Matthew Bones Hooks inducted into Cowboys Hall of Fame

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Matthew Bones Hooks has been nationally recognized for leaving a historical mark in Amarillo and now his legacy is being honored.

Hooks, who died in 1951, has been inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

“At the National Cowboy Museum, we have an area that is devoted to the various Halls of Fame. So, the Hall of Great Westerners will include Mr. Hooks’ name and a biography about him and of course in any museum setting it’s always preferred to have an artifact that represents that person. We will be on the lookout for a suitable artifact to represent Mr. Hooks in our galleries. That’s that best way to tell stories, with a real-world, real-time artifact,” said Michael R. Grauer, McCasland chair of cowboy culture and curator of cowboy collections and western art at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

He was a cowboy who was renowned for his projects and efforts in the community.

Hooks became known as a top horse wrangler and had a heart for helping the youth in Amarillo.

He also helped create and develop the North Heights community.

“It’s our great honor to stand here tonight to accept this award for Matthew Bones Hooks,” said Potter County commissioner, Alphonso Vaughn.

The Potter County Commissioner Alphonso Vaughn and his wife accepted the award in Oklahoma City in Hooks’ honor.

Vaughn says Hooks played a tremendous part in Western Heritage history in our nation and it has not been recognized, but this award will help share his story that has not been told.

“He not only involved himself in the cowboy life, but he helped established cities here in the Texas Panhandle and then went even further in Amarillo and help establish the North Heights Neighborhood, where I live and that just speaks volumes as to his leadership quality and him as a man not being afraid to go places where African Americans weren’t accepted at that time,” said Tremaine Brown, owner of Shi Lee’s Barbecue & Soul Food Cafe and community activist.

Michael Grauer worked at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum for years and learned a lot about the contributions Hooks made and decided to nominate him for the award.

“It was very clear he rose to the stature of someone who should be elected into the Hall of Great Westerners. So, to me it was a slam dunk. We had to make him familiar to the Western Heritage Association’s committee and board of directors so they can understand exactly what it was he did,” said Grauer.

Hooks’ award will soon be placed in Amarillo’s Black Historical Cultural Center.

They are currently working on creating a display.

“I’m just proud for Mr. Hooks that he got the recognition he so deserves. That’s a pretty big deal not only for him but also Amarillo and the Amarillo area,” said Grauer.

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