Wes Bascom

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Wesley LeGrand “Wes” Bascom was a rodeo cowboy, Western artist, cattle rancher, and school teacher.

He was born on September 20, 1929, in Raymond, Albert, Canada to rancher and rodeo cowboy J. Raymond “Tommy” Bascom and Ethel Court. He was the grandson of John W. Bascom and Rachel Lybbert.

Wes Bascom was raised on cattle ranches in the Lethbridge/Sunburst area and the Raymond/Bonne View area of Alberta and also in Eastend, Saskatchewan. He cowboyed for the large and historic McIntyre Ranch on the Milk River Ridge along the Alberta and Montana border. The McIntyre Ranch was started by two brothers from Utah back in the late 1890s.

Following the footsteps of their father and uncles, Wes and his brother Billy Bascom were rodeo cowboys during the 1940s. Starting out riding calves, steers and cows on ranch rodeos, Wes later competed in the rodeo circuit in the events of saddle bronc, bareback, and bull riding, from Canada to California. He was also a rodeo trick rider and entered the wild cow milking and wild horse racing contests.

In 1949, after both his father and mother had passed away, Wes and his brother and one of their two sisters moved to California to live with their Uncle Earl Bascom and their family in Southgate, Los Angeles County.

Employed in the construction industry, Wes returned to Canada to marry his sweetheart Shirley Harker. The two then settled in Buena Park, California. They raised five children, three sons and two daughters.

In the mid 1960s and 1970s, Wes and his family lived in Victorville and Apple Valley were he worked in the building trade. He and his wife Shirley both graduated from Victor Valley College before moving to Canada where they got their teaching degrees from the University of Lethbridge. Wes and Shirley were hired as school teachers in central Alberta in New Brigden, where Wes also served as school principal. Later Wes and his family started his own cattle operation. After retirement, Wes and his wife lived in Mountain View and then Lethbridge, Alberta.

Inspired by his cowboy artist Uncle Earl Bascom, Wes Bascom became an acclaimed Western artist and illustrator, and an award-winning photographer. His art work was exhibited in both the United States and Canada.

The Bell Mare by Wes Bascom, pen and ink. Used with permission

In 2013, Wes Bascom and his Uncle Hugh Court were each given the “Honorary Cowboy” award buckle at the Raymond Stampede.

Bascom passed away on January 1, 2018, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, just a few minutes into the New Year.