Edward JB Keeylocko turned a fantasy of living in the Wild West into a reality that captured the hearts and minds of those who visited his 80-acre cattle ranch.
The ranch, named Cowtown Keeylocko, lies forty-four miles outside of Tucson, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert. The desert is an arid region, surrounded by Indian Reservations, spanning 100,000 square miles of harsh landscape. It requires a level of strength and endurance to master, something which Edward embodied.
Cowtown Keeylocko was constructed with no machinery. Edward Keeylocko built this town with telephone poles, twine, basic tools, and good people. It became a fully functional town that captures the spirit of hard work and equality symbolic to the wild west.
Who is Edward Keeylocko?
Edward’s story is one of strength and perseverance. He was abandoned at birth and raised by a women whom everyone referred to as “Mother”, in Newberry South Carolina. At the age of 14, he found his birth mother and later met his father on his dad’s dying bed. Edward enlisted in the United States Army and served for 23 years. He retired a decorated Master Sargent serving in both the Vietnam an Korean War.
After leaving the army, he studied at the University of Arizona and received his Bachelors Degree in Agriculture. He then set his sights on becoming a cattle rancher. This task proved to be difficult, not because he lacked the skills necessary, but because of the racial discrimination that was rife in the area.
Edward found that nobody wanted to buy his cattle because of the color of his skin. He was told by participants at the auctioneer, “He should build his own town and sell them there.” He responded, “I’ll do that” and he did! Today Cowtown is know all over the world for its principals of Love, Pride, Hard-Work, Equality and the man who fought for it.
Cowtown Keeylocko would become part of Edward’s Legacy. He followed a young inner quest, in pursuit of finding his loved ones, education and purpose. In 1974 he founded Cowtown Keeylocko, a town that exists on those very same values. Today Cowtown consists of establishments such as a designated cattle and animal housing, an arena, church, library, cemetery and the famous Blue Dog Saloon.
The Blue Dog Saloon is iconically known all over the world! It’s a place that was created for the love of all people from all walks of life. “EVERYBODY is welcomed at Cowtown Keeylocko” as Ed would often say. It’s famously known for its karaoke, drinks, good food, and edge of the seat story telling!
Ed has since passed on but he asked us to honor him by continuing his legacy. He said, “Don’t cry for me Suga, make sure my legacy lives on”. To honor his wishes we created the Keeylocko Pioneering Legacy Organization. Cowtown Keeylocko will remain open hosting events, private parties and soon returning back to daily business .
Join us in honoring his last wishes with our first Annual Keeylocko Memmorial Weekend March 15-17, 2019
In recent news, unfortunately after Edward JB Keeylocko passed away his town was robbed and vandalized. To keep his wishes of burying him on his land, we are raising money to get his town back to standard, and self sufficient for future events.
As a community we ask for help in any form possible whether it be providing materials, services or funds via our GoFundMe page.
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