Southwestern Cowbelles Quilt Is History on Display

1/29/21
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Tickets are now on sale for the Southwestern Cowbelles annual quilt raffle. Although the quilt is 'brand' new, the brands sewn into the fabric represent generations of cattle-ranching history in the region.

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The iconic Southwestern Cowbelles quilt

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may be brand new every year,

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but the old brands sewn into the fabric

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represent generations

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of cattle ranching history in the region.

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You're watching the Local News Network

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brought to you by Big O Tires in Cortez.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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Tickets are now on sale

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for a chance to win

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the Southwestern Cowbelles

iconic brand quilt,

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that will be raffled off during the annual

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Southwestern Colorado

Livestock Associations

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annual meeting and banquet

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on February 13th at the

Montezuma County Fairgrounds.

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You don't need to be present to win

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but you need the presence of mind

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to buy a ticket from a Cowbelles member.

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The Southwestern Cowbelles

quilt raffle is a tradition

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that dates back to 1959,

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just four years after the

chapter formed in 1954.

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Proceeds benefit Cowbelle projects

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and provide scholarships

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for post-secondary

students who plan to pursue

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a career in architecture.

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Each quilt panel represents a

Cowbelle member's family brand

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and while a new handmade quilt

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is pieced together every year,

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it also represents the stories,

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genealogy and history of the

regions ranching families

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for generations,

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say the longtime cowbell

members, Bunny McComb

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and Mary Ellen McComb.

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Bunny and Mary Ellen are shirttail cousins

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and related by marriage through

their husbands' families,

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but they also share a deep history

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in cattle ranching on both sides

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of their own families,

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as represented by their brands.

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Mary Ellen's reverse

four W brand may predate

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the 20th century.

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My dad,

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came from Iowa in 1909,

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and at that time they had the W reverse,

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reverse four W

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and there was four Wilson brothers

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my granddad and his three brothers

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and that's where the 4 Ws came from

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and my dad ended up with it,

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and I have it now and,

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but it was active

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in Iowa back before my dad moved out here

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when he was nine years old in 1909.

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The oldest original

Colorado brand represented

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on the quilt is the canceled V,

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which was registered

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with the Colorado brand office in 1909.

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It now belongs to Rilla King,

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Shelldonna Zwicker Ives and Irene King.

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Brands passed from

generation to generation,

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but like land title must

be transferred legally

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to the next owner.

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To keep a brand, owners must pay

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an annual assessment fee $300

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to the brand inspector's office

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in the Colorado Department of Agriculture,

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or the title will be canceled.

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The brand inspectors website

reports that Colorado

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has more than 30,000

registered brands on the books.

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You can also reinstate a lapsed brand

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or create your own.

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People can also create your own brand.

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My son just a couple years ago,

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we were going to use

my own father's brand.

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It was a brand that was

in Nebraska and Wyoming

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and when we put in for it

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there was something

similar already in Colorado

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so we couldn't get the brand.

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So my son designed his own brand.

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And so his brand is not very old

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but it's very personal to him,

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I mean, because he designed

it himself and everything.

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So some brands are very new

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and they do have to be

approved by the state,

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but then you have very, very old brands.

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So, but it's all about

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making sure you keep

track of your livestock.

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No one steals from you

or accidentally sells it.

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If you'd like to take a

look at this year's quilt

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it's on display in the front

window of Brand Central

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on Main Street in Cortez.

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To buy a ticket contact Bunny McComb

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at 970-560-4807

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and to learn more about

the Southwestern Cowbelles,

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visit their Facebook page.

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Be sure to stay in touch and up-to-date

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with your local news source

on Twitter or Instagram

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and thanks for watching the local news.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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