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Dell (Odille) Jones

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: Los Angeles
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1900
Death/End date: 1995

Buck and Dell Jones were married on horseback at the Julian Allen Wild West Show in 1915 and promptly headed to Hollywood where they both stunt-doubled for various cowboy stars including May McAvoy, Wm S Hart, Tom Mix and the Farnum Bros. Dell’s career took a hiatus with the birth of their only child, Maxine, while Buck went on to become a full-fledged cowboy star in the 1920s.

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While Buck Jones was appearing in New York, a beautiful equestrienne named Odille Osborne, affectionately known as 'Dell', joined the show (at age 13!). She then rode for the 101 Ranch, ultimately leaving it to join The Julia Allen Wild West Show. Smitten, Buck followed her and got a job with the same show and several months later they married. Having no money for a wedding, the owners of the show offered to pay the bill if they would get married during an actual performance. Buck and Dell agreed. The show band played the wedding march and the bride, groom and minister were all on horseback. It was a spectacular wedding. Buck later said, "It took, and that's the main thing."

Eventually Buck and Dell formed their own family riding expedition circus and toured many towns in the west. For a short period, they joined the Ringling Brothers Circus. When the circus played Los Angeles, Dell was pregnant. Shortly before their first and only child (Maxine) was born (1918), Buck decided to quit Ringling and try to find a job with the studios. Universal hired him as a $5.00 a day bit player and stunt man and his film career took off.

In the late 1920s Buck formed his-own Wild West show. It was a huge show, transported by a fifteen-car train. Buck performed on 'Silver.’ Dell performed on her horse 'Bumper,' and even 11-year old Maxine rode her pony in the show. For a variety of reasons, including financial mismanagement by the man Buck hired to run the show, the tour lasted only two months. Buck would never again form his own road show. He knew he had to go back to the studios.

 

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