William Benitz, Flora King, & Eileen Frend Page last modified:

Willie, Flora, & Eileen Benitz
— Documents, References, & Personal records —

Documents personal (e.g. birth certificates) and public (e.g. census records),
References in print: books, magazines, & newspapers,
Personal letters & diaries.

Anecdotes, documents, etc. with their own pages:

Tales & Anecdotes Willie at “La California”
Trip to the US & Canada, 1935 Willie’s account of the trip with Eileen, Corina, Malcolm, and his Uncle Alfred and Auntie Olga.

Scotland – 1901-1904

No pic.

(Source: Merchiston Castle School Register)

U.S.A. – 1907-1910

No pic.

Willie Shows Off
Rodeo in Texas - 1909-1910
(Source: C.A. Benitz)

NOTE: Willie was an experienced bareback rider and didn’t miss a trick. He had the cowboys wet the horse before he mounted it. Dry horse-hair is very slippery, but wet it is quite sticky.

He had honed his skills on half-tamed young horses at estancia “La California” (the family ranch in Santa Fé province, Argentina).  Hanging from a high bar above a gate through which the horses were herded, he would drop onto any one of them, picked at random, and ride it without saddle nor reins.

[Anecdote from his son Malcolm.]

Missing image.

Willie at the 101 Ranch
Bliss, Oklahoma – 1909-1910
(Source: C. Le Bas)

Looked Like a Tenderfoot But
Rode Worst Horse in

A slight, boyish figure attired in a natty suit of dark material with a Panama fixed jauntily on his well shaper [shaped] head wended its way into the arena of the "101 Ranch Wild West Show" at the Exposition yesterday and asked to be allowed to ride a bucking horse.

The young man, who wore a big diamond in his scarf, didn't look strong enough to stay on a goat and the cowboys told him to go home before he should get hurt. The young man smiled. Within ten minutes after he had entered the arena that young man had ridden one of the most vicious horses in the outfit and without a saddle or bridle at that. And the cries of "tenderfoot" were changed considerably.

The boyish rider proved not only to be an expert rider of wild horses but it developed that he could affix his signature to check for three million dollars.

William Benitz, for that is the young man's name, came unheralded to the Exposition from far-off Brazil, where he and his father own the "California Ranch" down near Rosario in the Argentine Republic, where they are extensively engaged in the raising of live stock.

When Benitz entered the aerna [arena] of the wild west show the cowpunchers from the wild and wooly west thought they had a good subject for the "shaps." The "shaps" are the leather overtrousers of the cowboys and when a "tenderfoot" fails to make good riding a horse the victim is laid over a barrel and an operation performed that reminds us of the good old days when paterfamilias wielded the strap. But Benitz fooled the doughty plainsmen and instead of the "shaps" the young man was "blown off" to the finest of liquid refreshments.

Mr. Benitz is scarcely twenty-one years of age. He is here to study American ranch life and compare the methods of the big ranges in this country with those in South America. He will spend a few days at the Exposition. He stated that the battleships alone should prove a great attraction for the Exposition. Benitz remembered Bill Pickett in the wild west show, Pickett having been down in South America in a steer-throwing contest some years ago.

Mr. Benitz, before he leaves for home will go to Bliss, Okla., and inspect the ranch of the Miller Brothers, whose wild west show is being directed at the Exposition by the C. W. Rex Company.

© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)