died in Elko, NV, April 12, 1954, having spent nearly all of his life in the saddle.

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