Hank Mattson is a working Cracker Cowboy Poet who lives in Florida.


He has performed at cowboy poetry gatherings from Florida to Utah. He’s a member of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, the Pro. Rodeo Hall of Fame Society and the Friends of Florida Folk.


Hank uses his own works and those of turn-of-the-century punchers to chronicle and preserve the life and times of the many Florida Folks who for over 400 years have been workin’ cattle.


As Hank says, “Iffin yer hard-pressed to find a speaker who’s willin’ ta work fer a little less than ya think ya ken afford, I’m yer man.”



For bookings, call:  (863) 699-0562 or write to:

   Hank Mattson

   916 Catfish Creek Road

   Lake Placid, FL 33852-9492


Or click here to email:  hank@crackercowboypoet.com

You may order Hank’s audio CD, Tellin’ It Like It Was,

by mailing a check or money order in the amount of $15.00

(shipping and handling included) made payable to

Hank Mattson at the above “write to” address.

If you’re in Lake Placid, Florida, you can purchase

Hank’s audio CD at


417 US 27 South

Telephone:  (863) 465-4731


When This Old Hat Was New
has now been put to music!!  Hear a sample of Dana & Susan Robinson's beautiful composition & purchase the CD. 
Just click on the photo below

Have you heard? 
Hank was named the winner of the
2011 Laura Rider Award For
Florida Folk Poetry

My thanks to Jimmy Peters for this photo


You can view the
Cow Cavalry Memorial Monument Dedication
slide show at:
HMDB New Markers

You can watch a video of Hank reciting the poem
"Whisperin' Bill"
by clicking here:



Hank will be speaking at these events in 2015:
October 24 - 25, 2015
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On the shores of Lake Wales
Admission & Parking is FREE
Hank will speak at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, October 25th
For more information contact Jennifer Nanek
863-678-4182 ext 270

November 10, 2015
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Janie Howard Wilson Elementary School
306 Florida Ave.
Lake Wales, FL 33853 

For more information contact
Stephanie MacDonald

NOVEMBER 13th & 14th, 2015


Read one of Hank's works below: 

When This Old Hat Was New

A Song by Hank Mattson


I am an old Cowhunter boys

Come listen to my tale

Memories now are twice as sweet

Of the old cracker trail.


Fer Jacob Summerlin we rid

Fences then were few

When I was just a skinny kid

And this old had was new


When the yearly ‘round up came

We rode off unaware

How often we’d be preyed upon

By Seminole or bear.


But when the herd was sold

And shipped across the blue

What bounty we’d behold

When this old hat was new.


At the Summerlin Hotel

Old Jake he’d take his place

And shake our hands as we came in

A smile upon his face.


His son sat at the table

And gave each man his due

In Spanish gold, believe me boy

When this old hat was new.


But the good times quickly changed

The Country was at war

And while the battle raged up north

Down here, the Federals closed our shore.


But Jake the blockade runner

Kept goods a sailin’ through

And Cuban trade was still maintained

When this old hat was new.


Well we lost the war but not the land

Full pardons we was given

Our beef again was in demand

And we thanked Jake and Heaven.


But lovin’ the work ya do’s the thing

It made our dreams come true

When Jake was Cracker Cowhunter King

And this old hat was new.




The above photo of Hank appeared in the Highlands Today Newspaper, on page 8A, February 18, 2007. Photo by KATHY WATERS.

Copyright © 2015 Hank Mattson – All rights reserved.