All Inductees

William Henry "Bill" Hogg


On April 16, 1959, a college daydream of a young rodeo cowboy was fulfilled. The national anthem was played at the first of three debut performances at the Kowbell Indoor Rodeo Arena. Bill Hogg was born and reared in Mansfield, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1949. While at A&M, he was one of the organizers of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. A calf roper and steer wrestler, Hogg won several buckles in collegiate rodeos and became the N.I.R.A. Bull Dogging Champion in 1949.

Following graduation, Hogg opened the Mansfield Commission Company. Ten years after graduation, his dream of becoming a rodeo producer became a reality by building the Kowbell in Mansfield. Immediately after marrying Jan Acola, one of Hogg’s friends tied a cowbell to their car. Hence, the name Kowbell Indoor Rodeo was born. The couple obtained a loan from the local bank to buy 13 acres next door to the Commission Company. This was to be the site of Kowbell, and construction began in 1958.

Besides the weekly Saturday night rodeos, the Hoggs hosted several clubs and organizations for their activities at the Kowbell Indoor Arena. These included college rodeos, horse shows, cuttings, and the National Cutting Horse Finals in 1959. The arena would seat 2500 people and had an open top with a giant canvas to pull across when weather threatened. The Hoggs both had children from previous marriages. Bill had Becky and Pat, Jan had Lana and Mark, then during the first full calendar year of the Kowbell being open, Bill and Jan had a son, William David, in October 1960.

The Kowbell was the site of the Presentation of Awards Rodeo for the Central Rodeo Association in 1959 and 1960. The CRA was a semi-pro organization, of which Bill Hogg was an approved rodeo producer, and served in that organization as vice president in 1957. Hogg produced many outstanding rodeos throughout Texas and in 1960 the biggest and most successful was held in conjunction with Fort Worth’s Pioneer Days Celebration, at Northside Coliseum in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Each Saturday night, Hogg produced a four-event rodeo that included bareback riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, and bull riding. A ladies’ barrel race open to members of the Texas Barrel Racing Association was also held. Other events from time to time included wild cow milking, cutting horse contests, and calf scrambles. Hogg also steer wrestled and hazed for many of the steer wrestlers himself because he was so trusted. He made sure every cowboy got a fair ride and chance to win. Tragedy struck in September of 1961 when Hogg died from spinal meningitis, but the Kowbell Indoor Rodeo lived on to spawn many a cowboy and cowgirl’s rodeo career.

The Kowbell Indoor Rodeo was Bill Hogg’s “baby” – he dreamed, designed, and watched it develop from infancy to one of the finest rodeo facilities in the United States. The Kowbell Rodeo was a huge success drawing standing room only crowds. Come Saturday night, rain or shine, the chute gate would open at the Kowbell Rodeo arena and you would hear those familiar words “Let’s rodeo!”