FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD – Ace Hudkins…Boxer, Stuntman, Batman & Trigger

My lifelong preoccupation with Hollywood sites and the related research led to all of my books, and eventually the Movieland Directory and the TMD site.  Along the way I stumbled onto thousands of interesting Hollywood stories, which will eventually become another book when I’m done with the two or three I’ve been working on the past year or so.  In the meantime, I’ll drop a few of the tales here as I think of it.  What’s most interesting to me is how so many of the stories are intertwined with other stories and other stars’ lives.  Ace Hudkins is a great example.

Ace Hudkins was born in Nebraska in 1905 and began boxing at 12.  He began fighting professionally at 16 and boxed until he was 27 and was never knocked out.  His nicknames were “The Wildcat” and “The Nebraska Wildcat”.  In the years around 1925-1926, Hudkins and Clever Sencio were the top drawing cards at Los Angeles’ Olympic Auditorium.  One of his most famous fights was a 1927 fight in New York, a knockout of hot prospect Ruby Goldstein.  One writer wrote of Hudkins’ win over Goldstein as “the fight that broke the Jewish banks.”  It was Hudkins’ toughness that most impressed his faithful fans; his fight against Sammy Baker was described as “the bloodiest fight ever seen…even the referee was drenched in ruby red…”  Fighting from lightweight to light-heavyweight, he won several California State Heavyweight Titles and was Southern California’s biggest boxing drawing card in the 1920s.

In 1930 he lived with his extended family at 2302 Observatory Avenue in L.A.; his brothers Clyde and Art served as his managers.  As his boxing career wound down in the early 1930’s his personal life fell apart as he battled alcoholism and went on extended “benders.”  On January 10, 1932 he was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Los Angeles for punching T. Leonard Park, 38, in the head with his bare fist and fracturing his skull.  Hudkins claimed that he and a friend, Ellen Dorsey, were standing at an intersection when Park and a companion, Edward B. Martin, approached and insulted the woman.  The charges were later dropped but Park sued Hudkins for $50,000 and was awarded $1.

That March, his pretty live-in girlfriend Rhea Hill sued for $160,000; $100,000 for breach of a promise to marry, and $60,000 for beating her.  After winning the lawsuit on April 2nd, Ace went out, got drunk, and was arrested for public drunkenness and fighting with the police.  The following July 16th he was arrested for drunk driving and speeding near Fresno.  Released from jail the next morning he went to a nearby bar and when he left, drove his car directly into a service station building, destroying both car and building and landing back in jail charged with drunk driving again.  In December he was arrested and convicted twice more in Fresno on the same charges.In March, 1933, Hudkins spent a month in Hawaii and was arrested twice for disorderly conduct following fights in hotel bars and spent a week in jail. 

On August 7, 1933, a drunk Hudkins started a brawl in a Hollywood café and pulled a gun (which turned out to be unloaded) on the bar’s owner Richard Harris, who pulled his own (loaded) gun and shot Hudkins twice in the chest.  Ace lingered near death for two weeks at a Glendale hospital while receiving two blood transfusions, but somehow survived.On November 9th Hudkins was arrested after a drunken early-morning brawl when his friend David Chalmers’ father-in-law – a huge San Pedro longshoreman – took the gun he was still carrying and knocked him unconscious with it.  Leaving the fight, he and Chalmers tried to drive away without paying for 8 gallons of gas and were arrested for petty theft.  Just two weeks later on November 21st he was arrested when police found both he and Chalmers passed out drunk and asleep in his car at a stoplight at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.  By the time of his December 2nd arrest a drunken rampage at his 416 South Burlington Avenue apartment building, headlines read ACE HUDKINS SOJOURNING IN CELL AGAIN.  The judge, seeing him for the third time in three weeks, sent him to the county jail for five days.

In the late 1930’s, Hudkins settled down and married, and after operating a bar in Hollywood moved to Toluca Lake and bought a stable where he and his brother Art ran a string of race-horses.  He lived there with his wife Mildred and their adopted son Robert Herron and rented horses, wagons, and cowboy gear to studios for westerns and the land for filming.  Hudkins Brothers Movie Ranch was a favorite of dozens of cowboy stars who boarded horses (the property is now part of Forest Lawn Glendale) and among Ace’s friends were Smiley Burnette, Guinn Wilson, Fred Kennedy, Gene Autry, and John Wayne.  Ace was soon doing stunt work in their movies and his horses appearing in dozens of Republic Studio films.

In 1938, Republic rented one of his horses – whom Ace had named ‘Hi Yo Silver’ – for a movie version of The Lone Ranger.  The horse’s name became The Lone Ranger’s trademark.  Ace’s favorite horse was Olivia de Havilland’s mount in the 1938 classic The Adventures of Robin Hood.  When filming was completed, Roy Rogers came looking for a horse for his first starring vehicle, Under the Western Sky, and took de Havilland’s horse for a ride around the ranch.  After the lengthy ride Rogers and the horse had become instantly attached, and although he was only making $75 a week at the time agreed to pay Ace $2,500 for the horse.  It took him several years to pay for his new partner, whom Ace had named Trigger.  Ace’s horse Trigger co-starred in all 82 movies made by Rogers between 1938 and 1952 and also appeared in all 100 TV episodes of ‘The Roy Rogers Show.’In the 1954-57 television series ‘Annie Oakley,’ both horses used to play the role of Oakley’s horse Target were Ace’s horses.         

Ace was still doing stunt work in films as late as the mid-1960’s.  In his final film, 1966’s Batman, the 61 year-old almost broke his neck when he dove off the side of a prop submarine hull into Sorenson’s Lake at the 20th Century Fox Malibu Ranch.  The “lake” was only 4′ deep and Ace hit the bottom and spent three weeks in the hospital recovering. Ace Hudkins died on April 8, 1973 in Los Angeles and was posthumously inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.  His adopted son Robert D. Herron had a long career as a stuntman, stunt director, and actor and was one of the founding members of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures and served on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild.

A young boxing fan posted the following story on an internet site dedicated to boxers of that era;  “I was a security guard back in 1971 when I was college…we did all the apartment complexes is Foster City, Calif…got a call over patrol car radio from a complex manager about an attempted robbery…I arrived to be met by a short old man with a shuffling step & a flat nose…he was the new apartment manager, Craig Exley…I asked him if he was hit in the nose during robbery, and he laughed & said that happened years ago when he was a boxer…I asked him if he could describe the 3 robbers, and he said he could, but why don’t I just look at them myself?…I entered his office to find 3 (African Americans) between 6 to 8 inches taller than him all laying on the floor knocked out..he said he only hit them once each after they threatened him…they thought  this old man would be an easy mark…we talked about the framed boxing pictures on his wall while we waited for police to come, and he said with a smile, “Yeah, I used to be Ace Hudkins..” .I was just an 18 year old kid, but my dad was a boxer in the 1930s…Ace (Craig) revelled (sic) me with stories about Mickey Walker fights til the cops got there…”

Ace Hudkins, member of my Forgotten Hollywood Hall of Fame.

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52 Responses to FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD – Ace Hudkins…Boxer, Stuntman, Batman & Trigger

  1. RICHARD DIXON says:

    I LIVED ON THE OLD LASKY RANCH IN THE MID FORTIES. MY FATHER WAS HIRED TO MANAGE THE STABLES AT THE FAR END OF THE LOCATION AREA AT THE FOOTOFMT. LEE. WE ENTERED THE PROPERTY BY A WOODEN GATE ON HOLLIMGSWORTH DRIVE NEARWHERE THE GATE TO FOREST LAWN IS NOW. THE HUDKINS RANCH WAS JUST INSIDE THE PROPERTY. A LARGE PADDOCK ON THE LEFT AND THE STABLES ON A SLOPE TO THE RIGHT. AHEAD WERE BARNS FULL OF STAGE COACHES, BUCKBOARDS ETC. FOR RENT TO STUDIOS. MANY MOVIES WERE STILL BEING MADE THERE AMONG THEM STILLIAN ROAD, A BOY AND HIS DOG, IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVE. AND OTHERS. I WATCHED MANY OF THESE LOCATION SHOOTS AS A BOY OF 10 YEARS OLD. THANKS FOR YOUR ACCOUNT OF THIS AREA. THESE FEW YEARS ARE AMONG MY MOST TREASURED MEMORIESOF MY CHILDHOOD.
    RICHARD – -

    • RICHARD DIXON says:

      HI AGAIN, JUST TO MENTION THAT IF ANYONE WANTS TO CONTACT ME ABOUT THE OLD HUDKINS AND LASKY RANCH, MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS rdlifeisajourny@gmail.com

      • Carla Schube says:

        I am looking for info on the PickWick Stables in Hollywood during the 1940’s.My friend’s father – Lewis Myers is rumored to have boarded Trigger in the day. We are trying to locate relatives or archives of the stables etc.
        Her email is carlasuedane@gmail.com
        Can you help?

    • I am reading about Ace Hudkins and wanted to know where and how the author found out about Ace’s 1973 date of death. I happen to live at 2306 Observatory Ave. in Los Feliz and moved in my house in 1996. Ace was surely alive and well, living at 2302 with his wife Betty. So they were my next door neighbors.
      Aces’ death, due to cancer occurred in 2009. He was a horder, a pack rat curmudgeon and a man of few words, except when he got angry (which was quite often!)
      But he did tell me about his poker parties at the house with famous movie and TV cowboys in the 40s and his teaching John Wayne and others how to do stunts on horses.
      He never mentioned his ranch, or his brother or other stories of his past, let alone his boxing days. He DID kick my dog in the jaw at my front door one day, claiming the dog was too noisy. I pushed him away from my front porch. He stumbled back and tripped, falling on his butt. He came to my house later the same afternoon and had dabbed one of his fingers with Mercurochrome, pretending that he got hurt. He sued me and we went to arbitration. The attorney dismissed the situation claiming that the ‘injury’ was fake…
      Ace did tell me once that he had been adopted and his adoptive parents had had the house on Observatory built. It was the first house on the street, he claimed. The whole neighborhood knew him of course and had nicknamed him ‘The Mayor of Observatory.’
      His daughter Lana moved into the house after his death, refurbished the home, lived there for about a year and then moved to Orange County on a horse property. Other members of the family moved in for a few months and moved up to northern California.
      I’m still next door!
      Unfortunately, I do not have Lana’s contact but she is full of stories about her dad! I’ll try to get her contact.

      • surfbat says:

        Hi Michael. Here is Ace’s obituary. His death in 1973 was reported in all national newspapers, as were many evens throughout his life. I know many people who knew Ace. I’m not sure who that person living next door to you was. Lots of people try and usurp the identities of others. Click on this link and you will see the obit. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=sN9YAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ivgDAAAAIBAJ&dq=ace%20hudkins%20dies&pg=2683%2C992052

      • Michael Marcus says:

        How interesting. The Ace I knew – my neighbor – was clearly past 87 when he died. I know it was his name since our mail often got mixed up. His stories coincide so accurately. I need to get in touch with his daughter Lana and get her to this blog.
        This is too coincidental…
        Thanks for the update though!
        Michael

      • Kristine says:

        I am Lana’s cousin and I have forwarded your information to her. To clarify, the man you lived next door to was not the boxer Ace, but his nephew Acey who was the adopted son of Clyde and Katherine Hudkins. This article has some confusion as far as Ace & Acey.

      • Michael Marcus says:

        Hi Kristine,
        Wow thanks for that reply. Sorry it took me so long to answer. Work sure gets in the way at times!!!
        I must say that it’s hard to figure out who I was neighbors with after reading all these reports.
        But I appreciate the enlightenment..

        Michael

  2. Steve says:

    Ace did not name the horse Trigger. Roy named the horse Trigger. His original name was I believe, Golden Cloud and was so named when Olivia DeHavilland rode him in “Robin Hood” with Errol Flyn

  3. E.J. says:

    It doesn’t say Ace named Golden Cloud “Trigger.” It says Ace named him “Hi-Yo-Silver,” an account confirmed on any number of historic website and period newspaper stores…

  4. Steve says:

    You should re-read the article. It states he rented Hi Yo Silver for a Lone Ranger film. As almost all fans know, Silver has always been white, which ever horse played him, and there have been several. It also states that his favorite was the horse that was Olivia DeHavilland’s mount in Robin Hood. That horse is absolutely a golden palomino. And if you look closely at his markings you can definitely see the distinctive blaze that marks his face, the exact blaze that Roy’s Trigger had.

  5. Pat Mefferd says:

    I don’t know who wrote the article about Ace Hudkins, but I want to thank you for it and also mentioning my Stepfathers name…Fred Kennedy, who by the way was inducted into the Stuntmens Hall of Fame in 1982. Fred’s brother Roy was a wrangler for the studios.

    Unfortunately Fred was killed when he did a fall from a horse on the John Ford/John Wayne “The Horse Soldiers”.

    As a child I spent time there at the ranch, when Fred was attending to his horses and such.

    I also have some great photos of Fred standing “roman” on TRIGGER & MIDNIGHT; my Mother with HI HO SILVER, COMANCHE (a palomino owned by Jack Sullivan), EAGLE (a grey gelding), ONYX (owned by Errol Flynn, which he rode in “The Charge of the Light Brigade”), Fred rigging a wagon for a stunt, Fred falling a horse, which was being filmed there and used in an SPCA ad, showing that the horses were trained to fall, so as not to get hurt; also a photo of Ace and his famous falling horse JERRY.

    Included in the photos are some of the barns in the background with the wagons and coaches…some were left outside. There is a great view of a stage coach w/Sonora Coach lines on it.

    I have been in the horse business one way or another, most of my life. I love those wonderful memories at Hudkins and also at Pickwick, not far from Hudkins on the L.A. River.

    By trade, I am a pedigree researcher and now a historian of some wonderful breeds of horses.

    I also have a great photo of Errol Flyn, Olivia de Haviland, Basil Rathbone and Fred mounted on 2 of Hudkins horses in costume on the set of “Robin Hood”, taken on location at Bidwell Park, Chico, CA.

    As a child I got to meet some truly great people and wonderful horses…and now things are circling back to those years for me, meeting up with old acquaintances and/or their families, and sharing stories.

    If you wish to contact me….I can be reached at:

    pmpedigree@gmail.com

    Pat

  6. Pat Mefferd says:

    One more thought…Fred was also from Nebraska, Ainsworth, to be exact, where he did all sorts of stunts, such as having cars roll over his stomache, at rodeos and shows, etc. He also was a fighter in Nebraska, and since his family is all gone and connot be confirmed…I have reason to believe he came to California because of an earlier relationship with Ace Hudkins. I would really like to know if this can be documented.

    Pat Mefferd

  7. Pat Mefferd says:

    Anyone interested can see some of the photos from Hudkins at the webpages Deb at HorseFame made for me for Fred…go to:

    http://members.tripod.com/~horsefame/fredkennedy.html

    Enjoy! Pat

  8. Sam Lawson says:

    Pat, what a wonderful site that is! I am a western collector and I truly enjoyed what you have given us all…just wonderful.

  9. Pat Mefferd says:

    Trying to post…not accepting my email addy

  10. Pat Mefferd says:

    OK….Hi Sam, Thank you for the kind words.

    Recently I ran across a Carol Hudkins Shaw (aka Carol Hudkins)…in the 1940’s she lived in Glendale, bred, raced, showed, drove and rode Saddlebred and Standardbred horses.

    I’m wondering if Carol in related to the Hudkins family that I used to know…?

    Pat

    • james hudkins jr says:

      hello pat, my name is james hudkins jr and i live in north hollywood california, my grandfather leonard hudkins is one of the brothers including ace, clyde. I was wondering if you by any chance would have any photos of my familys ranch back in the day. I am writing a book on the history of the hudkins brothers ranch and a book on the history of all the ranches in the san fernando valley. If you have any photos of the ranch when it was at forest lawn or even when it moved to coldwater cyn and sherman way i would really appreciate anything you might have thank myou very much jim hudkins jr.

      • RICHARD DIXON says:

        HI JAMES, I READ YOUR LETTER TO PAT WHOM i KNOW. WE CORESPOND BY EMAIL SOME. I WROTE A SHORT LETTER ON THE “FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD” SITE SOME TIME AGO. I LIVED ON THE RANCH WHERE THE HUDKINS BROS. HAD THEIR BARNS AND ALL THE WAGONS, ETC. WE LIVED THERE UP AT THE END OF THE ROAD AT THE FOOT OF MT. LEE FROM 1945 TO 1947. LOTS OF MOVIES WERE SHOT THERE AT THAT TIME. I WOULD LIKE TO SEND YOU MY EXPERIENCES IF YOU WANT. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT lifeisajourny@gmail.com THANKS, RICHARD – -

      • Pat Mefferd says:

        Hi Jr!….I have a photo of Junior Hudkins. Was your Dads nick name “Ode”? Pat

  11. rose says:

    Couldnt be more t

  12. Jerry B says:

    Hi Folks……very fascinating site. I was wondering if anyone has any pictures of the hearse(s) that were part of the Hudkins Brothers Movie Ranch. I am a Board Member and docent for the Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond, Washington. We have a hearse that was owned by Hudkins Brothers……still has the tag used to identify the vehicle when on loan to the the movie company. It was sold to another studio company in the 40’s…..I believe it was called the Randall Co. We purchased the hearse from a studio in Brawley, Ca. I would love to find some old pictures of our hearse in a movie and make it part of our display. Can send a picture if someone is interested. Thanks for any feedback. Jerry

  13. Alonzo Hudkins IV says:

    Ace Hudkins was my grandfather’s cousin. My grandfather was Al Hudkins. Ace told my grandfather about the shooting and my grandfather knew Ace’s boxing career.

    Your facts are wrong. Ace Hudkins quit boxing after 1941. He was upset because his son, Ralph Hudkins was killed on the Battleship Arizona and Ralph’s cousin John Hudkins was killed on the Battleship Navada. They are my second cousins. They died December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

    After Ace Hudkins left boxing he opened a bar in California. A negro walked into the bar and had an argument with Ace Hudkins, who was attending his bar. Ace told my grandfather that he jumped over the bar to hit the negro, but the negro pulled a 22 revolver and shot him (Ace) in the stomach. Ace spent two weeks in the hospital. Ace did lose the light weight world boxing match because he drank and didn’t stay in training. The rest of your version of Ace’s history is crap.

    Alonzo Hudkins IV

    • Douglas says:

      Why is it necessary to come on here and start insulting people and acting belligerent? You accuse the writer of having his facts “wrong” and then go on yourself to state that Ace “quit boxing after 1941″, which is inaccurate. Ace quit in 1932, as his record clearly shows. Here it is:

      http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=13688&cat=boxer

      And just for the record, Ace Hudkins NEVER fought for the “world lightweight championship”. He twice fought for the world middleweight championship, held by the great Mickey Walker.

      It’s good to have your own facts straight before you start casting aspersions. Try and have a nice day.

      • uncle phil says:

        well said, doug…[i was the young security guard who wrote about ace in this article]…i come from a family of boxers and recognized hudkin’s veteran boxer habit of adjusting his pants beltline inner elbow style that you get used to when you’re wearing gloves & can’t use your hands…AND, now i’m jazzed to realize the framed horse photos in his office included trigger & silver~~!!…ps: he said his 1928 fight with the toy bulldog was almost as close to death that he ever went through except getting shot in the chest…

  14. Alonzo Hudkins IV says:

    John Hudkins was the stuntman in movies.

  15. Sylvia says:

    Wow, love the READ! I spent my childhood in Beverly Hills (former home of Western Star Fred Tomson) and in Burbank, the “River Bottom” I remember the Hudkins Bros and the Ranch. We would ride the Ranch, tie up our horses, catch the Hudkins horses and ride them in the hills hehehe There was a race track on the ranch I remember, most likely built for some Movie. I later joined up and was a Stunt Woman working for about 30 years, on and off.
    I would also love to watch all the wonderful old Movies filmed on the Ranch. I was kicked off the Ranch the Day Forrest Lawn took over. One sad day! I saw the old Pickwick burn to the ground!

    • Pat Mefferd says:

      Hello Sylvia…

      Do you remember my Stepfather Fred Kennedy? Roy Kennedy was his brother and worked as a wrangler, hauling stock, etc. Roy was on the Horse Soldier’s when Fred took his fatefull fall.

      I’m doing some research on some horses that were in the Griffith Park/L.A. River Bottom area, and then in Pacoima in the 1930’s thru 1950’s.

      If you wouldn’t mind me picking your brain….I would love to converse with you.

      Are you familiar with the Spahn family?

      My email addy is….

      pmpedigree@gmail.com

      Hope to hear from you.

      Pat Mefferd
      Anderson, CA.

    • HI SYLVIA. I LIVED ON THE RANCH FROM 1946 TO 48. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN THE SAME TIME YOU RODE AROUND THERE. AMONG THE FILMS I WATCHED SHOOTING THERE WERE: STALLION ROAD, THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR, SO DEAR TO MY HEART, HOPPY’S HOLIDAY, IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVE, A BOY AND HIS DOG, A FILM WITH “THE HOOSIER HOTSHOTS” (DON’T KNOW THE NAME) AND MANY MORE THAT I DID NOT KNOW THE NAMES OF.

      IF YOU HAVE TIME WRITE TO ME AT rdlifeisajourny@gmail.com
      I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR STUNT RIDING DAYS.
      I ALSO REMEMBER WHEN PICKWICK STABLES BURNED. WE LIVED AT THE SADDLE & SIRLOIN CLUB ON THE RIVER NEAR LOS FELIZ DR. BY THAT TIME A VERY SAD DAY. LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU. RICHARD—IN THAILAND

  16. Sylvia says:

    Yes I remember, love it that I still can. hehehe
    I will E you and you can pick away.

    Sylvia

  17. Hap Navarro says:

    I met Ace Hudkins at the Hollywood Legion Stadium Matchmaker’s office in the early 1950s As a boxing fan I was really in awe of the man, especially at his physical appearance. He was not at all like I had seen him in his boxing prime. He was totally bald, and had an incedibly red or flushed complexion. I thought at the time that he was ill, of course.,

  18. Nancysu Herron says:

    Hi, was curious about Bobby Herron, who was adopted by Ace Hudkins. My uncle was Ben Johnson, so I was mostly around the Fat Jones Stables in N. Hollywood in the 1950s. We had some horse ledgends there also, among which was Steel. I am now living in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. But at one time rode at Ft Saskatchewan, 16 miles north of Edmonton, Alberta. Bobby worked a movie there called Saskatchewan. Another interesting side is that Audie Murphy started me spelling my name the way it is now used, and Bobby was on a lot of Audie’s movies.

    • Pat Mefferd says:

      Hello Nancy,

      STEEL is my favorite “movie” horse of all times. My business for many years, now retired, was researching pedigree’s of horses of numerous breeds. I have a lot on STEEL.

      Several years back I spoke with Boby Herron on the phone, in regards to my Stepfather Fred Kennedy.

      Fred and Ben were great friends, along with “Dobe” (aka Harry Carey, Jr.), etc.

      Ben Johnson was my most favorite actor and a real cowboy…have pix of him and his Dad.

      With regards to TRIGGER….he belonged to Ace Hudkins and then sold to Roy Rogers in 1943. Roy took him to Glenn Randalls for additional training, etc. I have many pix of TRIGGER, etc.

      As for Fat Jones….He had some very early “movie” horses that I am interested in. I have most of their history…but not sure what Jones re-named them. Two were what many considered white horses….at one time they had spots on their white coats…most of which faded, due to a “roaning gene” or “greying gene”. Since these two horses are still currently “a Work in Progress”. I don’t which to print all the info publically now. If you remember this pair, I can be contacted at…

      pmpedigree@gmail.com

      Pat +

    • Gary M. says:

      I would very much appreciate any information from anyone who remembers Wahana at Fat Jones’ stables, or knew horse trainer Les Hilton, or knew Stephanie Epper or any of the other stunt people who worked on the “My Friend Flicka” TV series. We maintain the http://www.myfriendflicka.com web site, a Facebook page on the series, and Findagrave pages on Flicka (Wahana) and Lester Hilton. I love reading this blog–a lot of great memories, thanks! We would greatly appreciate any input or additional information.

  19. Stu Jones says:

    Do any of you remember John Goodwin who worked on the Hudkins Ranch?
    This is his obituary:

    BRECKENRIDGE AMERICAN
    Tues, May 4, 1954
    FAMED HOLLYWOOD HORSE TRAINER’S RITES ARE SAID

    Funeral services were held in the First Methodist Church at 10am Tuesday for John Goodwin, 65, former Breckenridge resident, who died in Glendale, California at 7:15p.m. Thursday, April 29.

    The Rev. W.E. Shipp was in charge of the final rites and burial was in the Moon Cemetery. Local arrangements were under the direction of Kiker Funeral Home.

    Mr. Goodwin, a native of Stephens County, had been a resident of California for about thirty years and had been in motion picture work since 1926. He is the original trainer of “Silver” and “Scout” for the first movie series of the “Lone Ranger”.

    Mr. Goodwin worked with Robert Liningston, Gene Autry, Duncan Renaldo, and Leo Carillo of the “Cisco Kid” series of pictures.

    For a number he worked with Roy Rogers as the trainer of “Trigger” and of “Dollar”, who is Joel McRea’s horse. Included in the group of stars that he worked with are Randolph Scott, Bill Williams, Alexis Smith, Wanda Hendrixs, Kirk Douglas and with Annie Oakley on television. One of the best known of the animals that Mr. Goodwin trained is Francis, the talking mule.

    The well known horse trainer became ill in Tucson, Ariz., over a weeks ago and was flown back to Glendale where he underwent surgery. Services were held at 2:30p.m. Saturday in the Pierce Brothers Valhalla Unit Chapel in Glendale and the body was forwarded to Breckenridge for final rites.

    Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Mrs. Billie Fair, Lovington, New Mexico, two brothers, Albert Goodwin of Fort Worth; three sisters, Mrs. W.A. Havins of Crane; Mrs. Wesley Black of El Paso, and Mrs. Ross Cunningham of Aransas Pass.

    Can any of you verify or disprove this info? I’m his great-nephew and would like to know more about him if any of you remember him.

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  22. Pat Mefferd says:

    Stu….I misplaced you email addy…I think I sent you the photo I had of him w/HI HO SILVER. I have some more info on Johnny Goodwin…email me at pmpedigree@gmail.com

  23. Cameron Johnson says:

    Does anyone know if the person responsible for stabbing and killing several of the Bonanza horses at Fat Jones Stables (late fifties or early sixties) was ever caught?

    • Pat Mefferd says:

      I believe it remains and unsolved mystery.

    • Sylvia Durando says:

      I was in the Valley at the time of the stabbings. There was a young man arrested on a bicycle that was slaughtering chickens and doing things with them, I will not explain what, here. At any rate he was suspected of the cutting of the horses, I don’t know if he was convicted. My info came from law enforcement and the News Paper.

  24. Rob Tresun says:

    Whoever wrote that the Hudkins Movie Ranch is now part of Forest Lawn Glendale needs to learn a little more about local geography. It’s actually now part of Forest Lawn Hollywood which is across the wash, & a short distance, from Warner Bros. Studio. Several miles from Forest Lawn Glendale.

  25. Alonzo Hudkins IV says:

    Douglas assumes that Ace Hudkins quit fighting after he was no longer a contender. That assumption is false. Ace Hudkins continued fightintg in minor competitions and boxed with other fighters who were in training until the end of 1941.

    His weight is not related to the reason for his retirement from boxing. The deaths of Ralph and John Hudkins at Pearl Harbor were important to Ace Hudkins, relatives, and to the nation, who were angered by the Japanese attack and upset over the loss of the Americans who died there.

    Some unpatriotic people lack concern about the Japanese attrocities in the South Pacific. Others, just don’t understand the impact of Ralph’s death on his father Ace Hudkins. It has always been a sensitive subject with the older members of the Hudkins families.

    Alonzo Hudkins IV

    • Douglas says:

      Alonzo- I assume nothing. His professional career as a prizefighter effectively ended in 1932 with losses to Lee Ramage and Wesley Ketchell. If he’d had any more pro fights after that then they would be on his record. Ace Hudkins was a high-profile fighter and wouldn’t have been able to have any pro fights without it being duly noted in the press. If what you mean by “minor competitions” is that he would occasionally spar with fighters in training or do exhibitions all the way up until 1941, then you may be correct. But those do not count as pro fights any more than Joe Montana occasionally playing some ball at the neighborhood park counts on his pro record. Ace Hudkin’s career as a prizefighter was over after 1932.

      You are correct, his weight wasn’t the reason for his retirement. The fact that he’d amassed a whopping 102 fights in 10 years (a big number by any standard, especially considering fighters’ with Ace’s slam-bang style usually have a short shelf life) and was way past his prime. He was done. He simply couldn’t compete with the young tigers anymore. It happens to every athlete eventually.

      I don’t think a lack of sensitivity was apparent on anything written here at all, so I saw no reason for you to come across the way you did. Especially remarking on someone having “crap” knowledge on Ace’s history when you obviously don’t have his history down very well yourself, as your “Ace did lose the light weight world boxing match” comment clearly illustrates. Ace NEVER fought for that title.

      Try and be a bit more respectful of others and perhaps they will have a bit more empathy for what you’re trying to get across. With that said, I sincerely hope you’re having a good Christmas. I mean that :-) Peace….

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  30. Jerry Bowman says:

    Hi……haven’t written for a few years but thought I’d update the group. I am Jerry Bowman, Curator of the Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond, Wa. We have several horse drawn vehicles once owned by Hudkins Bros., Fat Jones and Warner Bros. We have a Carved Panel Hearse used in “Gentleman Jim” with Errol Flynn and a Shelburne Landau which was Belle Watlings carriage in “Gone with the Wind”. These vehicles still have the original Hudkins Bros. tags. We also have a C-Spring Victoria used in “Little Princess” with Shirley Temple and a Landaulette used in “Ghost and Mrs. Muir” with Rex Harrison. These two vehicles were once owed by Warner Bros. We just acquired a stage coach which was once owned by Fat Jones. We have a poster showing Errol Fylnn and Humphrey Bogart sitting in our stagecoach from the movie “Virginia City”. We have many more horse drawn vehicles and one of the finest collections around……..if you are ever in the Pacific Northwest…..come take a look.

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