Clayton Leon Isaiah

September 7, 1927 - September 17, 1983
Role: Tophand, Cowhand

Clayton was born in Refugio and wanted to be a cowhand from a young age. When he saw the cowhands riding by he'd grab his stick horse and "lope along wid 'em". He started cowboyin' on the O'Connor Melon Creek Ranch with the foreman, Jim Coward. L.V. Terrell showed him the ropes, literally and figuratively. An excellent rider, Clayton loved the horses, handling the baddest ones no matter how bad. Clayton could remember most of the horses he ever rode and talk about them in great detail. Clayton suffered a stroke in his mid fifties and he finished up his first interview with the project by declaring "Sho' like to walk and ride one more time before I die... I wanna ride one more good hoss... with a bad T-C brand on him.

Introduction to Clayton Isaiah

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Clayton Isaiah
Clayton - Working outside, working cattle, yes ma'am I love it. See we used to camp like we use to do long time ago, we camp out and drive the wagon and take the camp cook and cook out. I liked horses and cows. That's all I wanted to be, that's all I knew. Grew up in me I wanted to be a cowboy. In fact that's all the work was around, that's all the jobs we could find. Oh if I could get well, Sure I would. I go, I'd crawl. I'd crawl I loved it I loved it ma'am. They say it's hard but it's not hard for me, wasn't hard for me. I can handle the cowboy I can't handle this stroke. I can handle the cowboy all right. Bad horses and stuff I could ride, it make no difference how bad the horse was. I rode many a bad one. Wasn't no cowboy born that wasn't throwed. He's telling a lie if he say he ain't been throwed, he's lying.