Biographies of Rodeo Cowgirls

A Beautician Cowgirl – Tillie Baldwin

Baldwin Pendleton RoundUp 1921

1921 Pendleton Round-Up (Library of Congress)

Anna Mathilda Winger aka Tillie Baldwin was born in Arendal, Norway.  Immigrating to the United States when she was just 14 years old, her first profession in the United States was as a hair dresser.  Her entertainment career began in 1909 when she joined Captain Jack Baldwin’s Wild West show.  She created her stage name, Tillie Baldwin and began a journey that led her to become a champion bronc rider, trick rider, relay racer, roman racer and even one all-around title. In 1910 she worked with Will Rogers Vaudeville show and by 1911 she began rodeo by riding broncs. Her first entry in the bronc riding in Los Angeles, California, resulted in her winning the competition.

1912 was a good year for Tilly when she won the Lady Bronc Riding Championship at Los Angeles, and at the Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon.  At Pendleton, she also won the Ladies Trick and Fancy Riding Championship, and her All-Round title. Like many cowgirls she also worked in other jobs, during rodeo’s off-season.  Tillie worked for the 101 Ranch Wild West Show from 1912 to 1925, and from 1908 to 1916 as a hairdresser.

At the inaugural rodeo in Winnipeg, Alberta in 1913, Tillie bulldogged steers and won the Roman Racing event. She was the only woman to ride in the all-male Roman Racing event at the 1913 Winnipeg Stampede where she won the race.

Baldwin Winnipeg 1913

Description: Roman race, Winnipeg Stampede, Manitoba. L-R riders: Johnnie Mullins; Tillie Baldwin; A. J. Bryson. August 9-13, 1913 Postmark: Winnipeg, Man., 1913-08-16 University of Alberta Libraries under the Attribution – Non-Commercial – Creative Commons license.

In 1927, she became an instructor at the Star Riding Academy in New London, Connecticut.  When she retired from rodeo, Tillie married William C. Slate in 1941 and they lived in Connecticut until she died in 1958 when she was 70 years old.

LEGACY

Lady Bronc Riding Champion                            

Los Angeles 1912, 1913                                    

Pendleton Round-Up 1912                                

New York Stampede 1916                                                                                                                              

Ladies Trick and Fancy Riding Champion 

Pendleton Round-Up 1912

Los Angeles 1913

Winnipeg Stampede 1913                          

New York Stampede 1916

All-Around Champion

Pendleton Round-Up 1912  

Los Angeles 1913                                                                                    

Roman Racing (all-male race except for Tillie)                                                                                              Winnipeg Stampede 1913

 

Tillie was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2000 and into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2004