Born in Bedford, Ohio, John Carroll worked for Ohio oil companies until 1936 when he became manager of his father’s 55,000 acre Carrollton Ranch in Deer Park. In 1947, he became Vice President of the First National Bank of Kissimmee, retiring in 1975 as Chairman of the Board. John was one of the sixteen horsemen who rode in the inaugural parade for Governor Spessard Holland in 1941. He was a charter member of the Silver Spurs quadrille, helped organize the Silver Spurs Riding Club and was its first “Big Boss” in 1942. At the age of 81, John was honored by being named “Coca Cola Cowboy” in 1988 by the Club. Bestowed annually since 1982, the honor was given to an Osceola County resident who had worked to promote the rodeo and its way of life. After receiving the honor, he replied “You don’t know what it means to a Yankee to be accepted like I have been.”
The Silver Spurs Riding Club was formed in 1941. They quickly became popular in the region and across the state of Florida. The Spurs were known for their exceptional skill and riding tricks, especially the Quadrille, a square dance performed on horseback.