Doc and Dave Beaty

Doc and Dave Beaty - L2C

Alford Armstrong "Doc" Beaty, b. September 07, 1870, d. June 01, 1949
David Henry Beaty, b. March 15, 1866, d. January 07, 1902
Parents: David Standley Beaty & Mary Walker
GrandParents: David William Beaty & Naomi Standley.

This Article is from The Azusa Herald - October 20, 1937 (California)
50 Years of Progress - Golden Anniversary - 1887-1937

Coldbrook Camp
Coldbrook Camp in 1904 had just been renamed by R. W. Dawson. Prior to that time Doc Beatty had called it Squirrel Inn, and the Sycamore Flat resort was renowned for its beautiful waitress -- Nellie Hawkins -- for whom a mountain peak was named.

Doc was the Best Bronco Buster

The greatest bronco rider ever to live in the southwest was one of the founders of Camp Coldbrook--Doc Beatty.

There were two brothers who started the first resort in the Canyon--Doc and Dave--But they called it "Squirrel Inn' in those early days in the 90s.

Dave was known far and wide as a stage driver, being able to handle all sorts of teams on all kinds of roads with the greatest of ease. But it was Doc, called the "fightingest" man that ever lived around here, who really made the name for the family.

From boyhood days, Doc had broken broncos, working over whole carloads of them at a time at $1 a head. He rode "all over" his horses, raking them from head to foot with his spurs and changing wild stallions into docile horses as only a master rider could.

Wins $150 for Ride-

He used to ride each year for the Charley Meadows wild west show in Los Angeles. The first time he went in as a spectator, but when a horse threw its rider and Meadows announced that no other man on earth could ride the critter, Doc volunteered. Meadows bet him $150 he couldn't do it, and Doc countered by saying that the horse was tired that afternoon and he'd wait until the next day to do the job. And the next afternoon he rode the horse, leading Meadows to term him the greatest rider in the country.

But Doc's most famous ride was at a fiesta staged in Los Angeles about the turn of the century. The most noted outlaw horse of the day--El Diablo--called the "maneater," had been brought from Arizona, together with the only cowboy known to be able to ride him.

Sliver Gives Chance to Doc--

A few days before the fiesta, this rider ran a sliver in his foot and was unable to to perform, so Doc offered to do the work. The fiesta authorities ridiculed the idea, but in order to show off the horse they finally agreed.

When the day came, Doc went into the arena with two six-shooters loaded with soap and a blacksnake whip which he tied on the saddle horn. In those days the bronco was saddled in the center of the ring, not ridden out of chutes, and El Diablo was brought in by six vaqueros, with his four feet shackled by stout chains. The horse was so fierce that he bit through three rawhide ropes while being saddled.

Rode Horse to Death--

When the saddling was completed, Doc climbed on and told his brother Dave to throw away the bridle, an unheard of feat of bravado. He then emptied both guns of soap back of the bronco's ears, driving him into a frenzy of rage, and then, after throwing the guns away, took the blacksnake and worked the horse over from mane to tail.

The horse went through every known maneuver in an effort to unseat the Canyonite, using all of his strength and strategy, but the end came when he broke a leg while bucking, and was shot in the arena.

The fame of this ride, where Doc Beatty rode the wildest horse in the country to death without even using a bridle, stamped him as the outstanding rider in the whole West.

Picked Up Rattlers ---

Doc used to come into Azusa on a Saturday night and clean up half the town, Hank Williams recalls, for he loved to fight and he, had many enemies to "keep in line." In the Canyon, he used to awe his resort guests by picking up rattlesnakes by the tail and snapping their heads off.

Doc also liked to break broncos on the city streets, and one time, after Azusa had been incorporated, Ed Jeffrey used his authority as a councilman to issue a warrant for Doc's Arrest. It was dangerous for women and children to have Doc breaking horses in the streets, said Ed, but an arrest or so never slowed Doc Beatty down.

Dave Beaty at Crawford's
Crawford's - One of the 13 saloons in the days when Azusa was famed for its hard-drinking population is seen here, with Charles Crawford, the proprietor, Jack Glover, Bob Evans, and Dave Beaty lined up in front.

Last update: February 19, 2000