Lockett, Reese Blake (1896–1977)

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: Biography

Published: March 1, 1995

Updated: September 17, 2013

Reese Blake Lockett, Brenham civic leader, cowboy, rodeo performer, and merchant, the son of L. J. Lockett, was born on November 19, 1896. He attended Blinn Memorial College (now Blinn College) and went to work for Giddings and Giddings at the Greasewood Ranch in West Texas. He served as a captain in the United States Army during World War I. From 1914 until 1923 he spent his time either at home working for the Brenham Compass Oil and Manufacturing Company or traveling with the Lachman and Lewis Show, a carnival with a Wild West act for which he rode broncos, roped steers, boxed, and wrestled. In the 1920s he acted as a cowboy in the film North of 36 and toured Europe with Tex Austin, whose group performed for the king of England. Back in the United States, Lockett worked with Austin and Tex Rickard staging annual rodeos at Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden. He later appeared in the motion picture Manhandled. In 1927 he became an auditor and assistant to the president at the Giddings and Giddings bank, and in 1928 he married Hester Smith, with whom he had two children. From 1930 until 1964 Lockett owned a men's store at Brenham, and he also established a 900-acre ranch nearby. In 1934 he was elected mayor of Brenham, a post he held, except for a six-year hiatus, for the next twenty-eight years; for a while he was also city manager. In 1931 he helped to organize the Texas Prison Rodeo at Huntsville and in 1938 the Houston Fat Stock Show Rodeo. From 1952 until 1969 he served as trail boss of the Salt Grass Trail rides that preceded the stock show and as a rodeo judge. Lockett was a friend of Will Rogers, a Mason, and an Elk. He was president of the Brenham Maifest Association, Chamber of Commerce, and Industrial Foundation. He was a director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and a Blinn Junior College board member. Lockett died on February 4, 1977, and was buried at Prairie Lea Cemetery, Brenham.

Frank Carter Adams, ed., Texas Democracy: A Centennial History of Politics and Personalities of the Democratic Party, 1836–1936 (4 vols., Austin: Democratic Historical Association, 1937). "Man of the Month," East Texas, April 1959. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Cowboys and Cowgirls
  • Rodeo Personalities
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Sports (Rodeo)

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana J. Kleiner, “Lockett, Reese Blake,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 26, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/lockett-reese-blake.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995
September 17, 2013