Most people are familiar with the popular “O give me a home where the buffalo roam,” but did you know that Home on the Range is the state song of Kansas.
In 1872, Dr. Brewster M. Higley of Smith County, Kansas published a poem titled My Western Home. He had moved to Kansas the Homestead Act and was inspired by the surroundings.
My Western Home did not feature the words “on the range”, which were added later.
Later the music was added by a friend of Higley, Daniel E. Kelley, a carpenter.
The song is first known to be published in the 1910 Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads by John Lomax, who said he learned it from a black saloonkeeper in Texas.
In 1925, Texas composer David W. Guion arranged the sheet music for the song. The song was already popular with the rangers and cowboys.
In 1933, Bing Crosby recorded his popular version of the song. Although others had recorded the song, his version set it up as the unofficial anthem of the American West.
In 1947, the state of Kansas elected to have the song as their state song.
In 2010, members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 western songs of all time.
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com