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According to James T. Forrest, “Elling William “Bill” Gollings was one of the last of his kind. He was a true ‘Ranahan,’ which meant ‘top hand’ in cowboy lingo. A cowboy on horseback, he gentled tough range horses, and he sketched and painted as he herded or tended cattle. He came into the West fairly late to see the country as the natives had seen it, but he was not too late to see conditions similar to those experienced by the American pioneer. The area in which he chose to live and work was homesteaded after most other sections of the Rocky Mountains had already been settled.

“Bill Gollings came to southern Montana before the turn of the century and, after only a few years, he moved south and took a series of jobs riding the range in northern Wyoming. Bill or ‘Paint Bill,’ as he was often called, was a man of many moods, given to inexplicable self-recrimination. He found joy in working as a ranch hand, in riding off across the hills for day alone, in going to a ‘picture show’ to watch movie cowboy heroes perform their feats of daring; in sitting with old friends and talking of the ‘good old days’ even at a time when he was not old.”

PROVENANCE:
Private Collection, Wyoming

LITERATURE:
Gary L. Temple, “Elling William Gollings [1878-1932],” Western Art & Architecture (Bozeman, Montana: JD Publishing, Summer/Fall 2009, page 95, illustrated

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