How prevalent was the stampede string on Old West hats?

How prevalent was the stampede string on Old West hats?

J. Martin Tietjens
Kansas City, Missouri

Bonnet strings have dated back to the days of the Texas vaqueros and Californios. Cowboys have left behind many written accounts of using strings to prevent losing their sombreros, especially in windy weather or when doing some hard riding. They tucked these strings inside their hat when they weren’t needed.

Those waddies didn’t call ’em stampede strings, and they weren’t those fancy, braided things with slides like you see today. They called ’em thongs, bonnet strings or hat strings, and they were usually made of buckskin or even ribbon.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu