Entrance of the Amphitheater & Plaza
M.H. Henry & Stephen Henry
M.H. Henry is a genuine “cowboy artist.” M.H. was born in the rugged hill country of Central Texas, and grew up during the depression years. It was during his childhood that he developed an interest in drawing, sketching on any surface available. Creek bottom sand, for instance, was one of his favorite mediums because paper was scarce.
Like many children of the depression, M.H. did not get far in school. He had to drop out of the seventh grade to help his family sharecropping. His life changed soon, however, because of World War II. After the War, M.H. began to rodeo. He was a member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association and he worked for the legendary producer Buck Steiner. M.H. rode bulls and broncs, wrestled steers and was Steiner’s “pick-up man,” rescuing bronc riders at the end of their rides. Ironically, M.H.’s rodeo career would soon launch his art career.
With a busted shoulder from a bronc riding accident, M.H. could not do much for his boss, Buck Steiner. Buck remembered, however, that M.H. loved to draw. He purchased some cheap poster paints and brushes and gave M.H. the task of painting storefronts with “Welcome Rodeo Fans” signs and pictorials. Amazed with the amount of “easy money” to be made, M.H. began a career as a sign maker.
He apprenticed himself to a Houston sign artist and soon became a master with a lettering brush. Along with his talent for painting “all things cowboy,” his specialty became western “sign murals.” He made his own art as well and continued to rodeo from time to time. He eventually settled in Bowie, TX, where his family established a landmark sign shop. It was in the Bowie that, at age 65, he rode his last bull in an “Old Timers” rodeo. He won the buckle for his age group.
His paintings became more and more popular, and were sold to patrons as far away as Italy. No longer able to ride “rough stock” he became a team roper. His motto was: “If it runs, rope it … if it stands still, paint it!”
With the passing of his beloved wife Ruth in 1997, M.H. closed his sign business and sold his home. He now lives with his son Stephen in Clinton. (Stephen aided him in completing this horse.)
M.H. was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2004. At the age of 86, M.H. is still a proli c artist, and his work can be seen at the upcoming “Traces of the West” Art Show.
M.H. and Stephen would like to thank the Pioneer Days Committee and everyone involved for the honor of participating in this event. A special thank you goes to the good folks at R&O Construction, whose kindness and generosity are unmatched anywhere in Utah! Thank you for allowing M.H. to name your horse after the late “Jasper” who was M.H.’s horse that passed away in May of this year. M.H. is the oldest artist to paint for “Trail To Pioneer Days.”
R & O Construction
R&O proudly sponsors “Jasper,” a horse depicting the historical modes of transportation used by our pioneers.
Founded in Ogden as a residential construction company, R&O turned to commercial construction in 1980. With corporate headquarters in Ogden and a regional of ce in Las Vegas, R&O nds that the most rewarding projects are the ones in their own community. Some of their local projects include The Salomon Center at the Junction, Ogden’s Lindquist Field, Ogden Public Safety Center and Ogden Public Works Building, Top of Utah Print Works, Ogden Blue and the Elizabeth Dee Shaw Stewart Skybox at Weber State University.
R&O celebrates Ogden’s pioneer heritage and what it represents. Their trek to becoming one of Utah’s most successful construction companies is due to hard-working and dedicated employees who are much like our pioneers. R&O supports the “Trail To Pioneer Days,” not only because it celebrates our heritage, but because the proceeds will bene t the future of cancer victims. Their trek may be the most dif cult one of all, and it is one that affects so many of us. It is R&O’s hope that this event and what it stands for will create a lasting legacy for our city.