June 19, 1902 – June 1, 1956
Jack Webb, colorful Salt Fork valley rancher, was found dead Friday night in the famous 101 Ranch Buffalo pasture that was part of his cattle ranch. Webb, who was believed to be in his late 50’s, was found asphyxiated in the cab of his pickup truck, parked near a creek that runs through the pasture, just south of the Salt Fork in Noble County. John Ramsey, Noble County sheriff, W.E. Rice, Noble County district attorney, and Undersheriff Norman Coffelt, Kay County, who investigated, said Webb had taken his own life. The former Wild West show star, who for a time directed the 101 Ranch Wild West show and starred in it, had been in ill health in recent months. He suffered from cancer. Investigating officers said Webb had been dead since sometime before noon Thursday. He was last seen when he picked up his mail at the Marland postoffice about 10:00 Thursday morning.
When he failed to keep appointments Thursday evening and Friday afternoon, friends began to search and found him in the pasture where the Miller Brothers once kept their famous buffalo herd. Webb ran cattle in that pasture, and others, on land where he once rode as a rodeo star for the 101. He lived north of the Salt Fork near the old rodeo grounds, in a spacious log cabin home he built about 20 years ago. He lived alone. The body was found by Lawrence Evans of Ponca City and Marland, who occasionally helped Webb handle stock on the ranch. Webb left a note asking another friend Gareth Muchmore, to notify his daughter, Mrs. Charles E. Wahl of Princeton, N.J., the former Jean Webb. She and her husband are flying to Ponca City to complete arrangements. The funeral is to be held at 3 p.m. Monday at the Miles Funeral Chapel. Webb’s oft-spoken request is to be on Cowboy Hill in the heart of the old 101 Ranch, just south of Webb’s headquarters ranch. The hill for many years has been the meeting place for cowpunchers of the Cherokee Strip country. He will be buried beside his long-time friend and Wild West show associate, the late Col. Zack T. Miller of the famous ranch.
Trick Shot Artist
Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, and a grandson, Kenneth Schley Wahl. Webb was known as one of the world’s greatest trick shot artist with either pistol or rifle and was recognized as the greatest living trick roper. During his rodeo career, he also was a trick rider and cowboy singer. A versatile performer, Webb played the guitar and piano, wrote cowboy songs and was writing a book about western characters he had known when he died. He from time to time had sung over radio station WBBZ, and elsewhere, and was a frequent contributor of humorous articles to the Peoples Column of the Ponca City News. He had led an adventurous life, friends said, that included service in the Army ad at one time he was a member of and pistol instructor for the New York State Police. He was a native of California, but considered Oklahoma his home.
The Night Guard by Jack Webb, recorded 5/27/1930 for Victor Records