Celebrations of Old Timer Reunions held in the early 1900’s were the beginning of what is now Dogie Days.
Residents gathered with picnic lunches on the courthouse grounds, spread them on the ground and enjoyed lemonade from barrels with spickets.
The day was spent visiting with neighbors, horse races, baseball, roping and bronc riding.
In 1947, the celebration changed from Old Settlers Day to Dogie Days. This was the first barbecue provided by area farmers, ranchers and the Dumas Rodeo Association. O. B. Thomas and Bob Brent were in charge of serving the meal. The meat was prepared in the same way it still is today: seasoned and wrapped in burlap bags one week before the day it is served, stored at about 38 degrees, cooked in a pit covered with tin and dirt. It was served with beans, onions, pickles, bread and apricots or peaches.
The Dumas Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce and Dumas Rodeo Association furnished cold water, tables, chairs and drinks.
Music was by Pee Wee Stewart and his Cumberland Mountain Boys, a famous nine-piece hillbilly band that played old-time trail favorites.
Committee members who arranged the barbecue were Lew Haile, F. A. Schroeter, Carl McDowell, Charles Jameson, W. J. Morton Jr., and Henry Ham.
According to an article in the July 31, 1947, edition of The Moore County News, “Sponsors of the barbecue emphasize that it is not a free barbecue for the general public. To throw it wide open like that, would be to far exceed the ability of the sponsoring group both in the matter (of) labor and food”.
The party was for “old-timers” and to qualify a resident had to have lived in Moore County for the past fifteen years.
Badges were given to “old-timers”. The badges would admit the wearer to the Evelyn or Star Theatres for the matinee show on Friday afternoon, courtesy of theatre manager Hall McMurry and the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Powell.
Quarter horse races were held at the rodeo grounds located west of the railroad tracks. The rodeo association arranged a series of six races between “some of the fastest horses in this section of the country.”
The Grand Old Settlers Ball started at 9 p.m. Friday at the Dumas Skating Rink. The Cumberland Mountain Boys played for the dance.
The carnival and midway was held on Seventh Street, east of the former First State Bank.
The celebration included lots of prizes for those in attendance:
• Oldest male old timer who had lived in the county continuously for the past 20 years – a pair of cowboy boots donated by Palmer Dry Goods Co.
• The oldest female old timer – an Admiral portable radio from Boxwell Bros. Hardware Company
• Youngest old timer – a lapel watch from Barber Drug Company
• Largest family – a 1947 Philco deep freeze
• New married couple (married in Moore County on or after January 1, 1947) – an electric Apex Vacuum Cleaner from Teter Motor Company
• Best float or decorated car in the parade - $50 cash
• Best dressed cowboy in the parade – a Stetson hat from Pete’s Man’s Shop
• Best dressed cowgirl in the parade – a new fall hat, a purse and accessories from The Style Shop
• Second place float winner – a Regina electric floor polisher from Cornelius Supply
• Best decorated bicycle – a year’s pass to the Evelyn Theatre
• Second place decorated bicycle - $10 from Moore County News
• Third place decorated bicycle – a year’s pass to the Star Theatre
• Best industrial float – Dinner at any downtown café and theatre tickets to the Evelyn Theatre for ten employees and their wives
• Most novel, catchy, original or unique entry in the parade - $15 cash award
According to the July Moore County News, “All in all, it should be a whale of a day for the folks, who blazed the trails in Moore County”.
Compiled from archives at Window on the Plains Museum, July 31, 1947 edition of The Moore County News