- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - One of the founders of the Dayton Rodeo died during a fire at his home, authorities said.

The Webster County medical examiner pronounced 98-year-old Allen Porter dead at the scene Thursday. Dr. Dan Cole told The Messenger (https://bit.ly/2aeNPdX ) that Porter’s body was found in a hallway.

Cole said he believes Porter died from smoke inhalation, but the body would undergo an autopsy.

Fire officials said Porter’s caretaker escaped through a window. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

According to a Dayton Wranglers Saddle Club account of the rodeo’s history, Porter helped start the event in 1937 with Duane Vegors and Vern Danielson. They began with rope tricks in the city park.

The rodeo was held at several different venues, including the Dayton Golf Course, before landing at its current site in 1955.

Porter usually rode his horse in the annual Dayton Labor Day Parade, but he was sidelined from 2012 to 2014 because of an injury.

Rodeo Committee chairman Jesse Green fondly remembered the connection Porter had with rodeo.

“When you thought of the Dayton Rodeo, a picture of Allen Porter is what comes to mind,” he said. “He was always representing the rodeo.”

Porter will be honored during an empty saddle ceremony at the rode on Sept. 5.


Information from: The Messenger, https://www.messengernews.net

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