All Inductees

Joe Davis

Joe Davis was born in Crosby, Texas, on February 19, 1912. He and his wife, Alice, had been married for over 50 years at the time of her death in 1989. An expert calf roper, Joe was a member of the Turtle Association, the original group of rodeo professionals from the early days. He was also a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

Joe was involved with the Southern Rodeo Association, the Texas Rodeo Association, and the International Pro Rodeo Association, serving as a professional pickup man for all of them. During his career, he worked as a pickup man for Emil Marks, Thomas & Clipson, Frank Harris, Sloan Williams, and Loretta Lynn Rodeo. He also worked for the Texas Prison Rodeo in Huntsville, TX, for 30 years.

In 1972, Joe started co-producing rodeos, and in 1978, he and his son, Smokey, founded the Rafter “D” Rodeo Company. This family-run rodeo company included Joe and Alice, Smokey and Betty, all five of Smokey’s children and their spouses—Steve, Don & Carole, Ron & Mary Ann, Kathy, Karen & Dave—and their grandchildren Jason, Jake, Hunter, Brettney, Alicia Jo, Ian, Caley, and Cade. Four generations of the Davis family were involved in the production. They produced a wide variety of rodeos, including professional, open, high school, collegiate, youth, and convention rodeos. Joe produced rodeos for royalty and dignitaries from other countries such as the Emperor of China, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and the Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat.

Joe began his career as a pickup man in rodeos in 1938 and continued until he retired in 1990. Even at the age of 65, he was still practicing the trade he loved. His career spanned 52 years. Joe Davis passed away on August 14, 1995.