- Larry Lester
Pickett, Bill (05 December 1871–02 April 1932), African-American rodeo entertainer, was born in Jenks-Branch community in Travis County, Texas, the son of Thomas Jefferson Pickett, a former slave, and Mary “Janie” Virginia Elizabeth Gilbert. The second of thirteen children, Pickett reportedly grew to be 5′ 7″ tall and approximately 145 pounds. Little is known about his early childhood, except that he attended school through the fifth grade. Afterward he took up ranch work and soon developed the skills, such as roping and riding, that would serve him well in rodeo. On 2 December 1890 Pickett married Maggie Turner of Palestine, Texas, the daughter of a white southern plantation owner and his former slave. They had nine children. The Picketts joined the Taylor Baptist Church, where Pickett served as deacon for many years....