The Williamson County Cowboy Church will induct three Liberty Hill cowboys posthumously into the Liberty Hill Cowboy Hall of Fame during a special ceremony August 31.
The induction of local cowboys into the Hall of Fame has become an annual tradition for the Cowboy Church during its Liberty Hill Pro Rodeo, which is held the last weekend in August.
This year, E.L. Rampy, Tom Foust and Jim Boatright will be inducted into the Hall.
Rick Andrews, director of the Hall of Fame, said Rempe, Foust and Boatright are well deserving of the honor and their families will be recognized during the ceremony.
Andrews said the Cowboy Church started the Hall of Fame last year as a way to recognize the contributions cowboys have made to rural Texas.
“It’s something we came up with, something we wanted to do for the community and something to promote the country lifestyle,” he said.
“We want to recognize all Liberty Hill cowboys and all those who have passed away,” Andrews said. “We’re a cowboy church and we felt like we wanted to have a Hall of Fame for Liberty Hill cowboys — a place where people could come and read about and see what they’ve done.”
Andrews said the three local cowboys were chosen posthumously for what they meant to the local rodeo community.
Below, their families shared memories of their honorees with The Independent.
Emmett Lewis Rampy
E.L. Rampy was born August 31, 1922, and lived most of his life in or around the Liberty Hill area. He married the love of his life, Fannie Simpkins. After proudly serving his country in the US Army, he returned to Liberty Hill where he and Fannie raised their two children, Gene and Barbara.
Rampy was a brick mason by trade. His main loves in life were his family, horses and roping. His love for his community led him to volunteer for many community projects.
One of his proudest accomplishments was being one of the founders of Liberty Hill Riding Club, which introduced rodeo into the community. He instilled this love of rodeo in his family, and his son and grandson continue to carry on his legacy today.
Rampy passed away of a heart attack just hours after roping at a Georgetown rodeo in June 1979. He was truly a remarkable man who was always willing to lend a hand.
Tom Foust was born and raised in the rural community of Concord, which is the area around Bear Creek on County Road 200.
I am pretty sure he rode a horse as soon as he could when he was a little kid because horses were always a very important part of his life. Riding his horse to the big town of Liberty Hill one day caused him to meet his future wife, Ruth Barrington, who was hiding in a peach tree. She whistled at him, and of course he had to find out who was whistling at him, and as they say, the rest was history.
We always had horses to ride or use on the farm to work cattle. In the 1960’s all the horse folks started having ropings and play days at the Liberty Hill Arena, and we didn’t miss many, or any other rodeo around Central Texas.
Tom helped build the arena and was always helping promote events, even helped cook and have barbecues to raise money for the arena upkeep. Tom loved helping everyone. When it came to horses, he would help you find one, sell you one, or help you learn how to ride one, and then teach you how to rope. We always had people coming by the house to look at horses, which Dad really enjoyed.
I have never seen anyone that could talk about horses longer than my dad. He had the breeding lines memorized, it was like a second language to him. He had a pickup load of Quarter Horse Journals saved in the spare bedroom, and just as many books that listed the breeding of Quarter Horses from the beginning of time, I think!
He loved showing off his brood mares and colts to folks, he would take them out to the farm and give them the tour. I can remember as a kid, that we would always ride horses together as a family on Sundays out in the pasture or along the roads.
Tom and Ruth helped form the 4-H Riding Club for kids to have play days. They would have trail rides for the kids and their families and good food always played into the event.
Tom was a member and officer of the Central Texas Quarter Horse Association that met in Belton. He started going to Team Penning events and you could tell he loved every minute of it, and matter of fact, that’s the last time I saw him on a horse, at a Team Penning event at the Marble Falls arena, not too long before he died.
The year after he died, the Bertram Oatmeal Festival named the trail ride, the Tom Foust Memorial Trail Ride in his honor.
I can honestly say that my dad Tom Foust was a real cowboy. Mom always said they had it in their blood, they couldn’t help it, referring to all of the ropers. He could train horses, rope and ride, he could fix any saddle, shoe his own horses, braid rope to make halters or lead ropes, he could doctor his horses and take care of them, and he didn’t mind sharing his knowledge or helping anyone when it came to horses. He passed along the love of horses to his children and was always very proud of their horses and enjoyed watching them rope. I am not too sure he liked barrel racing, but he tolerated it, he probably didn’t want me to mess up the roping horses!
I am sure Tom would be honored and say a great big thank you for the recognition of being inducted into the Liberty Hill Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Jim Boatright was born on Bull Creek in North Austin on January 6,1929. He lived his entire life in this area, Leander, Cedar Park and Liberty Hill. He married Ruth Pruett on September 12,1951, also a local girl. They were married 41 years until her death in 1992. Jim was a business owner and operator of Boatright Excavating and Liberty Excavation until he retired at the age of 75.
He always had a love of horses, cattle, and rodeo. I remember him telling us a story about when he was a teenager he rode his mare to a goat roping (because he didn’t have a trailer), roped goats on her all night, rode her back home and the next morning she had a colt by her side. He didn’t even know she was bred.
“That was one tough ole girl” he’d say with a laugh. He always loved horses and rodeo. A love that he passed on to all of his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. They all still compete in rodeos and carry on his legacy.
Jim and Ruth bought 1869 Ranch in 1982, where he lived until his death in July 2010.
One of his greatest pleasures was breeding and running his race horses, and raising and feeding his cows. If you ever had the pleasure of meeting him you would immediately feel he was a friend. He would greet you with a smile, a firm handshake and a “come on in here.”
“Our heroes have always been cowboys” and he was our hero!