TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Columns : All Things Historical

That Old Steer

by Archie P. McDonald, PhD
Archie McDonald, PhD
That byline above should have read "and Curtis Tunnell" because everything I know about that old steer came from Curtis' article in the East Texas Historical Journal, Vol., XXXVIII, Fall 2000, pp. 68-71. I provide that citation in case you want to read about it in the colorful language of Buster Moore, who told it to Curtis.

Some of you might remember Curtis from his nearly two decades as director of the Texas Historical Commission. In this case he was engaged in oral history collection when he interviewed Moore, a real, old-time cowman with stuff on his boots and salt in his language. This version will attempt to preserve the favor without the sodium.

According to Buster, he was drinking coffee in the Texan Cafe in Huntsville when "Old Man Al C______" [Curtis preferred to protect the guilty and the innocent with names, other than Moore], asked him what he would charge to bring in an old wild steer. Moore said he would do it for $35, but "C_____ had married an S_______ and they're real tight," so he left.

When a flood came, C_____ sent others to fetch the steer, but they only succeeded in chasing it into the water, followed by other stock, so again he asked Moore what he would charge to catch it. "$50," was the reply. C______ asked why the price was higher, and was told that the previous bid had come before the task was made more difficult.

C _____ said he would not pay that much but he did agree to sell the steer to Moore for $100. Moore handed him a $100 bill and the next day went down in the bottoms, caught the steer, hauled him to the abattoir, and sold him for $385. He also asked the slaughterer to save the steer's massive head.

Back in the cafe, C_____ asked Moore what the sale of the steer had brought, and screamed "My Lord Almighty!" when he heard the figure. Moore asked why he had not hired him to catch it for the original $35. C______: "That was just too much money." Then he offered to buy the steer's head as a souvenir for his son, and Moore received back the same $100 bill with which he had bought the steer the day before. A few years later when Moore asked about the old steer's head, C_____ said his son really didn't care anything about it so he was going to will it to Moore when he died. After the funeral, Moore called on the widow and asked her about the steer's head--and she paid him $35 to haul it off.

There are several things to ponder about his story, but I leave such cogitation to the reader -- except to say "thank you" to Moore, Tunnell, and that old steer for a wonderful story. I think it is about as true as it ought to be.
All Things Historical
June 24-30 , 2001
Published by permission.
(Archie P. McDonald is Director of the East Texas Historical Association and author or editor of over 20 books on Texas)

More East Texas


Bob Bowman's East Texas
A timely gift for any East Texan. Sample a little of East Texas here, a little there--and come away with a good helping of stories you might not know if you didnít read this book.
Order Here
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright ©1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: February 9, 2007