Bose was born into slavery in Mississippi in 1843 and died in 1928. When Bose was a young boy, his slave holder took him to Texas while still in bondage to work on a cattle ranch. It was in Texas that Bose learned to ride, rope and fight. Bose got his freedom from slavery and at the end of the Civil War.
He hired out his service to Oliver Loving. Loving was killed fighting against the Comanches. Bose then hired out his service to Charles Goodnight. Loving and Goodnight are the namesakes for the “Goodnight Loving Cattle Trail.”
Goodnight said, “Bose surpassed any man I had in endurance and stamina. There was a dignity, a cleanliness and reliability about him that was wonderful. His behavior was very good in a fight and he was probably the most devoted man to me that I ever knew. I have trusted him farther than any man. He was my banker, my detective, and everything else in Colorado, New Mexico and the other wild country. The nearest and only bank was in Denver, and when we carried money, I gave it to Bose, for a thief would never think of robbing him.”
The character, Joshua Deets, who was portrayed by Danny Glover in the movie Lonesome Dove, is based on Bose Ikard. The story “Lonesome Dove” is taken partly from the lives of Goodnight and Loving.
The epitaph on Bose’s grave transcribed by Charles Goodnight reads:
“Bose Ikard served with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order, rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements with Comanches, splendid behavior.”
The Texas Historical marker near his grave states:
“Born a slave in Mississippi, Bose Ikard came to Texas as a child with the family of his owner, Dr. Milton L. Ikard. He remained as an employee of Dr. Ikard following his emancipation, but in 1866 joined a cattle drive to Colorado led by Charles Goodnight. and Oliver Loving. Ikard became one of Goodnight’s best cowboys and trusted friend. Following his work in the cattle drives, Ikard settled in Weatherford (TX). He and his wife Angeline were the parents of six children when he died in 1928 at age 85.” Goodnight had a granite marker erected at his grave.
Bose Ikard is buried in the Weatherford Cemetery in Weatherford, Texas