Carroll Johnston

Pre-1970s Rodeo

Inducted 2020

Carroll F. Johnston was born on January 24, 1935, in Watford City, North Dakota. He was the firstborn son of Andrew and Leva (Thompson) Johnston. After the death of his father in a barn fire in 1939, Carroll went to live with his Uncle Ben, where he learned the way of the cowboy; ranching, breaking horses, and working with cattle. He attended country school until 8th grade. Like so many young men of this time, they were needed on the farm/ranch. Carroll would continue to learn by working the ranch, riding broncs, and helping others.

In 1955, Carroll began his rodeo career, winning at local rodeos until 1965. During this time, he was able to work with rodeo stock contractors: Fettig Brothers, Beutler Rodeo Co., and Marvin Brookman. His Uncle Ben was also a stock contractor in the region and it was only fitting that Carroll worked in this operation as well. Life as a cowboy was busy for him. Carroll would be a contestant, a pick-up man, and also help with the stock. All this work paid off when in 1959 and 1960 he earned the title of NDRA Bareback Champion. His interest in rodeo never left him. Carroll assisted many young cowboys in high school and, as he grew older, he still enjoyed attending a good rodeo either in person or watching it on TV.

Carroll married Delores Rehberg in 1960, and together they had three children, Linda, Robert, and Jodi. Together, they all ranched with Carroll’s Uncle Ben. Carroll remained an active rancher throughout his life.

Carroll was a very generous and kind person. He would do anything to help a friend or a family member. He never met a stranger he couldn’t talk to and he always had a good story to tell.

He was a member of the NDRA, RCA, ND Stockmen’s Association, 50 Years in the Saddle Club, and the American Quarter Horse Association.

Carroll passed away on October 5, 2011.