LeClaire performed in Buffalo Bill show
Louie LeClaire was born on June 16, 1881 near Burns. His mother was a Paiute Indian and his father was a Canadian.
When he was a young man, he joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He rode bucking horses and took the stage name of "White Wolf." He recalled working with Annie Oakley and claimed her legend as a shooter was well deserved. He also stated that Buffalo Bill trained buffalos used in the act so that they would fall over as if they had been shot whenever he fired his rifle.
Louie became ill when the show went to Liverpool, England, so he and two other performers came back to the States. The three decided to take a chance in the blossoming film industry in Hollywood, California. They went to work at Biograph Studios. They performed in several silent motion pictures. Louie played mostly Indian parts, but once performed as a British officer. He was familiar with silent movie stars Tom Mix and Hoot Gibson. He recalled that Gibson could not ride a horse and often fell off his horse during filming.
He remained in the movie business for several years. He married Delia (Della) Meanus and they moved to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and established a ranch near Simnasho. Their son, Louis LeClaire Jr., was born there in 1934 and their daughter, Barbara, was born in 1943. His son, Junior, performed as a double for Sal Mineo in the movie "Tonka," which was filmed in Central Oregon in 1959.
Louie and his wife raised horses on their ranch on the Warm Springs Reservation. Louie was an active horseman and frequently rode the range on the reservation.
Louie died on Feb. 16, 1962. His services were held at the Warm Springs Presbyterian Church and he was interred in the Tenino Cemetery on the reservation.
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